Casper & Gambini’s: Sub-standard Service at Mall of Arabia
Inside Mall of Arabia, across from Dalydress
10AM - 11PM -
Ahmed Abdel Razeq
Casper & Gambini’s has been around in
Cairo long enough to have established itself as a very successful restaurant
chain that regularly delivers delicious food and speedy service. With the recent
opening of its latest branch at Mall of Arabia in 6th of October City, it
seems that the chain has a few kinks to smooth out before this branch lives up
to its standards and our expectations.
Located across from Dalydress, Casper &
Gambini’s interior is decorated in dark wooden browns and sky-blue, including
dark flooring, brown leather seats and a blue counter with different, coloured
syrup bottles arranged across the top shelf. Smoking and non-smoking sections
are available, and the end of the room is flanked by cubic glass frames that let
in the afternoon sun.
For a light lunch, we ordered the halloumi
and vegetable salad (39LE), the tempura shrimp (21LE) and the slim-line chicken
salad (38LE). The halloumi pieces were nicely grilled but far too salty; fortunately the grilled bell peppers tasted sweet and contrasted smoothly with
the halloumi and its bedding of rocket. The tempura shrimp was also heavy on
the salt, which made its accompanying soya sauce dip unbearably salty and had
us wishing for a creamier, citron-based sauce instead.
We asked for the slim-line chicken salad to
come with a French dressing minus the garlic due to a garlic allergy. Twenty
minutes later, the waiter served us a side bowl of ranch dressing full of
garlic, whereupon we explained the garlic allergy issue again. Ten minutes
later, he brought us a bowl of French dressing specially made by the chef,
which would have been appreciated had it arrived half an hour before with the
For dessert, we continued the light meal
with the non-fat frozen yogurt (27LE); a delicious healthy option that came
with crunchy granola, a berry sauce and pieces of banana and peach.
As much as we like Casper & Gambini’s,
we have to say that the service was disappointing. It took far too long for our orders to arrive, despite the abundance of staff and the moderately filled restaurant. Our order of Bombay chai ice tea came as peach ice tea, and when we
asked for the correct order, the glass sat at our table for twenty minutes
before it was picked up and delivered to another table instead. The fact that someone else got our order
(even though it was untouched) had us wondering just how fresh the other items were.
This review may be a little harsh
considering that we visited during the branch’s opening week, but Casper
& Gambini’s has a reputation to uphold in terms of quality and service, and
we sincerely hope that both will have improved on our next visit.