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Puff Pie: Colourful Snacks in Zamalek
Located just around the corner from Mobinil in Zamalek, Puff Pie might be a bit difficult to find first time round. Sitting across from Roma Laundry, the interior of Puff Pie is black with a lot of bright yellow details. The venue itself is very small and therefore not really suitable for having an elaborate lunch or dinner. Upon requesting the menu we were presented with an iPad. Whether this is the usual system or the real menu’s are still in print remained was unclear. We opted for the Spinach Cheese puff pie (20LE), the Chicken Mushroom puff pie (22LE), the spud with fresh fruit (20LE) and took a vanilla milkshake while we were waiting (15LE). The milkshake was prepared on the spot and was full of vanilla flavour. It was definitely refreshing but a bit too sweet for our liking.
After waiting around for a while we were presented with the food and that’s where the questioning began. We were not quite sure what we had on our plate. What we saw were yellow, red and dark purple rolls with filling. We started off with a yellow piece filled with cheese and spinach. The filling was exceptional and tasted delicious. The yellow roll in which it was wrapped was fairly tasteless and we couldn’t figure out quite what it was. Perhaps dough or egg as one of our dining partners speculated. The chicken mushroom wasn’t disappointing either. The chicken pieces were tender and the mushrooms were fresh. They were covered in a white béchamel-type sauce and also wrapped in the bright red and yellow ‘pastry’. When we got to dessert, we couldn’t exactly find the spud in our spud with fresh fruit but it wasn’t bad. We found it a bit too sweet but the portion of fruit was very generous. Though we absolutely enjoyed our little bites we are still clueless about the wrap. As a side dish we were presented with a big bowl of vegetables. The only downside was that our food definitely got heated up in the microwave making it a bit soggy. Perhaps heating up in an oven would fare better.
If you have a party or gathering, it wouldn’t hurt to have Puff Pie cater for you. The bites look very appealing and give a funky twist to regular finger food.
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.