Cairo Cafés Guide - Cafés reviews in Egypt

Cairo Cafés

The Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards 2016: Ice-Cream & Dairy Award Winners
Published On: 17/05/2016

Around 200 BC in China, a genius of a human being made a mixture of rice and milk and packed it inside snow to freeze. From this, the foundations of what we now know as ice-cream was born. There have, of course, been several centuries of development and adaption till we got to what we have today, but what is largely a very simple food, enjoys plenty of popularity in Cairo. This can be seen in the number of ice-cream parlours, and more recently, frozen yoghurt specialist in the capital, but the winners of this year's Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards are by far and above the best when it comes to quality, variety and consistency in both of those things. Allora Gelateria The Maadi crowd can be difficult to please, but Allora Gelateria's homemade Italian gelato has been something of a hidden gem in the area. Serving up some deliciously rich and varied ice cream flavours and creations, expect Allora to be busy this summer. Frozzy Twist With several branches across Cairo, ad several more on in locations across Egypt such as Porto Marina and even Port Said, Frozzt Twist appeals to the more experimental side of things, with some weird and wonderful ice cream creations. More importantly, though, is that what they serves is every bit as elaborate in flavour as is in appearance. Gelato Mio One Cairo 360 writer wrapped up a review of Gelato Mio with a very straightforward statement: "An overall excellent experience; one we repeated the very next day." We're not the only ones who keep going back to the Zamalek ice-cream shop, which brilliant flavour combinations (fig and ricotta anyone?) and remarkable sorbets. Mandarine Koueidar While enduring local chain, Mandarine Koueidar, churns out plenty of traditional Oriental sweets, it has long been popular for its ice-cream and sorbet. The chain's knack for producing excellent frozen treats was has been further expanded in recent rimes, with the chain also having opened up several restaurants, which in turn added more variety to the ice-cream repertoire. Rigoletto Impossible to miss on an otherwise fairly demure road in Zamalek, Rigoletto – named after the Verdi's 1851 operatic masterpiece – backs its very bright, very bold and very colourful facade, with equally bright, bold and colourful ice cream – their ice creams cake are particularly good. Scoops Serving many a cinema-goer at Nile City Towers, Scoops is small in size, but big in personality, and is also run by IRG – the company behind Zeitouna Lebanese Bistro and Casper & Gambini's. The success and popularity of both restaurants has seemingly transferred to Scoops, as evident by its excellent gelato and delicious frozen yoghurt. Stavolta Stavolta has essentially become a household name – in the realm of ice cream, at least – and its reputations is owed the unrivalled quality of its ice creams and sorbets, as well as their excellent ice cream cakes. Throw in the rotating, seasonal flavours, and you have one of the best ice cream parlours in Cairo. Yoggy's As one of the first of many frozen yoghurt specialists to arrive in Cairo, Yoggy's has stayed head and shoulders above the rest thanks to its quality. It's difficult to pull out any glaring differences between what you'll find at Yoggy's and what you'll find at its competitors, but it wins ahead of the rest for its consistency and veriety. For more on the 2016 Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Award winners, click here, where you can see all of this year's winners.

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The Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards 2016: Bakery & Confectionery Award Winners
Published On: 17/05/2016

