This is SceneEats correspondent Fatafeet El-Share' reporting live from New Cairo with breaking news. So, the story actually starts last night. Here I was, texting my best friend about what has to be the BIGGEST red flag I’ve ever encountered in a man. Actually, I have to tell you about this. So, he’s tall, dark, handsome - and a virgo, like me! - and we’d matched on Bumble earlier in the day and were having a beautiful conversation when I made the mistake of asking him about his comfort food, only for him to reply with, “Pasta with molokheya.” Obviously, I screenshot that response, send it off to my best friend and FaceTime her - all the way in Amsterdam - immediately to tell her about this crime against the food gods.
She patiently listens, before going quiet and saying, “Well, I may have good news to counter this travesty. You know that brunch spot I keep raving about? The one I chill at over the weekends that’s not too far away from university? It’s supposedly open in Egypt now.” Of course, like the fabulous journalist I am, I drop my boy problems instantaneously and use my stalking prowess for my own benefit - for once - and attempt to find out if Amsterdam’s famous brunch hotspot, Bake My Day, is actually open in Cairo.
Friends, it is. Amidst the dreary concrete that so readily defines New Cairo, lo’ and behold, Bake My Day is right there, adding a splash of colour to an otherwise sepia world. The smell of a speciality coffee blend wafts through the door and carries me through the threshold like a woman possessed, only for my senses to be pleasantly tickled by the warm aroma of freshly baked croissants lingering in the air. Despite being easy - but not cheap - I’m sold.
In true Fatafeet fashion, I make small talk with the wait-staff to find out what they’d recommend. Of course, they rant and rave about the frappuccinos - which, admittedly, look perfectly creamy - but I’m not Egypt’s leading food journalist for nothing, so I ordered a cortado. I didn’t let the pretty little heart the barista crafted atop my cup endear me to them, but upon taking the first sip, the coffee’s intense aroma enveloped me and its dense flavour sat on my tongue, a heavy load of bliss.
I was feeling quite peckish, so I started with a burrata salad. Now, as a PCOS-lactose-intolerant-anxiety-ridden babe, I love absolutely nothing more than a rich, milky and buttery glob of burrata, complete with an outer ‘shell’ so soft that just a graze of teeth should be enough to flood your mouth with its creamy insides, which pairs beautifully with mildly tart cherry tomatoes and fresh crispy greens. All things I found in Bake My Day’s generous bowl.
Next, a bountiful plate laden with a bed of quinoa and greens with a succulent piece of perfectly flaky salmon, drizzled with teriyaki sauce, was laid down in front of me. With one gentle nudge of my fork, the salmon delightfully came apart, and a hefty bite with a little bit of everything - the fresh salmon, fluffy quinoa, crispy radishes and the slightly sweet tomatoes - proved this particular marriage of ingredients a successful one.
That is to say that when the waiter came back five minutes later to ask me if I was enjoying my meal, I had to - embarrassingly enough - hand over my already empty plate.
Last - but certainly not least - I asked for a custard-berry fusion of those perfectly circular supreme wheel croissants I spied when I first walked in. I don’t think I can ever go back to plain croissants, or even chocolate wheel croissants. I’ve converted to the now-unorthodox (if not deviant) vanilla team. Cracking open their golden-brown exterior, a burst of decadent vanilla-custard spills out, and a messy bite lends itself to a near-euphoric sensation. A nibble of a slightly tangy fresh strawberry may just be the straw that broke the camel’s back (in about the best possible way).
If I dare return to Bake My Day, I may end up tempted to an even longer stay, where I indulge my taste buds in their kaleidoscopic range of flavours until I end up in a permanent food coma.
Until next time, dear readers!