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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.
Recently, we’ve been going checking in on some of the longer running Cairo restaurants to see how 'things' have been going. Our most recent endeavour took us to Dishes in Maadi.
The relatively small venue in Degla, set up in the side area of a large building, boasts a typical comfortable outdoor area plus shisha and big screens combo, targeting mostly a younger demographic, particularly football fans. The semi-circle couches with the bright orange cushions, combined with the dark wood of the tables and grey plastic chairs reflect all the colours Dishes use in their long and creates a nice colour scheme throughout the venue.
They have an all-around menu that has options for breakfast through to dinner, including soups and salads and a large number of cold and warm drinks. Nothing exceptionally creative, however, just a lot of options.
We walked in and found some seats, a few moments later a waiter greeted us at the table and gave us menus. After some browsing we opted for a Magic Chicken Milanes (51LE) and a Chicken Tandoori (46LE). Main courses come with either a side of pasta with red or white sauce, or two sides of the regular sides like sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes.
The food was relatively late which we found a little disappointing considering the restaurant was empty.
The Chicken Tandoori was quite tasty, with large chunks of tender chicken floating in a creamy, slightly spicy, curry. We had ordered a side of rice and sautéed vegetables. Both were very disappointing. The rice was overcooked and tasted cheap, while the sautéed vegetables were bland and slightly crunchy.
The Chicken Milanes was similarly disappointing. The chicken tasted stale and the seasoning was off, while the side of spaghetti with red sauce tasted virtually no different to pasta made at home with packaged sauce and not fresh tomatoes.
The all-around experience wasn’t very good. While the outdoor setting is decent, the slow service combined with very average food fails to impress. Perhaps a good spot of a cold drink with a shisha, but you should probably skip the food.