Alfa Market: Cluttered Supermarket in Zamalek
At the end of El Malek El Fadel
Street in Zamalek, down the road from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is
Alfa market, a three-storey supermarket that stocks everything from food
to sportswear and electrical supplies.
First thing you’ll meet once
you enter the supermarket is their small but well-stocked produce section on
your left, which has local and imported vegetables and fruits. A pack of
pumpkin slices costs 7LE, while sliced vegetables and clean sugarcane are also
on sale. You can also find ripe avocado and fresh tofu, while greens like
parsley and dill are usually fresh and well-stocked.
Next along is the juice,
chips and chocolate aisles, where you can find Pringles, Kettle Chips and Cheese
curls (32LE). A small diet food shelf stocks saccharine, cornbread, low-fat
cereal bars and healthy desserts.
Alfa Market also stocks a wide range of local and imported canned goods such as
beans and Rio tuna (40LE), as well as
condiments and imported sauces like Hershey’s chocolate syrup (25LE) and maple
syrups. Alfa also has an impressive Asian cuisine corner, selling spices, hoisin
sauce, picked ginger, dried seaweed for sushi, and stir-fry sauces.
They pack lots of cereals too such as Temmys Flakes (7LE), Cap’n Crunch (50LE),
while the dreamy Reese puffs were for 67LE. There’s also a solid selection of
cereal bars, flavoured oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies and biscuits.
Their baked goods section smells heavenly and you’ll catch it wafting through
the adjacent aisles. Some goods packed and ready to go: 13LE for a pie and
9.25LE for a small pack of biscuits and kahk. Baton sale are sold for 30LE per
kilo, while single croissants and pâtés come in many flavours for 4LE.
Next to their pathetic book section (random outdated tourist and kids’ books)
are some old-looking, classic home accessories: a large, detailed om kalthoum plate
was for 450LE, while Gamal Abdel Nasser coasters cost 25LE.
The second floor is full of kitchen utensils, cutlery sets as well as home
appliances like irons, blenders, vacuum cleaners (starting at 435LE) and microwaves (1450LE).
Also on the second floor, the home entertainment section is sad, full of
old-looking laptops and computer accessories, and random brands of small-sized TVs
like Suzuki and Astra. Astra decoders are also stocked (starting at 991LE).
The third floor has kids’
toys, puzzles and board games; a
Transformer’s version of Risk costs 360LE. There’s also a cleaning section featuring
plastic laundry bins (85LE), mops, brooms, and coloured coat hangers.
A large corner is devoted to sporting
goods, sleeping bags (185LE) and some shoddy exercise machines such as bikes
and treadmills, as well as standard free weights in all divisions (5KG for 65LE).
The middle of the aisle carries garden furniture such as lawn chairs, hammocks
and tables, while a corner is devoted to equestrian gear (a hard hat costs
1232LE), fishing gear and poles, as well as coolers (1802LE for a huge 142-litre
box), a Foosball table (1564E), some tennis rackets, random bicycles and boxing
gloves. Oh and dartboards.
While the products here may
seem a little old, you’ll be able to find some of the really hard-to-find,
specialised stuff at Alfa.
Overall, Alfa Market is crammed, disorganised and not
well-staffed. Without prices on everything, you’ll be stuck yodelling for
someone to help you dig through the dirt to find the good stuff.