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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
P.S Café: New Restful Café in Zamalek
Everywhere you look in Cairo there is always a new café opening up and it usually happens at the speed of light. Take P.S Café in Zamalek for instance. Located just off of Brazil Street, P.S Café is fairly secluded from the chaotic traffic on 26th of July Street.
The interior décor is quite funky with dark stone walls and fresh orange detailing. We visited on a sunny morning so we decided to enjoy the weather and sit outside. During the daytime, the outdoor area is quite limited and consists of four or five tables at most. In the evening however, when all the other shops close, the area expands and takes up quite a lot of the pavement; adding more tables. Plants fill the surrounding space and because of the location there is not a lot of direct sun light; so it could be a pleasant refuge on a hot summer day.
The menu at P.S Café isn’t particularly surprising or fascinating. Most of its items are what we see in other cafés such as salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes and crêpes. The menu had the occasional spelling mistake which was fairly amusing. We opted for a mango smoothie (12LE), rocca salad (13LE) and the chicken quesadillas (20LE), as well as an American coffee (10LE).
The smoothies we get here in Cairo are never very good; tasting like very cold juice as opposed to one mixed with milk or yoghurt. The smoothie at P.S Café was no different. It was tasty but it just wasn’t a smoothie- it was more like iced juice. The American coffee was quite strong and definitely gave us the caffeine boost we needed. The rocca salad was quite modest; unfortunately it was made with canned mushrooms instead of fresh mushrooms and with grated roomy cheese instead of Parmesan. We were really looking forward to our chicken quesadillas; however, we were ultimately disappointed. They had too many peppers in them, killing the flavour of the chicken, and for some reason there was dill all over – which really makes no sense. The sour cream was thin and seemed more like milk and once again, there was a lot of dill added.
Though the food didn’t impress, P.S Café is great for a drink. With soft drinks and tea starting at 4LE and coffee at 8LE, it’s very cheap. The view is nothing to boast about but at least the street is quiet.
We love finding venues where we don’t expect them, and this particular one we’re sure is in a spot most have never considered going to.
Situated in the ground floor of Talaat Harb Mall in Downtown Cairo, Mashour is a treat after hours of sifting between retail outlets, jewellery kiosks and shoe shops taking up the whole seven floors of the mall.
Mashour is a pleasant, highly spacious and fully air-conditioned cafe serving drinks and small desserts. The environment and atmosphere is comfortable and, despite the chatter of customers, it's a nice place to enjoy with friends whilst relishing in it’s delightful beverages.
Immaculate tiled flooring, surprisingly stylish tables and red cushioned seating make up this venue which is made even more decorative and serene by it’s leafy green plants dotted here and there.
The tables and chairs are generously spaced out in this large area, which is ideal when the bar fills up, especially during the football season as everyone gathers around the large flat screen TV; seating is also available just outside of Mashour for those busy days, though there is no air-conditioning and it can be a little uncomfortable.
Drinking at Mashour is a pleasant occasion although the menu is somewhat limited. This cafe offers a mixture of hot and cold beverages; one tea with lemon costs 7.50LE and one strong double espresso costs 13.50LE. Canned drinks are available too but are a little expensive with a can costing 8.75LE and a can of Red Bull reaching to an excruciating 20.00LE.
Mashour do have a range of exotic cocktails presented on the menu, too, though upon further study of the items listed, we realised that they were more of a light dessert. We ordered one chocolate milkshake at 13.75LE, which arrived in a tall generous glass and was topped with delicious fluffy foam, one Florida Juice at 12.00LE and, finally, one Cream Caramel at 10.95LE. The juice and the cream caramel were of an average standard considering their high prices - though the milkshake was particularly creamy and enjoyable with a strong chocolaty taste.
The service was fast and friendly with drinks served by waiters dressed in smart white shirts and black trousers, and the manager was particularly helpful in suggesting drinks from the menu. However, it is a shame about the prices, which seem a little steep; you pay for the venue and not the drinks. On the plus side, Mashour do provide several additional services than the average bars and cafés, a large flat screen television at the front, free Wifi and Shisha are amongst the pros.
Though Mashour serves only drinks and light desserts, there are many other food outlets very close by on the ground floor serving a variety of fast foods to be enjoyed within the large eating area in the centre of this small oasis.