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Sheikh Zayed, Cairo, Egypt.
Papparoti: Malaysian Café Chain Opens in Westown Hub
One thing that can totally build a café or restaurant is having its own signature touch, be it a special dish or a unique drink or even a memorable theme. With Papparoti, it's the signature coffee-coated buns that most customers remember.
Opening up in SODIC's pristine Westown Hub, Papparoti offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Opting for a table outdoors, our waiter was quick to seat us and eager to place menus before us in no time. With the venue being quite crowded at the time of our visit, the tables and chairs felt almost glued to each other and the overall atmosphere was a bit too constricting.
The menu opens up to a "Pappa Combo" section offering caffeinated drinks, the likes of Cappuccino, flavoured tea and Café Latte, and non-caffeinated drinks, the likes of Iced Chocolate and different fruit smoothies, accompanied by the signature bun (27-43LE). You can also order the drinks or the buns separately. Some of the other appealing drinks were Pappa Black Tea (15LE), the Pappa Choco Shot (25 LE) and the Espresso Macchiatto (21LE).
With no food offerings but the bun, Papproti offers the option of customizing your bun and adding some toppings to it, the likes of chocolate, honey, nuts, caramel or even cheese.
Feeling like a round of refreshingly icy drinks, we opted for the Iced Special Blend Coffee (27LE), the Mango Smoothie (25LE) and the Strawberry Smoothie (25LE). Ten minutes later, our drinks were served up alongside two complimentary hot buns.
The Iced Special Blend Coffee was nothing like the waiter had described it to us, far too sweet and lacking a strong taste of coffee. It tasted more like caramelized water than a coffee-based drink. The same can be said for the Strawberry smoothie for it was chockfull of sugar. The Mango smoothie, however, was perfect, tasting like freshly blended mangoes.
The hot buns were served fresh out of the oven and were quite unfamiliar to our taste buds, tasting like sweet, buttered bread that is ever so slightly coated in coffee and caramel.
All in all, Papproti was quite the peculiar mixture of efficient service, hit-and-miss drinks and an enviably located yet cluttered venue. Though the buns and the mango smoothie were quite delicious, the strawberry smoothie and iced coffee blend failed to impress.
Located in the heart of Downtown Cairo, this unique café possesses the essence of a gallery both inside and out due to its maze-like layout and unique interior design.
Basilli's Town Lounge is made up of three spacious rooms each adorned with with kitschy décor including images of famous actresses, singers and writers, too - everyone from Elvis Presley and William Shakespeare, to Abdelhalim Hafez and Souad Hosni.
Upon seating ourselves we were provided with Basilli's menu which isfairly simple, specialising mostly in drinks, though several choices of ice cream were available including a Banana Split which consisted of a whole banana topped with vanilla ice-cream and fruity syrup.
Upon placing our order we were told the coffee machine was out of order which significantly reduced our choices. We did, however, find pleasure in Basilli's selection of cocktails and fruit juices and opted to try its signature cocktail, the Basilli Cocktail (16LE); a mixture of mango, banana, ginger and vanilla. This proved to be a delicious concoction with a rather thick consistency from the banana and mango. We couldn't taste the vanilla, however, but the ginger gave it a zesty kick.
We also ordered one Strawberry Juice (10LE) and one Kiwi Juice (11LE); the strawberry juice was sweet and thick with real strawberry pieces and served in a tall stylish glass with a thick straw enabling us to suck up those large chunks of strawberry. The kiwi juice, on the other hand, appeared to be lacking in kiwi flavour and had a hint of bitterness from the lemon juice used. The presentation was pleasing, though, served in a tall glass identical to that of the strawberry juice and decorated with slices of kiwi delicately attached to the glass on the inside. Well worth the money.
The overall prices in Basilli arepleasantly cheap, the service was adequate and the choice of drinks was decent. Though not particularly refined, it's hard not to be charmed by the unique style. One room in particular caught our attention, as the chairs and tables were in the style of chopped wood and, even though it did not have any relevance to the overall theme of the café, it was a pleasant added touch. All three of the rooms are comfortable, spacious and fully air-conditioned; in addition to this, there is also the option to sit outside and enjoy the weather.