Since its founding, the Baking & Confectionery category has been possibly the most fiercely contested in the Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards. That in itself is no surprise; we're a nation that loves sweets and desserts and the number of bakeries, confectioneries, patisseries and dessert shops increase by the year. With this year's winners, though, we have selected the venues that have not only maintained a consistency in the quality of its foods, but also a consistency in a gastronomic field that relies just as much on creativity that captures the imagination of Cairo's collective sweet-tooth. Brew & Chew Emerging as a perfect dessert-and-hot-drink-hangout in Cairo, Brew & Chew stands as one of the best venues among a very good few at the Courtyard in Maadi, thanks to some inspired foods and a generally great place to enjoy both sweet and savoury nibbles, while maintaining a playfulness and a good level of service. Coppermelt "Efficient service, classy design and lip-smacking desserts - what more can you ask for?" was what one Cairo 360 reviewer said of Coppermelt – a statement that sums the chic New Cairo patisserie up to a tee. Despite facing plenty of competition in and around its location, Coppermelt has continued to attract dessert lovers from far and wide. Dip n' Dip One of the newer dessert chains in Cairo, Dip n' Dip is strictly for chocolate addicts and doesn't apologise for its gluttonous food. With branches at Citystars, Cairo Festival City and Sheikh Zayed, the cult of Dip n' Dip is slowly but surely taking over Cairo. Dukes Having opened some five years ago, Dukes has enjoyed a hushed existence – you see, they might not be as flashy or as heavy-handed with promotion and social media as its competition, but it really does let its outstanding food speak for itself, with largely simple, but well-made cakes, baked goods and more. L'Éclair Paris As a largely modest and unspectacular looking booth aat Downtown Katameya Mall, it's easy to walk past L'Éclair Paris without a second thought. But taking a closer look, and eventually a taste, will reward you with some truly marvellous Parisian éclairs. While some of the savoury options are excellent – including the smoked salmon éclair – its the generously cream-stuffed sweet éclairs that have earned L'Éclair Paris an award. Nola Cupcakes While Cairo's love affair with the humble cupcake has died down a little, one cupcake creator is left standing as the absolute best – Nola. The numerous other cupcake specialist that have found success over the last few years have struggle to maintain a consistency, creativity and loyalty, but Nola continues to be number one. Nutelleria Egypt It was only a matter of time before Egypt's love of Nutella – a love shared the world over – was to inspire someone to bring Nutelleria to the country. That seemingly simple hazelnut chocolate spread is as infectious as it is delicious and Porto Cairo Mall's Nutelleria presents some pretty creative ways to eat that chocolate gold – including through a syringe straight to the mouth. Outstanding. PAUL Though functioning as a restaurant, too, it's in the Bakery & Confectionary category that we've chose to salute international chain, PAUL. While their French-inspired menu is solid, it's the chain's profficieny in their desserts and baked goods that it truly excels with in Cairo. TBS Having recovered from a PR disaster last Ramadan, and done so with the utmost respect and accountability, TBS (The Bakery Shop) has regained its position as the premier bakery in Cairo and reminded everyone that their baked goods and products are among, if not the, best to be found across the city. The Batter Half & Co. Gluttony thy name is the Batter Half & Co. Widely thought of as the most popular, and maybe even best, dessert shop in Zamalek, the Batter Half & Co. has maintained quality and creativity since its opening, presenting a variety of modern desserts not found anywhere else in Cairo – as worthy a winner as there ever has been in the ECA. For more information on the 2016 Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards, click here, where you can see all of this year's winners.

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Dip n' Dip:  Chocolate Overdose at Citystars Branch of Popular Cairo Dessert Chain
Published On: 09/05/2016

For many, happiness equates to chocolate – and for good reason. Scientifically, chocolate produces two important hormones; the dopamine which helps you be alert and focus and serotonin – also known as the happy hormone – which prevents depression. Yearning for some great desserts, and of course some dopamine and serotonin, we headed to Dip n' Dip, one of the most talked about chocolatiers and dessert places in Cairo and a definite go-to if you're craving chocolate-infused desserts. Located inside Citystars, Dip n Dip's food court branch has a spacious indoor area with touches of wood, with red, black and white colours dominating the interior, the ceiling, the walls and even the plates, not to mention three chocolate fountains displayed in front of the open kitchen. The venue itself is big, with several tables set outside, so you don't worry about the long wait you'll usually find at Dip n' Dip's Cairo Festival City branch. With a huge variety of desserts, including Caramel Pain Perdu (50LE), Brownies n' Cheesecake Pot (65LE), and, wait for it, Fettuccine Crepe (60LE) – shredded crepe topped with molten chocolate – we wanted to try almost everything, until we finally decided to go with the Funky Brownies Crepe (50LE) and classic Dip n' Dip Waffle (60LE). The former is a French crepe with perfect thickness stuffed with fudgy brownies and smothered in Dip n' Dip's insane milk, white and dark chocolate sauce combo. As good as it sounds on paper, the combination of the brownie-stuffed concoction didn't work, with the chocolate sauce itself served in such abundance that we had to scrape it off to taste the crepe itself; it was an overly sweet dessert, unbalanced in terms of flavours. The waffle was a different story altogether, though. Served with strawberries, kiwi, bananas, pineapple, whipped cream and your choice of milk, dark, or white chocolate, the Dip n' Dip waffle is by far the best waffle we've come by in some time. The fact that it's overpriced and is actually half-a-waffle, it had a crispy exterior, with a soft and fluffy centre. The waiter came with a jar of milk chocolate sauce to drizzle it over the plate as a touch of showmanship, but again it was just too much and drowned the otherwise delicious waffle. With a cheerful vibe and a love of chocolate, Dip n' Dip is sure to please. Perhaps the one concern we had during our visit, was the fact that the chocolate was overpowering the desserts rather than complementing them. For those who like a little bit of chocolate over their dessert –including yours truly- the experience might be just end up being a chocolate overdose, but as far as chocolate, Dip n' Dip is every chocoholic's dream come true.

