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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 definitely hard to keep impressing after being around for quite some time, but Nola somehow seems to be constantly on top of its game. If it isn’t a new branch popping up, it’s some new creation; they always have some kind of surprise up their sleeve for us.
Located in Cairo Festival City Mall, Nola’s newest branch boasts its signature Mint-dominated colour scheme and whimsical, Alice-In-Wonderland-Like interior. With huge cupcake displays to the left and an adequate seating area consisting of white, floral chairs and tables to the right, the place feels quite cosy yet chic. The dangling chandelier and bright lighting of the place also add a nice touch, as well as the blackboard with the menu sprawled on it in colourful chalk.
Walking in and taking a quick look at the cupcake displays, we were greeted by one of the two servers present at the time. Friendly, informative and quite amicable, he helped us choose flavours that best suited our mood.
Offering cupcakes (8.5-14 LE) in all imaginable flavours, Nola doesn’t stop at that, with several flavours of Cronuts (12-15 LE), as well as Cheesecake Cups (14-15 LE) available. The cupcakes are also offered in three sizes: regular, mini (31.5 LE/7 pieces) and grand.
Opting for quite a mixture of the regular-sized cupcakes, we went for the Pralines N’ Cream (13 LE), Red Velvet (10.5 LE), Chocolate Peanut Butter (12 LE), Chocolate (12 LE) and Blueberry (10 LE) ones. Our verdict? All of them, without an exception, tasted fresh, creamy and absolutely lip-smacking. Our favourites, however, were the Pralines N’ Cream and the Chocolate Peanut Butter, whose frostings were unbelievably decadent.
In a nutshell, being one of the main initiators of the cupcake trend in Egypt, Nola is definitely held on a pedestal when it comes to us always expecting the best of the best from them. Judging by the lovely staff, the breath-taking design of the place and the undeniable freshness of the cupcakes, Nola both met and exceeded our expectations.