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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Salé Sucré: Maadi Sweets and Treats
Sweet shop Salé Sucré has many venues in Cairo, including Mohandiseen and Roxy. Maadi’s side street branch is aesthetically pleasing while offering a range of delectable cookies, cakes and oriental sweets. With large glass windows displaying sleek cases of tantalising sweets, you can’t go wrong.
While Cairo suffers no shortage of good bakeries full of tempting cakes and yummy biscuits, Salé Sucré has something of a neighbourhood cult following. Upon entering, the smell of freshly baked sweets rushes to meet you as you browse through the wonderland of baked goods. There is a wide variety of cakes in the left-hand side display case, from rich black forest cakes with decorative cherries and chocolate shavings to creamy cheese cakes with brightly coloured berry glazes, in addition to fruit and chocolate concoctions. Prices range between 50LE and upwards of 200LE for a special occasion cake.
The central display case carries every cookie, petit-four and tartlet that you could dream of in a variety of bright colours. You can buy chocolate and walnut petit-fours, date cake or berry tartlets by the kilo, which should cost around 60LE to 100LE. You can either hand-pick the selection yourself or choose a ready-made selection of flaky biscuits, chocolaty petit-fours or fruit and custard tartlets.
While the shop is dominated by miniature sweets, large cakes and sweet breads, a section of the counter is also stocked with savoury pastries, cheese and mini-deli sandwiches. These are also sold by the kilo, with an average of 60LE per kilo.
With Ramadan upon us, patrons can find all their favourite Ramadan desserts here, starting from a 1/4 kilo box. The oriental sweets are artfully arranged on tall silver platters, including the basbousa, which is the perfect blend of sweetness, konafa of every kind, and sticky pastries with both nuts and cream.
The prices are quite reasonable: a kilo of petit-fours and mini-cakes starting at about 80LE, and 1/4 kilo oriental sweets starting at 35LE. For the divine taste and sugar rush that Sale Sucré induces; this is not a bad deal. The service is great; the staff are spot on with orders and eager to help you choose from the baked delicacies on display.
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.