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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
X-Shakes: Ice-Cold Drinks to Cool You Down in Heliopolis
In Cairo's dreaded hot weather, refreshing cool drinks that help keep your body dehydrated are always welcome.
Located in the Sheraton Heliopolis area, X-Shakes is a small shop that serves up cooling beverages. X-shakes' interior decor is shabby, with the staff members wearing stained uniforms. That made us sceptical, but all our doubts were put to rest once our drinks arrived.
A large counter is located in the middle of the shop, dividing the already tiny space into two parts. On one side of the counter, customers can check the menu and place their order. On the other side, a staff member is working hurriedly over the cashier and hopping back and forth between the shop and a back room where the drinks are being prepared. Although we couldn't see what went on the other side of the wall, a small window revealed a white-tiled space and we could hear the sounds of blenders and refrigerators being opened and closed.
X-Shakes' menu features a lot of options with fresh juices presenting the healthiest choices (6LE). For an additional 1LE, you can add milk. Cocktails (8LE) are also available, but it's up to you to decide the fruits you want.
The kiwi juice had a wonderful tinge to it. Mango and watermelon were also good, but our favourite was the strawberry juice. You can also add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for 2LE. Strawberry and mango yogurt shakes are available (8LE). You can also order tea (3LE), coffee (4LE), cappuccino (5LE), mocha (6LE) or hot chocolate (6 LE).
Healthy options aside, we honestly hit up X-Shakes for their extremely addictive candy shakes. Snickers shake (16LE) is a particular favourite, but the other available options are just as good. Other candy options include Kitkat, Bounty, Twix, Ferrero Roche and Mars. Packed in a plastic cup with a dome-top, the ingredients of the shake are difficult to make out, but it tastes just like the real candy bar only in liquid form. Although the shakes are a bit sugary, it's perfect for boosting your energy levels. For 1LE more, you can also add ice cream.
X-shakes beverages are massive and might take quite a while to finish, but their refreshing effect is instant. It’s a great option when you're in the mood for a sweet treat that will leave you with a refreshed feel afterwards. We have to warn you though; you might need to follow up with a workout session to atone for your sins.
When we were young, we were told that milk is good for us. As a child, you are forced into your one cup of dairy a day to keep the doctor away. They promise you strong, blindingly white teeth and titanium bones. Then, as you get older you find out that almost every diet tells you to stay away from dairy products unless its organic, lean yoghurt that comes from an alpine goat that’s lived on organic grass its whole life. But even then; not too much. For all kids out there who aren't too crazy about milk or those adults who still love it, Milk Bar in Citystars bring you milk with a twist.
The worst part about Milk Bar is that it’s located in the always packed first-floor food court on . You can easily spot the stand with its bright pink and blue colours. There isn't an extensive menu or anything. As a matter of fact, there is no menu at all. Instead some of the available options are on a billboard. The best way to go about ordering is to choose one of the options and ask which flavours are available. The options are frozen coffee, milk shakes, smoothies, yogurt creations and ice cream scoops with diverse dips Warning: upon asking about flavours the initial answer will be 'all flavours'. However, when we requested quinoa, it wasn't available- typical.
The available flavours are pretty
bog-standard like strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, mango, kiwi, etc. With the
yoghurt creations you can also pick from fresh fruits. We opted for the
chocolate milk shake (15LE) and the yoghurt creation with fresh strawberries
(15LE). As soon as you give your order, the friendly staff immediately begins
mixing and concocting). The milk used is from the brand Labanita.
The yoghurt strawberry creation was a bit different to our expectation. We expected it to be much thicker than it was, and while it tasted good, it was more like a milkshake than a yoghurt-based drink. Another disappointment came in the way of the strawberries, which didn’t taste the least bit fresh. The chocolate milkshake was a thick ice-cold blend which tasted delicious. It had a strong chocolate flavour, but downside of this drink was that it's very heavy on the stomach, and after a few sips we couldn't take any more.
Milk Bar has a varied amount of dairy drinks and when in desperate need of some milk infused refreshments you should definitely try it.