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Ampersand: Quaint Cafe & Restaurant in Zamalek
Published On: 08/05/2016

Zamalek isn't short on cafes and restaurants, but that hasn't stopped the island being a desirable spot for the coffee houses and eateries to call home. The venues at Abu El Feda Street's Club 33 haven't had a good start to the year, but the Nile-side road is still largely defined by the number of venues sitting along it, the latest of which is Ampersand. As a restaurant and café, The aesthetic is all very simple, with outdoor seating in a fantastic little enclosed garden of light, natural wood and greenery and an indoor area boasting white walls and plenty of natural light on account of the glass walls, as well as a fussball table. The menu at Ampersand brings together a wide variety of dishes inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, but the sandwiches and desserts were rather tempting during a morning visit – the former of which you can customize to your heart's desire. You pick a bread (10LE), cold cuts/protein (15LE), cheese (18LE, vegetables (4LE) and a dressing (2LE). This is where we encountered a problem, though. The menu doesn't state the options available and, at the time of our visit, the waiter was unable to recall what was available. In the end, we decided to rely on luck and go for a roast beef sandwich with cheddar cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise – and luckily all the ingredients were available. Arriving in no time at all, said ingredients were noticeably fresh, with the beef in particular being tender and finely cut. Served with a side of solid French fries, the only issue with the sandwich was the baguette, which, already brittle from the outside as it is, was just a tad stale. We also tried a fresh orange juice (24LE) which was, indeed, very fresh and served in a very generous amount, while Ampersand's latte (27LE) was spot on. Continuing with the drinks, we also ordered a cappuccino (24LE) alongside a hearty slice of chocolate cake (45LE), which comes in a jar, as is the trend these days. Made of layers of cream and cake and topped with crushed biscuits, the cream and cake layers were outstanding. Boasting a balance of sugar that let the chocolate flavor shine, the cake layers were soft and moist, though the biscuit was an unnecessary addition and tasted stale while not retaining much crunchiness. While our visit to Ampersand wasn't without fault, there's a settling in period that every venue has a right to. As a venue, Ampersand is airy, pleasant and takes full advantage of its location, offering a good spot for lunch brunch or a quick coffee. All that's left is a little bit of tweaking in kitchen.

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Classic Rock Coffee Co.: Hidden American Coffee House at Citystars
Published On: 01/05/2016

Keeping up with Cairo's restaurant scene is as exciting and it is unpredictable and while local restauranteurs compete with new concepts every day, more and more international chains are also trying out their luck on Cairo's restaurant map. One of these venues is Classic Rock Coffee Co.; an American coffee house that takes up a space at a restaurant called the Garage at Citystars. Tucked away beside the tickets office on Citystars' fifth floor, Classic Rock Coffee Co. shares the same venue with the Garage, which dominates with a biking-themed interior – colourful scattered helmets, biking graffiti on the walls, a full bike at the entrance - while Classic Rock introduces subtle rock music theme, which is mostly shown in its guitar themed banners and guitar pick logos on their menu. Eager to find out what both venues have to offer, we decided to order our meals from the Garage and trying Classic Rock's shakes and beverages. Skimming through the Garage menu –which involves a mishmash of international picks including burgers, pizzas, Chinese and Italian food – we were a little concerned with the restaurant's lack of identity but we decided to keep it simple with Ninja Fingers (39 LE) as our appetiser and for the mains, we opted for the Garage Burger (39LE) and the Royal Star Burger (39 LE) with a side of Garage Cocktail Fries (19 LE each). Served as fourbreaded boneless tender chicken strips, the Ninja Fingers had a pleasant golden crunchy outer crust, but as soon as we sliced into it, the breading started to crumble apart or completely fell of as we dipped it into the accompanying honey mustard dip. Shortly after, our burgers and fries arrived. Served in small bowls, the Garage Cocktail Fries – basically chili cheese fries – were covered with a thin layer of cheese that we had to dig to find the minced beef, while the red beans were nonexistent as if the chef was holding back. Overall, it was a mediocre dish. A large burger patty stuffed with mozzarella cheese, covered with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and special garage sauce, The Garage burger had an unpleasant stale taste with no presence of any mozzarella stuffing as promised in the menu while the bun didn't taste special. The Royal Star burger was a double patty burger with essentially the same toppings as the Garage Burger, with an addition of beef bacon which we requested to give the burger an extra punch; only it didn't do much as the burger itself had the same stale taste as the one before. Fortunately, Classic Rock Coffee Co's milkshakes came in to save the day. The Chocolate Peanut Butter (26LE) was a heavenly piece of art, with a delightful taste of melted chocolate ice cream and a magnificent peanut butter aftertaste that was both delicious and exciting. The Purple People Eater (26LE) was incredibly refreshing with an amazing blueberry sourness complimented with bananas which worked so well with the overall flavour of the shake. We sealed the deal with the aptly named Full Tank of Sundae (36 LE); three scoops of vanilla, chcolate and strawberry ice-cream topped which were smooth and quite refreshing even though they were served without the promised chocolate/caramel sauce. Overall, we had a disappointing experience with the Garage burgers and we feel the place needs more time to elevate the quality of its dishes and figure out the type of restaurant it wants to be. But as far as milkshakes and desserts –which is what we actually came for- Classic Rock Coffee Co. introduces great flavours which definitely redeemed the evening and will make us come again soon for some more.

