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Mohandiseen, Cairo, Egypt.
Bread Basket: New Branch Opens in Mohandiseen
Bread lovers living in the vicinity of Gomhouria Square in Mohandiseen should consider themselves lucky as they live just around the corner from one of Cairo’s best bakeries. TBS may have the reputation around town for having the best bread but Bread Basket in Mohandiseen certainly is a strong competitor.
Bread Basket is located above Golio’s restaurant in the calm area of the square. In order to reach the bakery one must pass through Golio’s and take the stairs up. The inside interior is modern and has a lot of grey colours giving a relaxed feel to the venue; there is also a bookstand with books and magazines to read.
They have a huge counter with all sorts of bread, cookies, croissants, doughnuts and muffins; turn the corner and there is a salad bar for making your own salad. We decided to take a seat on the small terrace and enjoy the sun while we were there. The terrace only has three tables so you are lucky if you are able to secure one. The view is hardly spectacular as you mainly look out onto Golio’s roof top; the best part about it are the available plugs, which means you can take your laptop outside if you want.
The menu is quite extensive when it comes to breakfast and bread options. There are various breakfast choices available such as the French breakfast, healthy breakfast and several egg options. Bread wise you can choose from baguettes, buns, ciabatta, rye, bagels, kitke, Lebanese bread and honey comb, just to name a few.
We opted for poached eggs with spinach (20.50LE), a cheese croissant (8.5LE) and a cappuccino (15LE). We were especially excited about the eggs and we weren’t disappointed. The eggs were perfectly cooked, firm on the outside and soft on the inside; they came on a piece of baguette with spinach. The spinach was a bit sour which fared well with the peppery egg. The only complaint we had was about the bread. The baguette was tasty but too small for the poached eggs; they kept rolling off and were a bit difficult to eat. Thankfully, we had received a basket with larger pieces of bread and switching the spinach and egg onto bigger bread made the meal much more enjoyable.
The cheese croissant might be one of the best we ever had in Cairo; it was filled with cheddar cheese and was very crispy and obviously freshly baked. Together with the strong yet creamy cappuccino we couldn’t have asked for a better start to our day.
The staff is very friendly though the service on the terrace was a bit slow. For shisha lovers, it’s possible to get a shisha from Golio’s and smoke it on Bread Basket’s terrace.
No matter how many foreign cuisines come to the Cairo restaurant scene, there’s nothing quite like authentic Egyptian food - a sentiment that had us eager to try recently opened Heliopolis eatery, Skalans.
Located in the Sheraton Buildings area, close to Hamada Sheraton – another famous street eats hub in the area serving foul and ta’ameya— Skalans is a small shop with quirky blue garbage cans for chairs and an interior floor designed to look like that of the street. Gaining more popularity by the day, Skalans was already crammed up people at the time of our visit and when we did eventually find seating, we found the chaos left by the people who came to eat before us waiting.
Torn between all the drooling choices in the menu – from liver sandwiches, Alexandrian spicy sausage sandwiches (8.50LE-10.50LE each) and Hawawshi (12LE- 23LE), to pastas (19LE) and spicy meat platters (30LE - 32LE), not to mention some grilled cheese sausages – one of Skalans' specialties (10.50LE) – we finally settled on a medium and a large Hawawshi (12LE and 19LE), an Alexandrian sausage sandwich (8.5LE) and two packs of French fries (5LE each).
Besides our main bites, we wanted to also try the dessert and between Skalans – a sandwich comprised of cream, honey, jam and halva (halawa) – (8.50LE) and a Nutella dessert – halva with nutella –(8.5LE) we opted for the latter.
An hour later, the cashier screamed our number and our food was ready, alongside some complementary pickles. Served in half pita bread portions, our hawawshi was quite tasty; though somewhat greasy, it boasted perfectly seasoned minced meat and good consistency and was surprisingly light.
Smothered in Tehina, chopped vegetables and a mere half a sausage, our Alexandrian sausage sandwich was quite disappointing, on the other hand; lacking the traditional Alexandrian pungent, aromatic seasoning, the sandwich was far from flavourful and actually rather bland.
Despite the unfamiliar mix, our Nutella-halva blend was perfect; surprisingly light, the two flavours actually worked together and managed to be both creamy and light at the same time.
Overall, despite some missteps, such as the slow service and the unnecessary and deafeningly loud music, our visit to Skalans was satisfying enough; just don’t expect your visit to be a relaxing one.