Sign in using your account with
Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.
Pangaea: Inventive Sandwich Haven in Mohandiseen
The use of natural wood furniture, small table-top plants, along with a clean, contemporary grey and white colour scheme reflects their motto of 'eating clean'. A colourful graffiti mural is painted onto an old wooden door that leans against one of the walls and there are travel books for one's reading pleasure; after all, Pangaea attempts to bring the corners of the world together with a range of signature international dishes, making their menu both interesting and diverse.
The eatery boasts freshly baked bread for their sandwiches and wraps, homemade sides, tomato-basil soup and a soup of the day (15LE/cup), wholesome salads and several desserts. Their drinks menu is packed with fresh juices, smoothies and hot drinks including chai tea (10LE) and cocoa (16LE).
Interestingly, the kitchen is completely on show through a glass window in the restaurant, meaning you can watch the chef cook your food from scratch.
We carefully picked one kofta, tomato and watercress wrap, known as 'The Egyptian' (23LE), and a steak, cheese, caramelised onions and tomato sandwich – 'The American' (27LE). We also went for two sides; coleslaw (7LE) and Swedish meatballs (15LE). For dessert, we were informed they were out of cookies (9LE), which left us with the choice of fruit (5LE-12LE) and the dessert of the day (14LE) which, luckily, turned out to be vanilla cheesecake.
Disappointingly, we were also informed they had no fresh juice or smoothies as they were changing over their suppliers. We settled for a diet Sprite (7.5LE) and a bottle of water (4.5LE).
After a short, five minute-or-so wait, we eagerly tucked into our Egyptian kofta wrap. Although it wasn't huge, what it lacked in size, it more than made up for in taste. The kofta was perfectly seasoned and flavourful, juicy but not greasy, complemented perfectly by the chunks of ruby red, fresh tomato and watercress.
Next, we began inhaling our American sandwich, which was served in soft, lightly toasted ciabatta bread. However, rather than being the sweet, meaty treat we were expecting, we were greeted by pungent mustard, undercooked mushrooms and chewy steak pieces – they'd got our order wrong. Despite this, mustard fans might well be pleased with the concoction.
Our Swedish meatballs were slightly disappointing too; although they were absolutely delicious, there were just two little meatballs on a mountain of creamy mash, with a drizzle of gravy. The coleslaw was yummy too, but slightly overwhelmed by excess carrot.
Although served in a tiny slice, the cheesecake was the saving grace; fresh, smooth and creamy, topped off with a ripe piece of strawberry.
Despite the mix up, Pangaea provides healthy, tasty sandwiches and nicely portioned sides, perfect for a light takeaway, which certainly makes a change from all the unhealthy fast food chains in Cairo.
The food industry is no different than any other when it comes to imported goods and ideas; the Cairo restaurant scene continues to adjust and adapt the fast-food concept to cater for the specificities of the local palate – it’s the reason so many local eateries and chains are able to compete with the likes of McDonalds and the sorts.
Located on Syria Stree in Mohandiseen, Moro’s Take Away is a recent addition to Cairo’s constantly expanding fast-food circuit with an extensive menu that strives to satisfy all tastes, for any meal of the day. While the restaurant promotes itself as a takeout restaurant that delivers 24 hours a day, they also have a simple dining space, fashioned with a black bar top and red cushioned stools for eating in.
Peculiar to the traditional frames of fast-food, Moro’s offers lentil (9.99LE) and chicken cream (19.99LE) soups. The restaurant also offers three varieties of club sandwich; tuna (15.99LE), roast beef (17.99LE) and plain eggs with cheese (12.99LE).
Perhaps the most interesting item on the menu is the chicken pizza sandwich (16.99LE/20.99LE), made with slices of chicken and cuts of hot dog, topped with olives, tomatoes, green peppers and mozzarella cheese. Though it was served steaming hot in a loaf of white bread, the jumble of contents fails to come together, with the bland chicken dominated by the overly salty cheese.
Though the overall flavour of the egg and cheese club sandwich –possibly Moro’s healthiest item – is pleasing in a predictable, homely way, with plenty of fresh cuts of lettuce and tomato, the use of use of processed cheese slices was somewhat disappointing. Even a half-decent cheddar cheese would have been better.
The restaurants appetisers and side dishes are varied; their onion rings (M L11.99LE) and fries (M4.99LE L6.99LE) had both been prepared with fresh oil that gave them a crunchy texture and light flavour, enhanced by a sprinkle of herbs. Although we were looking forward to tasting them with the Moro’s own garlic mayo dip (1.75LE), their version of the condiment was solely mayonnaise, without the faintest hint of garlic.
Despite providing convenient, uncomplicated fast-food, Moro’s Take Away’s offers little innovation or novelty – big words to use for fast-food, maybe – to draw you away from your favourites.