The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt


Pumpkin: Tasty Tarts at Dandy Mall

reviewed by
Haisam Awad
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Pumpkin: Tasty Tarts at Dandy Mall

Pumpkin’s humble beginnings in Alexandria
some eleven years ago have seen this merchant of American and European desserts
turn out multiple branches in Alex and in Cairo. The Dandy Mall branch may just
be a modest kiosk, but there’s never any shortage of options. There were at
least ten different tarts and cakes to choose from during this reviewer’s late
evening visit.

The bright pumpkin tart (15LE) caught our
eye immediately next to its darker, chocolatier piers. The mountain-like
Swiss meringue points on the tart cover a layer of pumpkin, raisins and
cinnamon.  The meringue was a perfect balance
of smooth and flaky as you bit into it, and wasn’t as sweet as we feared. On
the other hand, the mixture below added little flavour, instead tasting like a
dull sweetness.

The toffee tart (14LE) was quite the
opposite, and was a no-hold barred sugar party. A thin but dense layer of
toffee caramel makes for a perfect foil for the plain-tasting base. The tart is
pretty sweet on the eye too; the toffee-brown colour is decorated with darker
marble-like swirls. It’s also one of the few desserts that can be served warm
via the kiosk’s nifty microwave.

Another of the desserts that can be served
warm is the brownie caramel tart (14LE); a very thick layer of brownie with a line of caramel sits
atop a tart base. We scoffed down the brownie tart with great struggle, only then
acknowledging that it may have been better eaten hot, and maybe even with a nice
glass of milk. In its chilled state, the brownie was
incredibly dry and we failed to notice the subtle layer of toffee caramel.

With the cinnamon cream tart (15LE), we had
unintentionally left the best till last. A layer of soft white chocolate was
covered with toffee caramel, thick criss-crossed lines of cream, and a heavy
sprinkling of cinnamon powder. The four very powerful tastes all worked because
they weren’t excessively sweet as per the Egyptian custom. The tart was soft,
creamy and critically, the cream actually tasted fresh

Every slice is neatly packed in a small
triangular box, and sell for 15LE maximum per slice.  You can’t help but walk past the kiosk in
Dandy Mall to take a sneaky peak at what they have, because it’s true; we do
eat with our eyes.

360 Tip

Pumpkin’s Cairo branches are located in Maadi, Citystars and Zamalek.

Best Bit

Large variety of cakes and tarts that can be bought by the slice or as wholes.

Worst Bit

If you can’t wait to get home or have trouble eating while walking, you’ll have to make do with Dandy Mall’s rather bleak food court.

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