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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Bread Basket: Fresh Pastries & Bread in Maadi
Located in a distinctively competitive area in Maadi, across from Metro Market and the Parisian-inspired La Gourmandise on Road 9, Bread Basket has still managed to cling to its long held position as a popular provider for Maadi's daily bread and carbohydrate cravings.
Taking up a teeny-tiny space on the 1st floor of a residential building, Bread Basket efficiently manages to make the most of the little space it has.
At the counter they display all their sweets and treats, which include such favourites as Danish pastries and brownies; both moderately priced at 5LE. Although the menu claims they serve a large selection of morning pastries – including a raisin Danish, an apple Danish and a chocolate Danish – only the pudding Danish was available when we visited. The pudding Danish was perfectly sweetened with a perfect pudding-to-bread ratio, making the pastry enjoyable and easy to eat.
At 2LE-3LE cheaper than the gateaux at The Bakery Shop, they make a good option if you want to buy morning pastries in large numbers. Even after the filling pudding Danish, we decided that an additional sugar fix couldn't hurt and went for a brownie. The brownies are sold in individually wrapped pieces and were chocolaty with a distinct butter taste. However, it was not as rich or moist as you would expect; it tasted only slightly better than store bought ones, which was disappointing.
Behind the counter are shelves reserved for the baked bread, which comes in a multitude of varieties including grain baguette (31LE), multigrain loaf (20LE), raisin bread (14.50LE), sesame rolls (1.25LE) and cheese rolls (2.50LE). However, despite having over 20 different kinds of bread listed on their menu, only about six were available that day.
We tried the brown multigrain bread, which was coated with a sprinkle of grains. Crunchy on the outside and very moist and soft on the inside, it hit the spot. However, since this bread does not come in the pre-packaged plastic sleeves that keep it fresh, make sure you have a place to store your bread or you risk it becoming stale before you have even finished.
Shopping at Bread Basket is an experience; the bakery is cosy and smells wonderful. But the selections are limited and if you don't come early then it's likely they will be out of some of the more popular staples by noon.
It's no secret that many restaurants and cafes in Cairo flatter with gimmicks, only to provide a mediocre experience, with few standing out as truly unique. Situated at the far end of the peaceful Zamalek's El Adel Abou Bakr Street – immediately opposite Body Shapers – Kayan has transformed casual dining in the area.
Perfect for a light brunch and leisurely session of people-watching, a green and white striped canopy shades four granite-topped tables outside. Cheery sunflower centrepieces coupled with the warm weather transported us to a more European, almost Parisian, location.
The interior reflects a country-chic but contemporary feel, with garish green walls and shabby-chic wall art. A glass cabinet – and several shelves behind – show off freshly baked, homemade pastries, as well as a wide range of artisan loaves and cakes. Greeted by friendly, welcoming staff, we immediately felt at home.
Whilst the food menus are not yet printed, the owner himself took us through the available, delicious-sounding options. A variety of gourmet steak, chicken, turkey and cheese sandwiches are available, wrapped in baguette, toast or Panini bread. Salads are also offered, along with tempting, sweet and savoury breakfast options. Fresh coffee and juices can be whipped up in seconds; we’d thoroughly recommend their sweet, chilled tangerine juice (15LE).
To eat, we opted for their triple decker chicken club sandwich (35LE) with avocado (7LE), which was nothing less than perfect. Stacked high on warm, buttered white bread, the filling was made up of the freshest ingredients; thick pieces of real chicken breast – as opposed to processed – were grilled to perfection, whilst egg and cheese melted over the ripe salad layers. The avocado was finely chopped and slight, largely blending in with the rest of the flavours.
We also took away a selection of four sweet pastries (14LE); one pistachio croissant, one peach and one raspberry turnover, as well as a cinnamon swirl. Baked to perfection, the pastry was practically flawless, whilst none of the creations were sickeningly sweet. Contrasting with the fruity flavours of the raspberry and peach jams, the pistachio croissant was subtly flavoured and scrumptious. Our only complaint would be that the cinnamon flavour of the swirl was a little too subtle.
Kayan offers delicious breakfast and lunch options in an intimate, urbane bistro setting, as well as fine, freshly baked bread and pastry options which can be delivered right to your door.