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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.
The food and beverage industry in Egypt is so big, and continues to get bigger, that some venues often go overlooked - hidden gems ready to be discovered. One such diamond in the rough is Kayan Kitchen & Bakery; a small kiosk selling gourmet sandwiches in front of Shooting Club in Dokki.
A smallish cart embellished by a green carpet, plants on the front; it can be hard at first to believe that such small venue is capable of making such variety of gourmet sandwiches from chicken, beef, turkey and cold cuts—you name it.
We kicked things off with a Kayan Burger (27LE), which came with an impressive amount of Italian flavours. The juicy burger patty was covered in lettuce, diced tomatoes, fresh melted mozzarella, pesto sauce, pickled red onion and Dijon butter, all nestled in a light and fluffy bun with a spot-on crispy exterior. Everything came together perfectly for a genuinely Italian taste.
Looking to try the chicken options, we were initially torn between BBQ Chicken (28LE), Kayan Breaded Chicken (30LE) – both highly recommended by the staff - and Chicken Curry (25LE). We opted for the latter, which came in the form of tender, curry-spiced grilled chicken, mixed with roasted peppers, pickled lemons and yogurt-coriander dressing. Though wrapped in pita rather than traditional Indian naan bread - wishful thinking on our part, maybe - the chicken curry was bursting with flavours with an overpowering pickled lemon flavour. Like the burger, it certainly lived up to its name.
We couldn’t leave Kayan without trying something from the cold cut sandwiches, that’s when we went with famous BLT – (beef) bacon, lettuce and tomato (28LE). Bringing together Dijon butter spread, pickled onion, beef bacon, lettuce and tomatoes and served in Italian white ciabatta bread, everyhting from the bread to the vegetables tasted noticeably fresh, while the Dijon butter spread added an exquisite kick to the overall taste and was a perfect foil for beef bacon.
Dessert was next up on our visit, but, unfortunately, they didn't quite hit the bar set by the sandwiches. Opting for Chocolate Donut (7LE) and Cinnamon Roll (7LE), the donut was a little too dense, while the cinnamon roll needed more cinnamon.
Despite the desserts, it's difficult not to be impressed by Kayan. Everything from the friendly staff, to watching food in the making, to then eating it was a delight and, if we're honest, a suprise - never judge a book by its cover, indeed.