Casper & Gambini’s: Great Food, Consistent Quality
CityStars, Omar Ibn El Khattab St.
10am - midnight -
It’s become common to find restaurants’ quality falling after opening second, third and fourth branches. The country’s economic crisis hasn’t helped with many looking to cheaper ingredients, but the likes of L’éclair Paris, Chili’s, Lord of The Wings are just a few of the chains that have suffered. Casper and Gambini’s, however, still remains one of the best chains in Cairo, as we found out at the Waterway branch.
As a venue, the restaurant has a spacious indoor area with an elegant yet casual ambiance which shows in the choice of grey walls that are contrasted by touches of wood and baby blue chairs. The outdoor area has more comfy couches and it’s great for a Friday breakfast.
We started our meal with a Chicken Quesadilla (74LE) to share, which was served with crisp French fries and three dips; sour cream, guacamole and tomato salsa. The quesadillas came in the form of four pieces of perfectly toasted triangular tortillas filled with well-seasoned grilled chicken strips, a perfectly melted mix of cheese and coriander that added great freshness to every bite. We loved the dish but we were hoping for more filling.
Moving to the mains, we opted for the Quattro Stagioni Pizza (69LE) and Tandoori Chicken Pasta (83LE). Ignoring the fact that the Quattro Stagioni wasn’t divided into four sections as it should be, the pizza was topped with a flavourful tomato sauce, a mix of mozzarella and Gouda cheese that added a great sharp flavour, fresh artichoke, sautéed mushrooms, eggplant and olives. We’ve been to many a ‘Neapolitan pizza specialist’ and this one was just as good; the pizza dough had a perfect puffy edge and slightly crispy centre, they were generous with their toppings and the tomato sauce complimented without overpowering.
As for the pasta, the dish had its ups and downs. On one hand, the pasta was cooked perfectly, the chicken brochettes were bursting with flavour and the mango chutney added a great sweetness to the dish. On the other hand, however, the yogurt tandoori sauce was overly sweet and the chicken was very dry. We love the concept, but the flavours of the dish need more work to be balanced.
We finished our meal with a Crunchy Profiterole (49LE), which were simply spectacular. The dough was very fluffy and had a slightly crispy exterior that worked perfectly with the vanilla cream filling, which had a spot-on sweetness and consistency; the side of chocolate sauce that you drizzle on top completed what was a perfect dessert. Although we loved the whipped-cream-mountain presentation, we thought it was a bit too much.
All in all, we really had a great time at Casper and Gambini’s. The food was really good, the variety on the menu will please everyone, the service was fantastic and the prices are reasonable – the biggest note we came away with, though, is that through all the turmoil, it hasn’t dropped its quality.