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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.
Taking over restaurants, cafes and even shops in Cairo, trendy food fads never seem to get old in this city. Attempting to break into the popular, specialty sweet market, new-comer Kukuruza brings gourmet popcorn to New Cairo’s newest shopping hot-spot, Cairo Festival City Mall. With branches in some of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, their gourmet popcorn can also be seen in Tokyo, Riyadh and the USA.
The small, third floor booth is eye-catching, with an olive and black colour scheme giving off a sophisticated, sweet-shop feel. Two, glass fronted cabinets show-off a vast range of different flavoured, colourful popcorns whilst tempting, illustrated menus hang on the walls.
The menu is vast, and both small and large (20LE-38LE) sealable bags are available for takeaway. Customers are also able to mix two flavours in one bag (29LE). Flavours include the usual oil & salt and caramel variations (25LE/35LE), but transgress to more exotic, imaginative flavours including maple bacon (28LE/38LE), peppermint cocoa (28LE/38LE), coconut macaroon (28LE/38LE) and cinnamon bun (28LE/38LE). The only flavours that were unavailable at the time of our visit were the savoury, cheese variations.
The staff are friendly and enthusiastic, and readily offered us tasters of warm, fresh popcorn pieces. Particularly proud of the fact their popcorn is air popped – rather than cooked using oil or butter – the popcorn is less greasy than those usually seen on the market; it’s also healthier, before the added flavourings.
We opted for four flavours, mixed in two, small bags (29LE/each); cookies and cream (25LE/35LE per bag), black raspberry with vanilla cream (25LE/35LE), classic caramel (25LE/35LE), and rainbow fruit (25LE/35LE) – a multi-coloured mixture of apple, banana, strawberry and blueberry favours.
The popcorn itself was warm and crunchy, with a soft, airy centre whilst each piece was thoroughly coated in its topping. Unlike cinema popcorn, we were thoroughly impressed with the classic caramel, which was coated with rich, sticky caramel. The cookies and cream was an interesting, flavourful creation. Our favourite was undoubtedly the black raspberry and vanilla cream; the black raspberry was sweet and fruity, whilst the cream gave an aftertaste likened to sugary yoghurt. Supposedly made with real fruit, the rainbow fruit mix tasted disappointingly artificial, but was delicious none-the-less, with each piece tasting distinctly of the fruit described.
Dangerous for even the smallest of waistlines, Kukuruza’s artisan twist on regular popcorn is possibly the coolest – and most addictive – thing since cupcakes. Suitable for just about every occasion, we are eagerly awaiting delivery to help curb our cravings.