Street 90 North, Cairo Governorate
Dairy & Ice Cream
17:00 - 01:00
What is the point of summer without ice cream? Absolutely nothing! It is virtually impossible to imagine going through this scorching weather without, at least once, enjoying a scoop of frozen delicacy in a cup or, better yet, a freshly made cone. The softness of the scoop, the coolness of its temperature, the taste of its flavour, and the crunchiness and freshness of the cone; these are all essential components in creating the perfect summer moment. From the second the chilly piece of ice cream touches your palate and melts in your mouth, then slowly spreads both coldness and warmth throughout your biological system, until the second you consume that last chunky piece of cone. Let’s face it guys it’s a heavenly feeling!
Before we get off track, let’s talk about Dara’s Ice Cream. Last year, we reviewed the Zayed branch. Yesterday, we decided to pay a visit to the one in New Cairo. In retrospect, that might not have been the best decision, and here’s why. The first “red flag” was evident when we arrived at the shop at around 9:40-9:45 pm. There was an endless line of people that started somewhere inside and extended for a few metres outside. To further elaborate on the image, the line was like Hydra; as soon as a spot opened up, two more customers would arrive to fill it in. Despite all that, we took it as a positive indication that the product was irresistible, and that we should try it anyway, so as to not miss out on anything. So, here’s our analysis of the place; we’ll start with the cons then end with the not-so-fresh cherry on top; the pros.
Firstly, we were a party of three, and it took us approximately 1.25 hours to receive three cones! Imagine waiting that long for a measly 2-scoop cone. Sure, there were the occasional benches along the way, but come on! When it was finally our turn, one of the employees (who wasn’t very friendly, by the way) told us that we’d have to wait an extra 15 minutes if we wanted a cone. Out of curiosity, we asked him about how many cone machines they were using, and he replied that they had two machines, but one of them wasn’t working. Also, from the see-through window, we could see one oven inside for the cookie making.
Secondly, as previously mentioned, the employee that we dealt with wasn’t the friendliest, but we don’t like to generalise, especially since the cashier was a bit more tolerable. Before we move on to the pros, there was one more critical comment that we noticed. While we were waiting outside, there was a horrible stench in the air that we endured for a couple of minutes, which we later assumed to be the smell of the fertiliser in the nearby plants. A colleague had visited the place previously and had the same comment about the horribly pungent aroma. Needless to say, it was quite the turn-off.
At this point in the article, you may be wondering, “Was there anything positive?” Sure there was, but was it worth the wait? Let’s find out. After we had ordered and were waiting for our ice-cream, we saw one of the staff members circulating amongst the clients standing in the line, and passing out free samples of the cookies. The people seemed to enjoy them, and why wouldn’t they, but we didn’t really consider this gesture a pro, after waiting for what had been an hour by then. Nevertheless, we have to give it to Dara’s that the initiative was generous.
As for the decor, it wasn’t very extravagant, but also not simple enough to view as mundane. The eye-catching area was the wall plastered with various photos of the founder, Dara Mohammed Ghoshesh, enjoying ice-cream cones in different regions across the world.
Now the most important part: The flavour. Each of us ordered three different combinations: Salted Caramel and Vanilla, Banana Madness and Belgian Chocolate, and Blondie Caramel and Cookie Dough. In terms of flavour, we felt the Salted Caramel, Banana Madness, and Blondie Caramel tied for first place. Each person had their separate perspective about which one was the best, but we could agree that those were the top flavours. Each scoop cost 35 LE, and the Chocolate Cone was 20 LE, five pounds higher than the regular one. One of us added a topping of honeycomb (10 LE) that wasn’t appealing to all the members of the group. We gave the Classic Cookie a try as well, which was soft in texture, but dry in taste.
We’ve gone on lone enough about Dara’s Ice Cream, but it’s only because we always like to convey the full picture and customer experience. Our final verdict is that Dara’s Ice Cream needs to strengthen its management and maintenance system, so people can appreciate the flavours, as some of them really are amazing, but not so great that we would be willing to stand for another 1.25 hours to buy them. You have the potential, but you need to appreciate and apply the feedback.
A one of a kind experience of ice cream in a Cairo. Belgian Chocolate & Salted Caramel are my favorites.