Kakao Chocolate Lounge: Homemade Chocolate Creations in Garden City
If you look closely behind Cairo’s noisy and busy brovardo, you’re likely to find a multitude of hidden gems, even in the most unlikely of places. Unexposed amongst the endless, beautiful embassy buildings in Garden city, Kakao Chocolate Lounge sits modestly on the quiet El Zaeem El Hendy Ghandy Street. The front of the shop-come-café isn’t particularly unusual or inspiring, but its neutral, slightly old-fashioned tones are both humble and unassuming with imaginative window displays to indicate the art of customised cake making.
We were greeted by the owner and curator herself who proceeded to excitedly show us her vast collection of homemade chocolates and other sweet treats. Set out like an old fashioned sweet shop, glass cabinets displayed trays of different flavoured chocolates (350LE/kg), racks of cake pops (7LE) and freshly made, delicious macaroons (210LE/kg), whilst jars on the back shelf held interesting tasting cocoa covered marshmallows, nuts and marzipan.
We purchased a ready-made box of eight delectable, rich and flavourful chocolates (50LE). Unfortunately, no menu comes with the ready-packed chocolates, so unless you check in advance, there may be a few not-so-nice surprises if you’re picky about the flavour of your chocolate. However, we would highly recommend the unusual looking white and blue marbled ‘crispy’ chocolates, with chunks of creamy milk chocolate and short-bread biscuit, accompanied with the divine soft-centred chocolate truffles.
Attractive velvet boxes in the shape of a tarboosh are priced from 25LE-90LE and can be filled with a selection of any of their sugary creations for an extra cost. A massive box of 88 chocolates was priced at 420LE.
We spotted a selection of attractive chocolate and cheese cakes, perfect for any occasion, which could serve around eight people, and were priced at a reasonable 120LE. Customised cakes are baked and decorated by the owner herself and can be ready in around two days. We were shown a collection of photographs of pervious cakes from birthdays to bachelorettes and baby showers, and we can safely say, they were some of the most imaginative and well-executed designs we’ve ever seen. A design can either be copied, or a new one can be made by combining both the customer’s and the owner’s imagination. The cakes were not only your typical sweet creations; unique and unusual fruit or savoury meat, cheese and sandwich platters can be put together for a fun and inventive centrepiece.
Although most of the attention lands on the chocolate side of things, Kakao doubles up as a café and offers a small, but adequate, menu of hot (10LE-15LE) and cold drinks (4LE-8LE), fresh juices (15LE) and a small selection of snacks; sandwiches (12LE-22LE), crepes (18LE-22LE), fondue for either one or two people (25LE/40LE) and a number of croissants and pastries (7LE-9LE). We ordered one dirt-cake (20LE); a terracotta pot filled with chocolate mousse and topped with chocolate shavings and a decorative flower. The chocolate mousse was both airy and creamy, and fared well with others we’ve tasted around the city.
Specialising in both creative customised cakes and an almost endless choice of palatable chocolate flavours, we’d recommend Kakao Chocolate Lounge as a quiet and friendly place to go in order to indulge your sweet tooth.