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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.
Shisha, hookah, water-pipe – whatever you want to call it, it’s every bit as essential to Cairo cafes as chairs and tables are and the majority of places across the city serve it as a key ingredient to the quintessential Egyptian experience.
Located in the bustling Marghany Street, Hookah Lounge stands out with its bright purple sign and white painted walls. We were greeted at the entrance by a waiter, who offered us the choice of either indoor or outdoor seating. Spending any kind of prolonged time outside in Cairo in November is likely to have you shivering to the bone, but Hookah Lounges outdoor area is equipped with surprisingly effective heaters.
We were instantly seated in the mildly crowded lounge without having to wait and had our menus laid out before us in a jiffy.
The design of the place immediately puts you at ease, boasting a laid back white and silver colour scheme. We especially loved the gigantic, colourful shisha design strewn to the side wall and thought it added a rather charming feel to the place.
Going for a rather non-fussy menu, Hookah offers no-fuss mainstream dishes; pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, salads and burgers pretty much dominated the menu. For the shishas, however, they offer a wide range of flavours and mixes.
We placed our order and had our shishas by our sides a few minutes later. The blueberry-vanilla (27LE) was quite heavenly, albeit a bit too strong in flavour. We, nonetheless, loved it. The cherry-vanilla (27LE), which wasn't on the menu, but made as a special request for us, was much lighter than the former and tasted just as delightful. Our coal, however, was not regularly maintained and we had to ask the waiter continuously to change it.
Arriving right after the shishas, our steaming main dishes looked absolutely mouth-watering. The Fried Mozzarella (25 LE) consisted of four large pieces of fried, breaded cheese with a dip and tasted as sinful as deep-fried cheese should taste. Our Chicken Alfredo pasta (49 LE) came in a hefty serving and consisted of penne pasta – as requested – topped with dense white sauce and grilled chicken chunks, sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Though nothing stands out as being extraordinary in the food department, everything was cooked well and served in big, filling portions.
But this being a cafe called Hookah Lounge, the focus is very much on shisha and though it wasn’t tended to as regularly as one would like, the quality and variety of the different flavours makes it a haven for shisha fans.