Etoile: Busy Cafe & Patisserie in Downtown Cairo
Located on 26th of July Street, in Downtown Cairo, this three-storey patisserie is both a chic little café on the top floor and a charming dessert shop on the first floor with a great deal to explore in terms of cakes and sweets.
Upon entering Etoile, rows upon rows of tasty treats are presented in a long glass refrigerator ready for selection including an extensive display of intricately detailed cakes starting at 4.50LE per slice.
We tried a soft sponge cake filled with sweet cream and topped with a delicate layer of moist icing – simple but delicious.
The great thing about these cakes is that once purchased, you can keep them in the fridge for up to two days and they will taste just as fresh as the day they were baked. A dozen of these delicious delicacies can be purchased for the price of 54LE or the more expensive cakes at 60LE.
The café upstairs is a little quieter and offers a selection of the cakes from the shop downstairs plus an exquisite variety of hot and cold beverages. The décor was pleasantly simple with wooden tables and chairs in a comfortable air-conditioned atmosphere.
We ordered a slice of Caramel Cheesecake and a slice of Cherry Cheesecake (10LE each). They were deliciously creamy with a soft biscuit-base that had a hint of orange peel. The cherry cheesecake even had some whole-cherry pieces hidden inside the cream, which created a pleasing texture. To wash down the cake we also ordered one Strawberry Juice (10LE) which was full of luscious strawberry pieces and one Vanilla Milkshake (11LE) made with creamy vanilla ice cream.
Etoile also has a small ice-cream kiosk right beside the entrance with one scoop costing 2.50LE and the variety is much larger than we expected; chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, caramel, cantaloupe, mango and even kiwi, are some of the options. While the chocolate and vanilla were exceptional, the kiwi flavour was debatable.
The variety goes beyond cakes and incorporates a range of Oriental desserts and some very posh chocolates in shiny wrapping, which make perfect gifts for special occasions.
Etoile does have a down side however – it gets crowded to the point where it becomes difficult to even move around the store.