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Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.
KFC: Dokki Fast Food Branch Run by the Hearing Impaired
No doubt, many of you will read this article, raise an eyebrow and ask, why is Cairo 360 reviewing KFC when there are so many more interesting restaurants to write about? Well for starters, we like to indulge in unhealthy fried food occasionally. Secondly, and most importantly, this is not just a regular KFC. The KFC branch in Dokki is a Community Care restaurant where all the staff is hearing impaired.
As soon as you come in you can already feel the difference between this venue and any other KFC restaurant. It’s relative quiet; nobody is screaming in the kitchen and instead of being greeted with a simple ‘hello,’ you are welcomed with a big smile by the staff. The overall venue looks a lot cleaner than most KFC branches and on the wall is a banner carrying the sign language alphabet. The system here is as follows: on the counter is a menu where you can point out what you want to eat. If you choose a combo, then point out your drink on the drinks machine. You can also specify if you want your chicken pieces regular or hot, and if you want to eat at the restaurant or have it as take away.
We opted for the dinner box (26LE), the zinger shrimp combo (39LE), the Rizo with chicken (10LE) and a roller (5LE). The dinner box had three fried chicken pieces, coleslaw and a bun as well as fries and a drink. We normally find Kentucky pretty disappointing; but this time the chicken actually had tasty skin. The meat was per usual tender and came off the bone easily. The fries could use so more salt; but that’s also a matter of personal preferences perhaps. We fell in love with the shrimp. We received a large portion of fried shrimp and cocktail sauce on the side. The shrimp were a bit spicy and absolutely delicious; with or without sauce. We fear a new addiction here to be honest.
The rizo with chicken is Kentucky’s answer to chicken risotto, or so it seems. The somewhat sticky rice comes with a sweet and spicy sauce and chicken pieces. It’s perfectly pleasant, but doesn’t qualify as a meal on its own. The same goes for the rollers. They are more snacks than anything else. Filled with fresh tomatoes and lettuce, you can almost trick yourself into thinking you are eating something healthy.
This branch of KFC is a whole new experience and everybody should visit at least once. It’s a great initiative that deserves support. We found the food quality here better than other branches to be honest, and it was definitely a lot cleaner. We would love to see more restaurants like this popping up around Cairo. The initiative helps people who otherwise would have a lot of problems finding employment. Bravo KFC!
With Mcdonald’s and Pizza Hut pretty much monopolising Dokki’s Messaha Square – just look at the always empty Papa John’s – it’s always a surprise when something new opens there. However, that didn’t stop Wienerwald from opening a new branch next to the ill-fated Papa John’s.
With the apple-green ceiling, wood floor, random cartoonish chicken silhouettes, the interior of Wienerwald pretty much follows the same colour scheme of the international branches. There are very limited number of tables and chairs, though.
Wienerwald’s menu is all about different variations of chicken, salads, sides and a lonely hot dog item. After checking the menu, we opted for Half Rotisserie Chicken Meal (50LE), Schnitzel (47LE) and Backhendl (36LE).
Served with perfectly cooked French fries, the rotisserie chicken had a beautiful golden brown crispy skin, exquisite seasoning with a unique smoky flavour to it and was all-round tender – plus, it didn’t have the bad poultry odour you usually find with roasted chicken. Despite a second side of bland rice, it was a flavourful and affordable meal served in a generous portion.
Moving to the Schnitzel, the German classic dish was served with a mini bowl of unremarkable coleslaw and a cold mashed potato that was otherwise very creamy and tasty. As for the schnitzel itself, it was breaded perfectly and had a perfect crust and the chicken very tender, but it wasn’t as thin as schnitzel should be, though a simple squeeze of lemon on top added a great zesty flavour.
Meanwhile, the Backhendl was rather disappointing. Coming with French fries, coleslaw,and 3 pieces of fried breaded chicken – a traditional Austrian dish – was, unlike the previous dishes, very dry, lacked seasoning which and tasted bland, while the crust was super oily.
We finished our meal with a German Apfelstrudel (19LE). The pastry is stuffed with an apple-cinnamon mixture, topped with powdered sugar and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Though it sounds great on paper, it turned out to be another disappointment. Even though the pastry had perfect layers it was very tough and while the apple had a spot-on tender consistency, the cinnamon flavour was far too strong – we felt like we were being tricked into taking the cinnamon challenge.
All in all, our visit at Wienerwald had its ups and downs. For a fast food chain, their food is clean and feels homemade. At the time of our visit, though, we experience the classic fast food problem: inconsistency. Some items were great and others had their flaws – a few too many.