Ice: Creative Milkshakes & Ice Cream in Zamalek
From cupcakes to frozen yoghurt, Cairo cafes and restaurants have seen all sorts of food fads and fashions. Recently, we’ve seen an increasing number of ice-cream parlours popping up to help out with the heat. Aptly named Ice, the Zamalek venue offers a range of refreshing ice-cream flavours, alongside smoothies, milkshakes and other sweet treats. The shop itself is fairly understated; although the walls are brightly coloured, there is no indoor seating, creating a vast, bare space between the open front and service counters.
We were warmly greeted at the door and handed one of their paper takeaway menus. With such a diverse selection of fresh juices, cocktails, milkshakes, ice-creams and tarts, it took a while to make any decisions; a process which was helped along by offering tasters of all the ice-creams we fancied.
From their delicious looking chocolate, fruit and nut flavours, we requested a taste of their deliciously fruity mango sorbet, sweet yoghurt and raspberry as well as creamy praline flavours. We didn’t see any biscuit cones, just tubs for ice-cream. Priced per scoop, we fell in love with the nutty praline ice-cream (8LE), and paired it with one scoop of sensational, Galaxy chocolate (6LE) ice-cream, complete with hidden chocolate flakes. We also couldn’t resist two scoops of said yoghurt and raspberry ice-cream.
As there was only one blender, the drinks took a while to prepare and considering the medium sized cups were a little on the small side, we ordered all our drinks in large. Firstly, we ordered one smooth and creamy vanilla milkshake; we could taste that their quality, vanilla ice-cream had been used to make it. Next, we had assumed our Banana Mama cocktail (12LE) would be both banana and strawberry juice of the same consistency; however, half the cup was filled with an incredibly sweet strawberry puree whilst the other was a more fluid, milky mixture with just a hint of banana – which didn’t mix well. The fresh watermelon juice (9LE) was slushy but under-ripe, which unfortunately meant it tasted a little too watery. Lastly, our Oreo milkshake (17LE) fared better and was every bit the sickly, chocolaty concoction we were expecting.
Also on offer were a number of interesting ice-cream cakes displayed in a large, glass fronted freezer. Alongside the colourful Fruitopia cake, named because of the plethora of different scoops of fruit ice-creams on top, we spotted the Syrian dessert, mastic cassata (85LE). Made on site by their resident Syrian chef, it’s about as authentic as it gets, with a little added sweeteness for Egyptian taste.
On the other hand, the drinks were not the best we’ve tasted, but were indeed refreshing and for such reasonable prices, it’s difficult to have any complaints. Whilst the décor at Ice may not speak volumes, the ice-cream certainly does and given its central location, we’re likely to go back for more.