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Yoggy’s: Fat-Free Fro-Yo at Sheikh Zayed's Americana Plaza
Published On: 30/03/2016

Frozen yoghurt is perhaps the best invention since French fries-except that maybe it is far less hefty and has guiltless calories. Arriving early to the IMAX movie theatre with a couple of hours to spare before the movie starts, we came across Yoggy's, a fro-yo specialist which turns out to be the sweetest waste of time. Located inside Americana Plaza, Yoggy's is a fat-free frozen yogurt shop with a simple, casual purple & white atmosphere, few wooden benches in the outdoor area –similar to the ones you find in school courtyards- not to mention intriguing DIY frozen yoghurt machines which stood out as soon as we stepped inside. Yoggy's has three different cup sizes, only the scale is what specifies the cost where 100 grams of frozen yoghurt costs 24LE. With three machines available, each having two blendable flavours –pistachio, strawberry and bubble gum to name a few- we opted for two medium sized cups of frozen yoghurt, where the first was a mixture of plain Frozen Yoghurt with Blueberry (65LE) and the second was Custard and Chocolate (60LE) ready to be spiked with toppings. Starting from the blueberry and plain frozen yoghurt mix, the consistency was thick, creamy and very smooth. The plain frozen yogurt had a creamy flavour with a tangy kick to it which worked so well with the sweetness of the fruits and the gummy bears, while the blueberry had a fruity, refreshing and zesty flavour which didn't need any additional toppings. Topped with oreos and M&Ms, the chocolate frozen yogurt was bursting with chocolate flavour which made us feel like it wasn't frozen yogurt and more of a soft chocolate ice cream while the custard frozen yogurt had a milky pudding-like flavour to it; a perfect choice for those who prefer sweet flavours overpowering the sour and tangy flavours of the frozen yogurt. Yoggy's is a fun experience and a great outing for those looking for a sweet light treat before heading to the movies or while on a shopping spree. Everything from using the fro-yo machines, watching the luscious frozen yogurt going into the cup and topping it with gummy bears was delightful but it definitely came at a price. 

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Kayan Kitchen & Bakery: Excellent Gourmet Sandwiches at Unlikely Dokki Kiosk
Published On: 28/02/2016

