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6th of October City, Cairo, Egypt.
Casper & Gambini's: Another Memorable Branch in Mall of Arabia
Whether Casper & Gambini’s goes east or west, whether it opens a new branch or just a home delivery outlet, it never fails to attract us every time we come across it; somewhat like a magnet drawing us in. And this is not due to a lack of places to go to; we were sold from our very first visit to its City Stars branch.
Although Casper & Gambini’s Mall of Arabia branch was visited a while ago, our reviewer was unlucky and the experience wasn’t enjoyable, but since our visits are all about luck, we thought it was time we tried ours again.
Near to Entrance 2 of the mall, the restaurant has two seating areas; one outdoor area where there’s a water fountain, and another indoor section with its entrance on the side of the shops. Both parts are pleasant but if you’re a true appreciator of relaxation, then the outdoor area will more likely appeal to you.
To start we ordered the chicken Caesar salad (45LE). It was served to us in a big, deep bowl that seemed much like a sphere cut in half. The lettuce was fresh; the salad dressing in the perfect amount, where it wasn’t too much or too little; and the chicken was lovely and tender, however there could have been a bit more of it.
We also tried the chicken pesto pasta (56LE), our waiter warned us that the pesto sauce is green and therefore so will be the colour of our pasta, which caused us to hesitate for a moment, but in the end we decided to give it a try and we weren’t disappointed. The pasta was rich and tasty; the sauce was a little on the heavy side, which made us drink a lot of water after it, but the chicken was well cooked. The club sandwich (45LE) we also ordered was a typical club sandwich, but you are given the option whether to have both halves with the same fillings or different. The sandwich is served with French fries that come in a white cup with the restaurant’s logo on it.
After finishing eating we ordered a caramel latte (22LE), cappuccino (19LE) and lemon-mint iced drink (18LE). Overall the drinks were good but the one that stood out by far was the lemon-mint with its bright yellow and green colours swirled within the crushed ice. Although it was quite large, it was so enjoyable that we managed to finish it all.
A large bottle of water at Casper & Gambini’s is for 13LE, a small one for 8LE and a can of Pepsi for 10LE. Unlike our passed review, the service this time was fast and efficient; giving us the right amount of attention.
As of recently Casper & Gambini’s also offers ‘The Chocolate Bar’, that is a very tempting selection of Belgian truffles one can personally choose via The Giftery website.
Fast food restaurants in Cairo are aplenty, drawing in crowds of hungry customers. As a world-wide franchise, Chipstix have found success from offering various, fried fast food snacks; including their signature Chipstix skewers (10LE) – deep fried potato chips, spiralled and skewered on a stick.
In addition to their branch at Zamalek’s El Gezirah Club, one of their bright orange kiosks has recently joined the ranks at New Cairo’s Downtown Katameya Mall, offering shoppers carb-heavy goodies while they’re on the go. Set amidst the abundance of casual eateries, with no seating, takeaway is encouraged; eating while walking around a shopping mall struck as a little impractical, whilst sloppy packaging makes it difficult to carry home, should you wish to do so.
The member of staff serving us was unfortunately quite surly and unenthusiastic, taking his time to prepare our order. Notably, the staff were kitted out with disposable gloves, though neither the grills nor the deep fat fryers looked particularly clean.
According to their paper menus, the seeds for the potatoes used in their Chipstix skewers and fries are imported from Holland, negate the oil-absorption, therefore making them less greasy than usual potatoes after frying. Also on their menu is corn on the cob (12LE), fried chicken (14LE) or beef (11LE) corn dogs, and sweet options of baked chocolate (12LE) or waffle stix (11LE). Drinks are limited to sodas (3.50LE) and water (3LE).
The Chipstix skewers come in sixteen unusual savoury flavours, including seafood, Portuguese peri-peri and Worcester sauce. We opted for a more regular salt and pepper flavour (10LE), and watched as the staff liberally sprinkled the powder mix over our potato skewer. Fried with the skin left on, the potato was well-cooked to a golden brown with a strong salt and pepper taste. Promises aside – given the cooking method – a predictable amount of oil could still be tasted.
We also ordered a portion of crispy, thin-cut Chipstix fries (8LE) and delicious, fresh corn on the cob (12LE) doused in butter. Due to the unavailability of baked chocolate, we went for a waffle stix; prepared with a thick batter, the lashing of Nutella created a tasty, but unremarkable, sweet treat.
If you’re really hungry and need a quick, cheap snack, Chipstix offers an interesting, but unexceptional, twist on usual fried potato products.