El Forn: Reasonably-Priced Bakery at Sheikh Zayed’s Downtown Mall
Downtown Mall (Next to Total Gas Station)
Bakeries & Patisseries
Angie El Batrawy
While the endless expansion of the Cairo areas such as 6th of October City and New Cairo is well-documented, Shiekh Zayed doesn’t seem to get the same attention despite being home to some of the best dining and entertainment facilities in the city, the latest of which has come in the form of Downtown Mall, where we came across El Forn.
Presentation is the name of the game for the bakery, which was first caught by Cairo 360 radars thanks to its Facebook page and website, which position the venue as a one-stop shop for all your baked needs. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit, much of the ‘menu’ was unavailable, though El Forn generally offers everything from breads and croissants, to cupcakes and donuts.
As a space, El Forn carries an easy, airy vibe. Off-white walls and wooden fixtures come together to create a pleasant and simple aesthetic.
Of the items available, we went for 1/8 kg of Menen with rouny cheese and 1/8 kg of Menen with white cheese and olives – both 50LE per kg each. With a fairly generous amount of filling, they were surprisingly light, unlike the ghee-heavy ones you might find elsewhere.
A chocolate muffin soon lured us and at 7LE, it would be criminal not to try what turned out to be a rich and chocolate-heavy snack. The muffin opened the proverbial floodgates; next up on our anonymous tasting-tour was a small custard donut (5LE) – large donuts sell for 8LE – which was soft, sprinkled with plenty of powdered sugar, though it could have done with a little more custard.
Of the other many temptations at El Forn we took away a pack of two seeded baguettes (9LE) and some Baton Sale with sesame seeds (32LE per kg). The former were unremarkable but proved great value-for-money, while the latter were a little soft to the bite, rather than crunchy – in all fairness, however, they were delicious and there are crumbs and sesame seeds across the keyboard as we speak.
While El Forn’s baked goods might not be on the same level as some of the other more established bakeries in Cairo, their great prices and advantageous location suggest that it’ll be around for some time to come.