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Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
Pizza Master: One of Cairo’s Premier Pizzerias
Pizza is one of those foods that will never go out of style. It’s perfect for a gathering of friends and it’s the ultimate finger food. With branches in Nasr City and Mohandiseen, Pizza Master delivers up a great pizza that’s worth dining in for or ordering for delivery.
There are six varieties of pizza: beef, chicken, seafood, hot &spicy and cheese lovers’. The cheese lovers’ pizza is a mouth-watering triple blend of cheese that has some sort of magical ingredient that the chefs won’t reveal. The plain cheese lovers’ pizza is great on its own, but if you’re looking for some fresh veggies; try the vegetarian cheese lovers’ pizza. It’s topped with green peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes.
The hot and spicy pizzas pack a surprising amount of heat. Many times in Cairo, items are listed as spicy and they’re really not. Don’t underestimate Pizza Master’s heat factor. These pizzas come with fresh hot chilli pepper; seeds and all. The spicy chicken pizza is a great spicy pizza, because the chicken shawerma, olives and fresh tomatoes help minimise the chilli’s effect.
Don’t miss out on Pizza Master’s yummy garlic bread. The appetiser consists of three fat baguette slices with the perfect amount of garlic butter. The garlic bread supreme, a personal favourite from Pizza Master, is topped lovingly with mozzarella cheese.
Pizza Master has a two-for-one pricing system. Essentially, this means ordering one medium pizza is actually ordering two medium pizzas of less or equal value. Ordering one garlic bread platter is actually ordering six pieces, not three. Thus, while Pizza Master is great for couples or groups of friends, it’s not exactly ideal if you want to dine alone.
Prices are reasonable: two medium pizzas generally go for 37LE to 40LE, and that’s about enough for three hungry people to share; the portions are generous.
The Nasr City location is quite comfortable, with a spacious seating area upstairs, air-conditioning and lounge chairs. Pizza Master is never disappointing with delivery. It’s consistently both fast and fresh.
The notion of a proper, authentic, untainted pizza has only recently clicked ion the Cairo dining scene. The concept of thin crust and emphasis on the tomato sauce not the cheese was practically unfathomable, considering how far down the localising-line pizza has gone.
Before the new contenders joined the market, though, there was just one well known pizzeria if you wanted a real pizza; Maison Thomas.
While no one disagrees that Maison Thomas’ glory days are well behind them, the question remains as to why?
Well, we could start by the fact that they’ve been unable to keep up with the times; for instance, the restaurant chain still no social media presence or any form of reach to a new generation of customers. This, of course, comes second to the food quality and steep prices.
Whatever the case, we figured we would go see for ourselves at their Maadi branch. Located on the second floor just by Metro Market, the interior boast that same old black and beige colour scheme. The décor seems like it stuck somewhere between an artisan café and a dingy bar.
It only recently came to our attention that Maison Thomas serve more than just pizza. So after browsing the menu, we opted for a Cheese Burger (45LE), a Milanesa (69LE) main course and a Bolognese Pizza (79LE).
Serving time was relatively quick, but the waiters weren’t the most friendly or helpful. The Cheese Burger, a 150g ground rump steak patty topped with melted gouda cheese, was decent, but definitely didn’t wow us.
The Milanesa, fried veal escalope with a side of french fries, was similarly average. The meat tasted good, but the fried outer layer was soggy and took away from the experience. The fries were, unfortunately, rather oily.
The Bolognese Pizza fared better than everything else. While the pizza was adequately covered in mozzarella cheese, oregano and tomatoes, with a decent layer of minced meat underneath, what really disappointed us was how scarce the tomato sauce was.
The problem with Maison Thomas seems to be small mistakes that take away from what would’ve otherwise been a great dish. In the case of the main course, the frying process leaves much to be desires, while in the case of the pizza - well, how can you be scarce with the tomato sauce? It’s the most important ingredient.