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In the heart of Maadi lies the charming Carmel California, which initially went viral on TikTok in early 2023 with its Spanish lattes and an incredible selection of cakes. Having grown since, Carmel is known for its hearty breakfasts and fresh bagels and has managed to offer a consistent level of service and quality that surpasses their TikTok fame. Their expanding menu now includes everything you need, from make-your-own salads and shareable appetisers to main dishes. You simply cannot go wrong with Carmel, especially when you finish off your meal with their eclairs, cakes, and mille-feuilles!
From the minute you step through the door, you are greeted by the helpful staff who will constantly check on you and help you pick the dish for your culinary journey. Whether you choose the great outdoors with the surrounding trees or the cosy inside with floor-to-ceiling windows, Carmel is a truly relaxing environment. Starting strong with their medium roasted coffee, their cappuccinos (EGP 89) are perfectly foamy, and the tones of the caffeine shine through the steamed milk.
Their shareable starters are creative bites of delight. We tried their Sweet Potato Nachos (EGP 189), mimicking loaded nachos but on a bed of crispy sweet potatoes topped with a classic mix of sweet corn, red beans, cheese, pico de gallo salsa, sour cream, and homemade guacamole. We were especially impressed with the guacamole as it didn’t overpower other elements of the dish. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes shines through, and the jalapeños offer not only a nice crunch but a much-needed kick to the appetiser. Having been topped with so many cold additions, the sweet potatoes tend to land on your table more warm than hot and crispy, but still enjoyable.
For our main dish, we had the Deep Fried Chicken (EGP 329). While it may seem like a basic choice at first glance, it was executed nicely with two big portions of chicken pieces fried to golden-brown perfection. Laying on a bed of linguine pasta cooked al dente and covered in a traditional tomato sauce, the slice of lemon served alongside it really ties this dish together. While most people would simply ignore it, the lemon gives the dish a much-needed tang and takes this plate to a whole new level. The creamy sauce served with the dish is also perfect for dipping the chicken, adding a depth of flavour that is not to be missed.
From their wide selection of desserts, the staff recommended the coffee pudding cake (EGP 180), topped with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Their ice cream is closer to gelato and is a perfect pairing with this dessert without being too sweet. The coffee taste is not overpowering, and the texture is rather dense due to the fact that it’s made with dates. This dessert is packed with flavour, and the hint of cinnamon breaks the sweetness and blends the flavours in your mouth. As a new addition to the menu, it is worth trying with your hot cup of coffee.