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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.
Sometimes, a good steak dinner is all you need to forget about a long and stressful day. Wanting a no-fuss, no-nonsense dinner, we made our way to the provider of just that.
Having done quite well for itself expanding throughout the capital, Steak Out has been providing Egyptians with a cosy atmosphere, albeit a little too identical between all the branches, and quality food in very decent portions.
The Heliopolis branch, across from the Tivoli Dome, sports the same dark brown/black and red colour scheme and comfortable cushioned seating areas all the other branches do. For many, the consistency, even in the decor, is part of the restaurant’s charm.
As we approached the door, a waiter pulled it open and greeted us with a smile. We asked to be seated in the smoking section and were promptly served menus and a bottle of water.
After scanning the extensive menu, we opted for a Cream of Chicken Soup (15.90LE) as well as a Country Chicken Caesar Salad (44.90LE) for our starters. For our mains, we opted for a Beef Fillet with Pepper Sauce (81.90LE) and a Steak Out Fried Chicken (64.90LE).
The Soup and Salad were served shortly afterwards. The Soup, strongly zesty but without a strong base of broth, tasted quite unsatisfying. Moving on to the salad, which was very generous in portion and consisted of mainly lettuce, croutons and chunks of country fried chicken topped with a decent, but unspectacular dressing. All together, the taste was indeed pleasant, but still not particularly memorable.
We eagerly awaited our mains hoping they could rectify the situation. Soon enough, a waiter came with our tray of food and proceeded to clear the table before placing the new entrees.
The Beef Fillet was ordered medium cooked, but was disappointingly cooked to an inconsistent medium well, leaving it surprisingly hard to chew on the outside, yet really red inside. The sides of french fries and sweet corn were adequate.
The Steak Out Fried Chicken, involving two chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and mozzarella cheese, didn’t quite hit the mark. The chicken tasted defrosted, while the stuffing just didn’t seem to harmonize with the chicken. We would’ve recommended ricotta cheese instead. The side of basmati rice was unspectacular.
Frankly, our visit was very disappointing. We’ve tried Steak Out’s other branches and this one seems to have fallen particularly shorter than its counterparts. Our advise is focus on the consistency, and do something about the sides, they’re not inventive so the least they can be is up to par with everyone else.