The food and beverage industry in Egypt is so big, and continues to get bigger, that some venues often go overlooked - hidden gems ready to be discovered. One such diamond in the rough is Kayan Kitchen & Bakery; a small kiosk selling gourmet sandwiches in front of Shooting Club in Dokki. A smallish cart embellished by a green carpet, plants on the front; it can be hard at first to believe that such small venue is capable of making such variety of gourmet sandwiches from chicken, beef, turkey and cold cuts-you name it. We kicked things off with a Kayan Burger (27LE), which came with an impressive amount of Italian flavours. The juicy burger patty was covered in lettuce, diced tomatoes, fresh melted mozzarella, pesto sauce, pickled red onion and Dijon butter, all nestled in a light and fluffy bun with a spot-on crispy exterior. Everything came together perfectly for a genuinely Italian taste. Looking to try the chicken options, we were initially torn between BBQ Chicken (28LE), Kayan Breaded Chicken (30LE) – both highly recommended by the staff - and Chicken Curry (25LE). We opted for the latter, which came in the form of tender, curry-spiced grilled chicken, mixed with roasted peppers, pickled lemons and yogurt-coriander dressing. Though wrapped in pita rather than traditional Indian naan bread - wishful thinking on our part, maybe - the chicken curry was bursting with flavours with an overpowering pickled lemon flavour. Like the burger, it certainly lived up to its name. We couldn't leave Kayan without trying something from the cold cut sandwiches, that's when we went with famous BLT – (beef) bacon, lettuce and tomato (28LE). Bringing together Dijon butter spread, pickled onion, beef bacon, lettuce and tomatoes and served in Italian white ciabatta bread, everyhting from the bread to the vegetables tasted noticeably fresh, while the Dijon butter spread added an exquisite kick to the overall taste and was a perfect foil for beef bacon. Dessert was next up on our visit, but, unfortunately, they didn't quite hit the bar set by the sandwiches. Opting for Chocolate Donut (7LE) and Cinnamon Roll (7LE), the donut was a little too dense, while the cinnamon roll needed more cinnamon. Despite the desserts, it's difficult not to be impressed by Kayan. Everything from the friendly staff, to watching food in the making, to then eating it was a delight and, if we're honest, a suprise - never judge a book by its cover, indeed.

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Cake Café:  Zamalek Bakery & Café Still One of the Best in Town
Published On: 23/02/2016

Cake makes everything better – fact. Eager to try some of the best cake shops in town –the few that are rather away from Cairo's never-ending cupcake craze-we headed to Zamalek's cosy bakery and cake specialist, Cake Café. Cornered in a side street next to Gezira Sporting Club, Cake Café has maintained its small two-storey space, with the ground floor housing few seats and an impressive cake display showcasing what's on the menu; the upper floor, meanwhile, has a more homely feel, thanks in part to its small library of books and board games display. With an impressive collection of cakes, cookies, cupcakes and cocktails –think pumpkin ginger cake, chocolate fudge, Oreo cheesecake, pecan tarts and chocolate chip cookies- it took us some time to settle on what we'll opt for; especially that many of the items we aimed for – including the pineapple-banana spiced Hummingbird Cake and Pumpkin Ginger Cake– were not available at the time of our visit. We instead went with Apple Cinnamon Cake (32LE) and Zucchini Carrot Cake (32LE) alongside two cocktails; Kiwi Splash (32LE) and Green Banana (32LE). Starting with the apple cinnamon cake, we loved the cinnamon kick that hit with every bite, but by far the best thing about was how soft, and fluffy it, was – a sign of freshness and, more significantly, the skill that has cemented the venue as one of the best and most enduring in Zamalek. Unfortunately, the zucchini carrot cake didn't fare as well. Firstly, there was an imbalance of flavours; the ginger was overwhelming and it was overall dry in texture, despite the presence of a moist component like zucchini the flavourful, if a little too strong, cream cheese crust. Our cocktails were, surprisingly, what stole the show, boasting refreshing flavours and spot-on chunky consistency. Bursting with fruity flavours, the kiwi splash was a mixture of mild grape, complimented by the sweeter flavour of the kiwi, while the green banana cocktail was just as good, with an overpowering banana flavour concealing the kiwi kick. Our visit to Cake Café wasn't without fault, but there's a reason that it has been steady ship throughout the years, even with the influx of 'concept bakeries', if you will and baked-good-trends (we're looking at you, cupcake). On Facebook, you'll find Cake Café using the words 'simple' and 'elegant' – and that's exactly what you get here. The efforts of Cake Café are channelled into the kitchen and not gimmicks and fads.

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Haagen Dazs: Ice Cream Giant's Latest Branch at Cairo Festival City
Published On: 16/02/2016

