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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Bubblicious: Breakfast & Bubble Tea in Zamalek
Just off Ismail Mohamed Street, down a smaller street across from Five Bells, Bubblicious is best described as quaint. A simple white exterior with old fashioned lamp post fixtures easily stands out from the otherwise shabby looking surroundings. The interior is small, and equally white, with a few round tables and a counter to sit at. A large ordering counter faces the entrance and offers speckles of colour with jars filled with bubble tea flavours.
Boasting the fact that it is the first bubble tea shop in Cairo, naturally, we had to try some. The process comes with simple, laid out steps. First, decide whether it’s hot or cold; then whether it will be with black tea or green tea; add a flavour, such as strawberry, green apple or lychee; and finally, pick the chewy balls that ultimately make it ‘bubble’ tea. A cold green tea with peach flavour and gummy tapioca pearls (19LE) proved to be an enjoyable blend. Not too heavy on the sugar, the drink is light and fresh; perfect for a pick me up on a warm morning.
The breakfast menu is quite the feast. Scrambled eggs, omelettes and eggs Benedict range between 10LE and 24LE, while waffles are available in both sweet and savoury options; the smoked salmon waffle with lemon sauce is the most expensive at 33LE. French toast and pancakes are another way to start your day, however if you’re looking for more of a midday snack, pizza and sandwiches are also on the menu.
The Cajun omelette (22LE) comes with spicy sausages, mushrooms, green chilli peppers and onions and is served with a toasted bun. Using all fresh ingredients, the omelette was perfectly cooked and endlessly delicious. The side of cheese (4LE) that included cottage cheese and cheddar cheese was a nice addition to the meal.
The aroma of cinnamon immediately locked us into the classic French toast (12LE). Made with thickly cut toast dipped in a generous amount of egg batter, the portion isn’t that big, but the flavours make up for it by being wholesome and hearty, with just the right amount of sweetness.
While both the omelette and the toast were highly gratifying, our personal favourite would have to be the blueberry pancakes (15LE). Stuffed with fresh blueberries, the pancakes were fluffy yet firm, and robust with both sweet and sour flavours melding together in a single bite.
The service is amicable and with an open kitchen you can watch the chef as he prepares your order. The prices are quite reasonable, and with quality food served in a very pleasant environment, we predict Bubblicious will be doing just fine in the future.
After a hard day's work, there’s often nothing better than putting your feet up and relaxing with a hot drink and a slice of cake. Of course, Cairo’ cafés are second to none, but finding a sophisticated spot, not filled with shisha smoke, can often be somewhat of a challenge. The Coffee Club is amongst an abundance of dining options in newest Tivoli Dome in Sheikh Zayed.
As soon as we entered the dome, we spotted the tranquil fountains and greenery bordering the Coffee Club’s comfortable outdoor seating. The entire front of the café opens up to allow a breeze in, whilst the interior is simple, painted in a timeless deep red and cream. The waiter promptly delivered a couple of menus and much to our surprise, the Coffee Club is not just limited to coffee as its name suggests.
Of course, the coffee and frappe sections are the most diverse; with the options of adding syrups, extra shots, marshmallows, ice-cream and swapping caffeinated to decaffeinated. Flavoured tea, fruit juices, mocktails and all the usual sodas are also available. We settled on one flat white coffee (18LE) and an orange juice (20LE). Both were delivered swiftly, with the flat white sporting an artistic illustration on top of its thin layer of froth. The coffee beans were rich and slightly bitter, made with a good amount of milk. The orange juice was fresh, tangy and bitty, making for a rather sharp thirst quencher.
The food menu was unexpectedly large offering breakfasts of pancakes (25LE), breakfast wraps (32LE), cooked breakfasts (46LE) and fruit salads (20LE) whereas the all day dining menu boasts salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, fish and chips (55LE) surf and turf (99LE), fish and meat dishes including steak (99LE). Also on the menu – and a little out of place – is a selection of Thai dishes, namely curries. We chose to sample cheesy garlic bread (19LE), followed by sweet and sour chicken (75LE).
Both portions were substantial; the garlic bread was made from two slices of thick, soft bread, cut into four large triangles and appeared slightly golden on top. The four-cheese topping added a delicious richness, despite being slightly greasy. Our sweet and sour fried chicken pieces were swimming in a flavourful sauce, which although was not overly wonderful, was neither too sweet nor too sour. The generous mound of white rice in the middle was fluffy and well-cooked.
Their desserts don’t feature on the menu; they must be handpicked from the large glass counter inside the café. From the tempting looking cheesecakes and chocolate mousses, we ended our meal with a big slice of carrot cake (23LE). Unfortunately, the sponge was dry, with a disappointingly thin layer of butter icing on top, and in the middle. The large helping of chantilly cream on the side almost helped curb our disappointment.
Our overall experience was one of relaxation, nice food and friendly service; however, the Coffee Club does over-complicate the notion of coffee and dessert and although we're glad it does, we feel like they would benefit from concentrating more on their 'signature' desserts.