On Street 18 in Maadi as part of the complex of the Royal Maadi Hotel is Cairo’s first branch of The Lebanese Bakery, an international chain of neighborhood Lebanese bakeries with branches in Beirut, London, Bahrain, and Riyadh.
I went to the bakery on a sunny Thursday morning in April with two friends to get some warm Manousheh and write up some articles outside the house. There are two floors, with both indoor and outdoor seating on both levels. Both floors are rarely filled on mornings, but the upstairs balcony is a great spot to catch some sun and people-watch the Maadi crowd.
You’ll order from the counter downstairs, next to a fridge boasting fresh salads (EGP 45-54), ice tea (EGP 25), lemonade (EGP 29), and sides like Muhammarra, Labneh, or Hummus. Some may find it a nuisance, but paying for your meal before you get it at your table may offer a sense of relief or a grab-and-go appeal to your brunch.
The bakery also sells an assortment of rose water, Pomegranate Molasses, Sumac, and extra virgin olive oil.
We took a number plate to our table on the balcony. For our mid-day lunch, we opted for a selection of Mouajjanat and Manousheh, paired with some refreshing drinks.
The marble tables contrasting with the store’s simple black text branding offer a modern touch; this is not a traditional mom-and-pop Lebanese spot. Its youthful essence is part of its charm.
While we waited for the food, about 10 minutes, we could look over to the inside of the second floor where there is a full transparent kitchen with an oven radiating smells of roasted potatoes with thyme (EGP 45) and everything basil.
First to arrive was the Mouajjanat, small pastries with hard shells, stuffed with your choice of over ten options. We ordered the Bulgarian Cheese Mouajjanat (EGP 10 a piece), intrigued at the name, and were met with a fairly crumbly stuffing. Not bad for a snack, but nothing to phone home about.
The same could be said for their Pizza Mouajjanat (EGP 10 a piece) which consisted of an olive, and a slice of American cheese layered atop a tomato sauce-spread pastry. The nutella Mouajjanat (EGP 10) fails to deliver a melted chocolate filling and a soft crust, and instead offers a sticky outside and not too much filling.
The real star of the show at The Lebanese Bakery, however, is their Manousheh. With tens of options to choose from, varying from an all-day breakfast that includes a variety of egg combinations, to a myriad of international cheeses, meats, and greens, there is a Manousheh there for everyone.
We chose to go for Vegetarian options, trying the Akkawi cheese Manousheh and the Halloumi and Basil Manousheh, and they did not disappoint.
The Basil spread, with pine nuts, brings a kick to the smooth Halloumi and the thin white bread crust of the Manousheh, turning the salty cheese into a light yet filling meal. The Akkawi Manousheh, however, challenges the Halloumi Manousheh with a smooth melt and a heavenly taste, tasty on its own or with a dip into their signature Muhammara dip (EGP 49) with walnuts and pomegranate.
With such salty cheeses, you may need a drink to sip with your meal, for which their Peach Ice Tea is a great contender. Their lemonade, though, is quite sour for most.
If you end up spending the day at The Lebanese Bakery, whether catching up on emails or with friends, iced coffee fans may enjoy their Iced Sweetened Latte (EGP 45) with coffee made in-house using Brown Nose Coffee beans, which are also sold in-store. The drink is heavy, creamy, and perfect for those with a post-meal sweet tooth.
Nicely placed in between the trees of Maadi, The Lebanese Bakery’s Cairo branch offers a youthful and aesthetically pleasing outing with delicious manousheh and speciality coffee on a sunny terrace.
The Lebanese Bakery is located at building 11, Road 18, Maadi – Sarayat, 11728.