One cannot simply stop eating Haagen Dazs just because it's winter; especially when it comes to the sweet ice cream bliss that is Haagen Dazs. Craving some luscious top notch scoops, we headed to the Danish ice cream tycoon, Haagen Dazs at Cairo Festival City. Anyone who abides by the idea that ice cream should be eaten only in summer, clearly doesn't appreciate the concept of ice cream at all – especially when it comes to Haagen Dazs. Though it has had mixed success in Cairo – a Zamalek branch opened and closed pretty quickly – the new branch at Cairo Festival City is awash with people daily. Given that it is almost always packed with people and the limited space, we were torn between grabbing some ice cream to go or waiting in line for an empty table; we were finally happy to decide the latter, though. From the Brownie Explosion (45LE) –brownies served with chocolate, cookies and vanilla caramel ice cream- the Haagen Dazs Fondue (125LE) – a house specialty comprised of mini ice cream scoops, molten Belgian chocolate sauce and fruits – and the Belgian Waffle Dream – pralines and cream ice cream drizzled with butterscotch served on a freshly baked waffles (45LE), the revelation that Haagen Dazs' menu is so much more than ice cream left us overjoyed and excited to try out as many as we could get hands on. After a lot of thinking, we opted for a mishmash of desserts comprised of Haagen Dazs Salted Caramel Crunch (50LE), a Classic Banana Split (65LE), and finally, Haagen Dazs Signature Apple Pie (34LE). A parfait-like dessert comprised of two scoops of salted caramel ice cream, infused with wafer, almonds nibs and caramel sauce, Haagen Dazs' salted caramel crunch was outstanding. With a creamy smooth ice cream flavour, complimented by the wafer cone's discernible crunch, toasted crushed almonds and a perfect caramel coulis sauce; a masterpiece dessert we will be happy to order over and over again. Served with our choice of three ice cream scoops –of which we picked banana chocolate brownie, caramel biscuit & cream and mango sorbet – the classic banana split, was another great dessert choice; with the banana chocolate scoop elevating the overall banana flavour, the caramel biscuit scoop working so well with the almond and wafer bits and finally, an extremely refreshing taste coming from the mango sorbet. Last but not least, and with barely enough room for more, we had a go at Haagen Dazs' Apple Pie. A crumbly crust with caramelized apple which had a discernible bite to it, the apple pie was delicious; only it lacked cinnamon flavour. An addition of cookies & vanilla ice cream (19LE), some hazelnut crunch (5LE) and a subtle drizzle of caramel sauce (5LE) –which we had fun improvising – made this classical dessert all the more fantastic. With a great execution, not to mention a wide variety of dessert on the menu paired with Haagen Dazs' flavourful and unique ice cream is something that will surely caters for all tastes.

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Sun Shadow: A Dissapointing Visit to Manial's Blue Blue Bay
Published On: 13/12/2015

When visiting one of the many restaurants or cafes in Cairo, we're taught by the Cairo 360 editors to never enter with personal expectations – to take something for what it is and judge it on what it promises and how well it delivers. Sometimes, however, you can't help but be effected by a first impression, especially if that first impression is a negative one – something that we couldn't get away from when stepping foot in Manial-located cafe, Sun Shadow. As part of the bay-shaped, Nile-side mall, Blue Blue Bay – so blue they named it twice, clearly – Sun Shadow benefits from a nice view and its large outdoor seating area. The décor and general aesthetic of Sun Shadow tries to replicate that of a Parisian café, but beyond its Eiffel tower-shaped logo, it's a pretty standard, though pleasant, Cairo café set-up – think wicker chairs, wood flooring and dim lighting. The same can be said of the menu; everything from coffees, juices and (virgin) cocktails, to pizzas, sandwiches and desserts and it's the unusual cocktails that caught our eye first, with the café offering peculiar drinks such as mango lemonade and mint & peach (24LE each) – we plumped for a pina colada (24LE), which took an eternity to arrive. When it did arrive it was nothing more than a banana milkshake, which was sent swiftly back, only to return with pineapple and coconut in the banana-milk mixture – still very much not a pina colada. We tried our luck with a lemon and mint smoothie (24LE) but it too wasn't quite up to standard, with the distinct flavours of the two main components being rather faint. Hoping the food would fare better, we ordered a hotdog tortilla sandwich (24LE) which is exactly what it sounds like. Unfortunately the whole thing seems to have been left on the fire for too long; in addition to the slices of bell peppers inside the sandwich being burnt – not charred, but burnt – the whole thing was very heavy and greasy. The chicken pasta (32LE) disappointed, too; served in a white sauce, the chicken was overcooked and very much under-seasoned, leaving the whole dish pretty flat in taste. Meanwhile, a poor chicken pizza (32LE) rounded off an all-round frustrating experience; there was next to know tomato sauce or cheese on what was a very thick base. With a location that many cafes and restaurants owners would die for, we were hoping for more from Sun Shadow; but then the fact that we were privy to infighting between the staff and the fact that the floor was covered in a fine layer of dust, our visit seems to have been doomed from the start.

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Eid 2016: 7 Holiday Destinations in Egypt that Won’t Break the Bank

With Eid fast approaching, a large chunk of Cairenes are preparing their short escapes from the capital. Finding an affordable travel destination at what is a peak time of the travel season, however, is far from easy and the announcement that Egypt is to ban the use of debit cards abroad have derai