Sign in using your account with
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.
On a quest to check out some of our old favourites on the Cairo restaurant scene, we decided to stop by Cuba Cabana in Maadi. It had been four years since our last review, and many a restaurant have shut down in that time.
Located on the quiet Road 7, Cuba Cabana boasts beautiful décor and a spacious, comfortable courtyard. The shades of brown and beige create a subtle contrast that’s complimented by touches of greenery and strikingly-coloured cushions.
Eager to try some of the higher-end food this time around, we were seated by a friendly waiter at an outdoor table adjacent to a small wooden bridge that leads you from the courtyard to the indoor area.
Although we were interested in a hearty launch, Cuba Cabana’s menu offers everything from breakfast options like omelettes and pancakes to soups and salads, their signature square burgers, fajitas and enchiladas, all the way through the main courses to desserts and an extensive drinks menu.
We opted for a medium-cooked Balsamic Onion Steak (84.99LE) and a Salmon Steak (94.99LE). Both are served with sautéed vegetables and your choice of a second side including potatoes – mashed, baked, wedges or French fries – pasta or a salad. We chose wedges and a baked potato.
Served roughly 25-30 minutes later, our food arrived hot on large white square plates.
The 250g tenderloin Balsamic Onion Steak was cooked medium as requested. The meat was brown and slightly firm around the edges, while the inside was tender and just the right colour of pink. The steak is topped with balsamic sauce and caramelised onions creating a very pleasant mixture of sweet and slightly tangy. The sautéed vegetables, albeit a little too greasy, were seasoned and topped with butter. Finally, the baked potato, although completely bland itself, was complemented by a ranch sauce that’s heavy on the blue cheese which rendered any seasoning unnecessary.
The 250g Salmon Steak, seasoned with herbs, capers, pickled onions and ginger was tender and had a crispy crust around the edges. The salmon is topped with a creamy lemon and dill sauce giving it that extra bit of zing. The salmon is served with the same seasoned and buttered sautéed vegetables, plus another side of potato wedges that’s seasoned the same as the vegetables. We do wish they were baked to additional crisp though.
All round, the food was quite delicious. The atmosphere is very relaxed outside and, should you want, the indoor area has a more intimate vibe. At night, the restaurant features low light yellow lamps that add a nice subtle ambiance. Moderately priced for main courses of that calibre, and with friendly attentive staff, it’s no wonder Cuba Cabana has survived for this long.