Partita Graffa: Italian Treats in Zamalek
Bakeries & Patisseries
Ahmed El Dahan
Along with its long standing reputation as Cairo’s dining hotspot, Zamalek is known for hosting a flamboyant dining scene. With restaurants such as Jambalaya offering Spanish cuisine, and Bubbilicious being the only bubble tea vendor in the capital, the neighbourhood is a canvas for entreupreuneurs introducing exotic foods to the market.
While Cairene’s have enjoyed decades of fine Italian cuisine, only with the establishment of Partita have we been introduced to graffas; the Italian twist on doughnuts, served in both sweet and savoury variations.
Situated on a small road off 26th of July Street, Partita is a simple establishment with colourful décor and an attractive chalkboard menu. Given its limited size, seating is unavailable, lending itself more to takeaways and deliveries.
The dough of a graffa is soft and chewy, similar to a doughnut; rolled into an oval shape with a hole in its center, graffas are baked and then deep fried but thankfully, served less greasy than their American counterpart. Biting in, we felt that the whole graffa concept is nothing more than a hyped up version of regular doughnuts, being too similar to get us excited.
Of all their savoury choices, we found the sogo’ (15LE) to be the finest tasting of the bunch, with plenty of meat, a blend of spices and green pepper. In the turkey and cheese graffa (15LE), the cheese had melted all over the turkey, enhancing its flavour and smooth texture, in similar fashion to the hot dog and cheese version (18LE).
While we found the savoury graffas satisfying and delicious, the restaurant performs much better when it comes to dessert. For Nutella fans, the Nutella graffa (15LE) will push your buttons with its copious amounts of the addictive chocolate spread. We couldn’t help but indulge in the jam graffa, which unlike the chocolate option, had been halved, with sweet jam spread evenly across the dough, before being sprinkled with powdered sugar to give a scrumptious flavour.
Even though the chefs took a little long to prepare our order, Partita offer delicious flavours and generous portions. However, we recommend their sweet desserts more than the savoury choices.