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Casper & Gambini's gets thumbs up for friendly service and great food
Published in Daily News Egypt on 20 - 09 - 2006

CAIRO: Earlier this week, during my lunch hour, I called some of my friends to see who was available for a quick lunch out of the office. Every time I'd call someone they would say, "Sorry just ate at Casper & Gambini's ... It was so good, you have to try it.
After scrolling through my phonebook I was able to find someone that hadn't already tried it, and I hurried out to check out the newly opened restaurant - it had only been open for a few hours.
If you live in Helipolis or Nasr City, you have probably heard of it before, as it's been open at CityStars Star Centre for a few months now. But for those of you who, like me, are unaware of anything happening on that side of town, you'll be pleased to know this restaurant is now open at Nile City.
The Lebanese restaurant/cafe, which opened in Beirut in 1996, has only recently branched out in the Middle East and is now in Kuwait, Amman and Cairo; Dubai, Bahrain and Qatar are scheduled to be the next locations.
The décor of the venue is quite pompous, a little like a lounge/bar in a hotel with leather seats and wooden tables; let's call it a luxury café.
The slogan, "A Taste of Tradition, makes you think the restaurant serves traditional home-cooked food; but it is not at all a disappointment, the "tradition escaped me, as the menu is made up of contemporary fusion dishes.
The menu is divided into soups and salads, appetizers, sandwiches, main courses and desserts. They have a weekly specials page too (one for meat, chicken or fish and the other for pasta) that change every week.
The staff of the restaurant is very friendly and quick. Although many items on the menu weren't available, as the restaurant had just opened, they always gave me other suggestions before I had a chance to get frustrated.
I personally chose to start with a crab and avocado salad. The deep bowl is filled with a great portion of salad, loaded with fresh thinly sliced processed crab legs and a generous amount of avocados. By the time I was done with the delicious salad, I was almost too full to continue ... almost, that is.
Since the main dish menu was not fully available, the grilled items and hamburgers weren't an option, so I settled for quesadillas.
The platter comes with a little salad, guacamole and sour cream. The quesadillas are perfectly toasted in light pita bread with elasticized cheese. The only drawback was too many vegetables in each of the three pieces.
Although I haven't tried the main dishes myself, rumor has it that the tenderloin beef is excellent, chicken under brick (meaning the meat is not dry and is not undercooked) is perfectly juicy and the salmon dish is mouth watering.
Time for dessert. I ordered an apple pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel. The delicious pie was exquisite, but far too big after a whole meal. After complaining out loud that it was too big, someone from a neighboring table overheard me and educated me about the mini-indulgences desserts. Apparently, you can order a mini size of any of the desserts on the menu, which is a brilliant idea.
As for the drinks (no alcohol served), a variety of juices, soft drinks and coffees are available.
The total experience at Casper & Gambini's is impressive, although it is a little over priced for a café/restaurant, though if you classify it as a luxury café, it's about right.


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