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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.
Tucked away in a shady little street, not far from the Marriott hotel – and on the premises of the All Saint’s Cathedral – Marhaba is a tranquil oasis in the midst of our ever-chaotic city. The inconspicuous little café serves tasty Lebanese and Egyptian food and is usually far from crowded, but don’t let that deter you from giving it a go. We actually found it to be a refreshing change from the busier and more bustling Zamalek cafés.
Despite the specific focus of the cuisine at Marhaba, we were impressed by the range of choice. We ordered the hummus (18LE), baba ghanough (19LE), taameya (15LE), manakeesh with zaatar (15LE) and vine leaves (27LE) as starters – all of which were excellent. The manakeesh were particularly delicious, not at all dry and flavourless as many venues tend to serve them. There were, moreover, a variety of topping choices on offer, including plain labnah, labnah with zaatar, halloumi cheese and minced meat. In terms of drinks, we most enjoyed the fruit juices, especially the cocktail (22LE).
Despite defining itself as a café, Marhaba also serves restaurant-worthy mains. Our main course consisted of molokheya with rice and chicken (60LE) and a mixed grill (75LE), which was served with two sides – French fries and rice. The portions were perfect, and both meals were delicious, although the chicken that came with the molokheya was a little dry, and on the whole, a little less satisfying than the mixed grill.
To top off our meal on a nice and traditional note, we ordered the Om Ali (24LE), which proved to be an excellent choice: nutty, creamy, and bursting with flavour.
Our overall experience at Marhaba was extremely positive. We were especially impressed with the efficient and friendly service and the great value for money; we also enjoyed the fact that the BBC news was playing quietly in the background; the atmosphere of the place is certainly distinct from that of the ordinary Zamalek café. But being low-key and so far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, it would perhaps be a good place to get some work done – efficiently, for a change.
They have so many breakfast options!
The terrace is fairly small.
Bread Basket delivers as well.