After hearing about Kalila Bakery and taking a look at their Facebook page, I knew I had to visit it ASAP! I am a huge bakery fan; any place with hot steaming bread is definitely after my heart. I am glad to say they did not disappoint. Kalila is located on Prince Sultan Street, in the center called The Courtyard. Itâ€™s in the same center as Semsom and Margherita.
When I first walked in, I was hit with the smell of freshly baked goods. The dÃ©cor is simple, clean, and neat. It has polished hardwood floors, plush armchairs and a couple of plants. It is very rustic and the thing that really caught my eye is a wall decorated with maâ€™amoul moulds, rolling pins, and other wooden kitchen supplies. It also had shelves with freshly baked breads, as well as glass cases full of different cakes and other desserts. The best part about Kalila is that it is brightly lit, and since I was there in the afternoon, the big windows let in lots of sunlight, which is, in my opinion, so much better than the usual dimly lit restaurants and cafes.
We were seated immediately. The place was full, as it was Thursday afternoon, but since they do not have many tables, it did not feel crowded at all. My husband and I chose a table next to the window with colorful armchairs. The menu was actually a bunch of pages on a clipboard, and I thought it was creative, if not very practical. The pages were wrinkled but we didnâ€™t really mind, since it was their temporary menu. They have a nice variety, without being too overwhelming to the point where you donâ€™t know what to order. They have a breakfast menu, as well as a lunch/dinner menu. Breakfast on weekdays is from 8am -12pm, and from 8 am-2pm on weekends, which is pretty reasonable. Since we got there around 2pm, we couldnâ€™t have any of the breakfast items, but I will definitely be visiting them for breakfast another time.
They have a section for things cooked on the Saj and another section for things cooked in the Fire Oven. I was disappointed that those things were also considered breakfast, so we had to order from the Salads and Sandwiches portion of the menu. We decided to order their Oriental Greens salad with grilled Halloumi (34sr), Chicken Tandoori wrap (34sr) for me and the Grilled Lamb flatbread (36) for my husband. I also ordered a Fig smoothie (18sr).
The food came really quickly. We had our salad and drinks within 10 minutes, followed by our sandwiches 5 minutes later. My tiny criticism is that the salad and sandwiches were served too close together that we didnâ€™t really have time to finish our salad. The salad was a mix of arugula, thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, pomegranate seeds, and black sesame seeds dressed with a tangy lemon dressing. We were really happy with the salad, it was a great mesh of flavors and textures with just the right amount of dressing.
My smoothie was good, not great, but definitely different. It didnâ€™t really taste like figs, and it had graininess to it that I interpreted as a ground up anise biscuit. The Lamb flatbread was amazing! I am not really a big fan of lamb, but after my husband urging me to try it, I took a bite and it was heavenly. The lamb was tender and it was dressed with hummus, onions, pickles and watercress, with extra humus on the side for dipping. As for my Tandoori chicken wrap, I actually changed it to a flatbread as well, and it was also good. Although lacking in seasoning, it came with a spicy yogurt sauce on the side, so when dipped in the sauce, it was yummy. Both sandwiches came with a mixed greens side salad which was the perfect accompaniment to the meal. I would like to point out that with the sandwiches, you have a choice of wrap, flatbread or simit (sesame bread).
I loved the fact that the food was light and not at all greasy, which gave us a chance to order dessert and tea. We tried their Kunafa bi riz, which, I must say, is one of the most interesting desserts I have tried. Think of rice pudding topped with a piece of kunafa and baked in the oven, then topped with simple syrup. We also ordered a pot of green tea and their Indian masala tea, a mix of black tea, milk, and spices including cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
The kunafa takes about 10 minutes, but it was definitely worth the wait. It came piping hot with the syrup on the side so that the customer could control how sweet they want it. It is soft and gooey on the inside with the rice pudding and cheese, with a little crunch from the kunafa. It was the perfect ending to our lunch. We asked for our bill, which came out to be 180 sr, not too bad, especially for the quality of the food.
To sum it up, if you are a bakery lover like me, Kalila is definitely the place to go. The food is fresh, the staff is friendly and efficient, and the atmosphere and ambiance is perfect.Read more