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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.
When it comes dining in Cairo, the pairing of the words 'restaurant' and 'cafe' is one that we've come to approach with caution. Though at the very base of both meanings of the words the two should meld seamlessly into one another, it often results in the restaurant element suffering. Occasionally, however, some places buck the trend - as is the case with one of Maadi's newest eateries, Casa Lingo.
With a gorgeous courtyard area painted in shades of grey complimented by a lot of greenery, glass panels and stone cladding, Casa Lingo definitely looks the part. Both indoor and outdoor areas carry the same grey colour scheme with brighter coloured cushions on the chairs and couches. In short, the venue is extremely comfortable and even features extensive activities for your kids.
As we walked in through the courtyard, a waiter greeted us warmly and led us to an empty table where we found our menus. Covering everything from warm drinks and appetisers to main courses and desserts, the menu is both large and varied.
To get an all-around sense of the appetisers, we opted for a Lovely Sharing Oriental Appetisers platter (94LE) which features Sambousak, Kobeba, Oriental Sausages, Chicken Liver as well as Tehina and Baba Ghanoug. From the mains, we opted for the Shrimp Curry (84LE) and the Beef Steak (89LE).
The appetiser platter was served relatively quickly while we waited for our mains. Along with a fresh bread basket, the slightly overpriced platter was in fact quite delicious. The sambousak and kobeba had a perfect crisp, while the chicken liver was just the right amount of tangy.
During our wait, we noticed that the shishas being served smelled particularly tasty, which adds another dimension of laidback venue to Casa Lingo.
A few minutes later our waiter stepped outside with our food. The plates looked quite scrumptious, with the Shrimp Curry smelling particularly good. Served with a side of yellow basmati rice and sautéed vegetables, the poached shrimp tasted fresh and delicious. The curry itself wasn’t as thick as some of the ones we’ve tried, but in this particular case it worked in the dish’s favour.
In regards to the Beef Steak, we were encouraged by the fact that our waiter asked how we wanted it cooked; it's still somewhat of a rarity outside of restaurants that specialise in steak. We asked for it to be cooked medium and that's exactly what we got. The steak wasn’t covered in gravy, but had just enough to give you something to mix the fluffy white rice with. The meat was tender and just the right colour on the inside.
We love new venues because they try their hardest at offering the best service and quality food. While our experience at Casa Lingo was superb, we can only hope it doesn’t fall into the same rut of cutting corners that most new restaurants do.