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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
MINCE: Breakfast with a Twist at Burger Branch's Zamalek Branch
When Mince introduced breakfast, desserts and drinks to its menu, the chain's flagship branch in Zamalek missed out on account of it being too small. Thankfully, that's not the case anymore following the move to its new branch on the island, which brought with it the full menu.
Located at El-Maraashli Street, opposite the old branch, the new space might seem to be just as small, but it's actually much wider; there's a hidden space that leads to the bathrooms. Normally, we'd be rolling our eyes at the mainstream industrial ceiling that so many restaurants have randomly adopted these days, but here the interior theme is, overall, industrial, with steel walls, black furniture and a wooden skylight wall that will lead you to the hidden space, as well as the brick walls.
We started our breakfast with Mojito Minto Cocktail (22LE) and Tropical Passion Smoothie (26LE), the latter of which is served in a cocktail mixer. Although most of the ingredients were artificial, the Mojito Minto was super refreshing thanks to its minty and lemony flavours from the lemon juice, mojito syrup, Sprite and a hint of fresh chopped mint. As for the Tropical Passion smoothie, it had a spot-on consistency and a perfect balance of passion fruit, strawberry and orange, with a bold mango flavour.
Moving to the food, we ordered a Frittata (29LE) and Beef Sausage Mince Benedict (46LE) as our breakfast dishes.
It might not have been as thick as a normal frittata should be, the presentation wasn't the prettiest and we didn't feel the presence of the fries in it, but this oven baked frittata was bursting with flavours from the pepper, the onions and the seasoning, in addition to the toast which worked perfectly with the whole dish, especially the soft feta cheese pieces.
Served with French fries and not-so creamy spinach, the Mince Benedict was served as a burger bun topped with a beef sausage patty and two perfectly poached eggs with mouth-watering runny yolk. The burger bun was super soft and light, too, but the dish was far from perfect; the top bun was just unnecessary and the beef sausage patty was super dry and lacked flavour. In addition, it was too small for the bun and, sadly, there was a no-show for the hollandaise sauce – and what's eggs Benedict without hollandaise sauce?
We couldn't leave without grabbing the mighty Elvis French Toast (42LE). The huge Nutella and banana French toast sandwich boasted a soft and custardy interior and a crispy caramel crust, topped with a giant serve of soft vanilla ice cream (14LE), chocolate chip cookie bites (14LE) and drizzled with luscious caramel sauce. There was nothing to complain about this masterpiece; the ice cream had a fantastic consistency and, surprisingly, the Nutella wasn't overpowering like other Nutella desserts, while the cookie bites were a great crunchy element.
Overall, we're delighted that we can finally have Mince's full menu at Zamalek; the food had its hit and miss moments but overall it was a excellent experience and a great breakfast alternative.
The concept of a ‘secret menu’ comes with several questions; what’s a secret menu? Do you get to pick you order? How did you find out about it? Even though it’s an old trend in the west, it’s totally understandable to be confused, because the concept is very new to Egypt.
A secret menu is simply when a restaurant offers flavour combinations and hidden items like Burger King’s Frings – obviously not in Egypt - which consists of a mix of onion rings and fries, or the four-patty Suicide Burger. Usually you’ll find out about these items through word of mouth and social media; so basically you have to be a true fanatic of the restaurant. Just think of it like a hidden character in a video game.
Salt’s secret menu offers Duck Confit and Chicken Waffle with two secret sauces, Honey Sriracha, and Spiced Maple.
We kicked things off with a Honey Sriracha Chicken Waffle Combo (52LE). Two pieces of soft Belgian waffles act like a bun and are filled with a piece of fried chicken, a slice of American cheese, dill pickles, shredded lettuce, onion and spicy honey sriracha sauce – yes, this one item you can’t eat without making a mess. Despite the waffles being slightly too thick for the filling and sauce being a bit too spicy, the overall flavours were on point and the chicken was very juicy and had a fantastic crispy crust.
As for the rest of the combo, we opted for the thin and crispy cheese fries, which are smothered with a generous amount of tasty cheese sauce and fulfilled its purpose as a delicious sidekick to the chicken waffles.
We also tried the Duck Confit sandwich (40LE). For those that might not be familiar with French cuisine, duck confit involves cooking duck in its own rendered fat. Served in their burger bun, Salt’s sandwich version is filled with super tasty shredded duck confit, sautéed onion, the restaurant’s Big Mac-like special sauce and melted American cheese. It was close to being flawless, but for the bones we found in it.
We couldn’t leave without checking up on the not-secret dry-aged beef burgers and noticed a new addition to the menu – the Mushroom Burger (38LE). Just like our previous visit, the perfectly-seasoned beef patty had a crust bursting with flavours, the ingredients were very fresh, the soft potato bun was exquisite and the Big Mac-like sauce added sharpness to every bite, while the generous amount of fresh sautéed mushrooms added a great earthy flavour.
While the idea of a secret menu might seem strange, it’s actually a great way to build and maintain a relationship with their loyal customers. But the best thing about our latest visit to Salt is that, not only has it maintained its quality, but it’s actually improving it, too.