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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.
We always get excited when a restaurant in Cairo announces the launch of a new menu – don’t judge. When that particular menu is all about steaks, then yeah, we’re sold. Chili’s recently introduced the ‘Chef’s Cut’ menu, and though the quality of steak at the restaurant chain has always been up for debate, wild horses couldn’t keep this steak-lover away.
A pleasant waiter opened the door and greeted us as we stepped into the Bandar Mall branch; we sat outside to enjoy the final traces of spring weather and avoid the annoying American diner pop music playlist.
After browsing the menu, we opted for Boneless Buffalo Wings (59.99LE), and from the Chef’s Cut menu, we opted for a medium-cooked South West Short Rib Fillet (124.99LE) and a medium cooked Glazed Shrimp Fillet (149.99LE). Additionally, we opted for an Apple Berry Cobbler (39.99LE) for dessert.
We were surprised by how quickly our appetisers were served; a generous portion of boneless wings drenched in spicy buffalo sauce and complemented by a heavy-on-the-blue-cheese ranch dip. Falvour-wise, the chicken was flavourful, but, unfortunately, just a tad too soggy causing it to lose the crunch it would normally have.
The steaks were the true highlight of our meal. The South West Short Rib Fillet consists of a fillet resting on a bed of corn salsa, topped with short rib meat and pickled onions, spinach queso and fresh cilantro. The meat was medium-cooked as requested and the combination of fillet and short rib meat was just beautifully sinful. The spinach queso was a fine addition, but quite heavy, while the side of skillet mashed potatoes was surprisingly flavourful.
The Glazed Shrimp Fillet consisted of a fillet on corn salsa, topped with glazed shrimp, spinach queso and fresh cilantro, and a side of skillet macaroni and cheese. The fillet was similarly cooked medium as requested. While a little less colourful in the flavour department than its counterpart, this was still a thoroughly enjoyable main course. The shrimp were delicious, but unfortunately, the macaroni and cheese involved way too much cream and far too little cheese leaving it closer to Alfredo sauce.
The Apple Berry Cobbler, made with baked apples and fresh blackberries topped with cinnamon-nut crumble, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sweet caramel sauce. The mixture of flavours was very interesting, as was the increased sweetness from the berries. Chili’s also serves an excellent vanilla ice cream, which really brought together the concoction and nicely rounded off the meal.
Frankly, our biggest piece of advice with Chili’s, especially this particular branch, is to avoid the weekends, the holidays and generally any sort of occasion that will involve family outings. They don’t seem to handle the pressure very well and it’s reflected in the food.