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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.
The last five years have witnessed the opening of dozens of dining complexes that have redefined dining in Cairo. The newest dining zone to open comes in the form of Patio in New Cairo, where we visited new self-proclaimed pasta and grill specialist, Tuscany.
Located at the second floor, Tuscany boasts an Italian countryside feel with colour-stained glass, pergolas and low-hanging lanterns defining the indoor area. The outdoor area maintains the Italian countryside atmosphere, but with a more rustic feel thanks to stone clad walls as well as wooden chairs and tables.
After taking our seats, we were greeted with a welcome bread basket with olive oil and cheese dip. Coming in three colors – beige, orange and green – the crunchy bread worked \well with the savoury cheese dip and was a great start for our meal to come.
After going over the elaborate menu, we went with the Spicy Potato Skillet (45LE) as an appetiser and Smoked Turkey Chicken (70LE) and Triple Sauce Steak (120LE) as our mains, alongside some Italian Soda with Watermelon (23LE) and Strawberry Milkshake (20LE).
Fifteen minutes later, our appetiser arrived in a sizzling hot skillet bursting with aromas and herbal scents. Comprised of cubes of roasted potato covered with minced beef and topped with a blanket of gooey cheese, the potatoes had a delightful herby flavour which worked well with the rest of the ingredients of the dish. The skillet was extremely hot, which gave the minced beef a smoky aftertaste that integrated well with the spiciness and sharpness of the cheese.
Moving onto the mains, the smoked turkey chicken came with a side of French fries, as well fettuccini pasta with cheddar cheese sauce. Unfortunately, with the two fried chicken breasts stuffed with turkey and cheddar cheese, and then topped with even more cheese, the cheese flavour overpowered almost everything except the chicken and gave the turkey a slight aftertaste.
The fettucine pasta, on the other hand, was well cooked and drenched in a gooey melted cheddar cheese and covered in cheese shavings which worked well with the overall taste, though it was a bit heavy. The fries were a nice complementary side though it didn’t bring anything unique to the plate.
Comprised of four pieces of well-done steak each drenched in one of gorgonzola cheese, pepper, barbecue and mushroom sauces, the steak was grilled to perfection/
The gorgonzola cheese sauce gave the beef a distinct taste that was both savoury and aromatic, while the pepper sauce had an overpowering spiciness to it that worked well with the beef; meanwhile, the barbecue sauce gave a tangy backdrop and the mushroom sauce had a savoury aftertaste. However, a side rice that came with the dish had minimal seasoning and was a little dry.
With a hint of watermelon and a dash of cream, the Italian soda was refreshing and worked well with our plates, as for the Strawberry milkshake, it had a milky texture with a syrupy flavor leaving a strawberry aftertaste after every sip.
For our dessert we ordered the Nutella and Hazelnuts Pizza (60LE) which came as a medium-sized pizza with a thin crust topped by Nutella along with some crushed hazelnuts, coconut shavings and powdered sugar. Though it looked quite promising, the pizza had a disappointingly chewy crust as it was chewy that was just as difficult to cut as it was to bite and chew.
As a whole our visit to Tuscany was quite pleasant. Though some flavours fell short – especially the Nutella pizza — we enjoyed the cosiness of the restaurant and we can definitely see the potential in its dishes. Does it present anything new or unique? No, not really, but it has the potential to be a solid favourite amongst diners.