The Food Byte: Bloomsbury's, Dubai Mall

Sunday, June 14, 2015

As a kid, I visited several different carnivals, picnics and birthday parties. And every time I attended these, there were 2 things I eagerly looked forward to. The fun games we would get to play and the candy we would get to gobble.

Halloween was one of those holidays which was almost like the Black Friday of candies.  And it was also quite special because it arrived in my birthday month. I'd round up my friends and go from door to door, chanting "trick or treeeeeeat" in unison and heading back home towards the end of evening to count how long our loot would last. Trust me when I say, we were disappointed that some of our neighbors gave us cash as opposed to candy.

I get my sweet tooth from my dad. I am forever experimenting and making desserts at home and I absolutely appreciate places in Dubai that put in that extra effort into making your whole experience delightful. There are several quirky and unique dessert venues in the city but only a few of them score high on food, quality, service and other elements. And I discovered one such place, Bloomsbury's located in Dubai Mall.

This pretty cafe boasts of quality service, absolutely friendly and knowledgeable staff in addition to freshly baked croissants, cupcakes, macarons, delicious sandwiches, creamy coffee, energizing tea and much more.

I love the concept of Afternoon Tea and it's become an integral part of my life. As I type this, I can almost picture myself sitting in the lush Kensington Gardens (one of my favorite places in London) and sipping on tea while reading Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

Snapping back to reality..., there are several places in Dubai that dish out quality Afternoon Tea and I have my favorites. Bloomsbury's menu is almost like a wave of endless food choices and I couldn't resist ordering the Afternoon Tea.

Mom and I were offered a selection of different tea to choose from and being a tea lover, I chose the unconventional Orange Jasmine Tea while mom went for the Green Tea with a pineapple twist.

While I love oranges, I was happy with the fact that my tea did not have an overwhelming orange flavor. It was quite pleasant to taste and I could've drank the entire teapot.

A three tiered cake stand soon graced our table and featured assorted sandwiches (salmon, egg and vegetable), scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, my favorite macarons, strawberry tarts, pistachio ganache, friands (that were too cute to eat), Triple Chocolate brownies and cupcakes.

The sandwiches, freshly prepared everyday in Bloomsbury's kitchen were delicious.I particularly liked the egg sandwiches and they will fill you up real quick as one sandwich is a size of a hand, as opposed to the standard mini. But there's always room for something sweet, right?

Let's start with my favorite- the Triple Chocolate brownies. While one of my favorite desserts is macarons, these brownies stole the show. Having a slightly crunchy top and bottom layer and a soft, fudge center, the chocolate brownies were perfect in texture and taste.    

Tea and scones (I can hear God Save the Queen playing in the background) sound like the perfect afternoon combo, right? While I've had my fair share of scones, some don't make the cut.

However, the ones at this cafe were a delight to have. Pastry like, melt in your mouth, the scones topped off with strawberry preserve made me appreciate this supposedly Irish invention even more.

The macarons were lovely especially the pistachio flavor along with the tarts and pistachio ganache. The latter looked incredibly decadent with the pistachio slivers resting atop a rich chocolate ganache housed in a perfectly baked tart.

Right after the brownies are the cupcakes. Part of the Afternoon Tea's offering is choosing a cupcake of your choice. I went for the Ferrero Rocher and mom got the Raspberry Chocolate flavor. While the latter was moist and flavorsome, the Ferrero Rocher was mouthwatering.

Dusted by edible gold spray and featuring a 'cracked open' Ferrero Rocher, the presentation of the cupcake was something to behold. And what about the taste? The sponge-y, decadent chocolate cupcake reminded me how sinfully good it was.

Neither of us could finish everything on the the cake stand and the Bloomsbury's staff happily packed up the remainder of the delicious food. While the friendly store manager insisted that the serving was just right, I felt it was a tad bit more per person.

One unique menu item exclusive to Bloomsbury's is the Crackling Gold Chocolate. I kid you not, when I was told about it first, I laughed it off not realizing how addictive it can get. Combined with childhood's ever so popular crackling candy, chocolate lumps coated with edible gold dust is easily one of the best things in cocoa I've had.

I was a bit hesitant to try it, simply because of the awkward combination. But all the doubts dissipated when I sunk my teeth into the first piece. It would be an understatement to say that I loved it. Suffice to say, the pouch of chocolates didn't last for long at home as everyone decided to gobble it.

Bloomsbury's also specializes in bespoke cakes for occasions and I can vouch for the quality and quantity. Apart from the food, the venue has a wonderful atmosphere and comfortable seating which will make you want to stop by after that long shopping spree at the mall. It's a great place to unwind or catch up with friends whilst tasting mouthwatering desserts.

I'm so glad I discovered this gem of a cafe and I can't wait to visit it again. Afternoon Tea doesn't break the bank, it costs a mere AED 49 per person and is worth every dirham. Here's what I recommend you must try: Orange Jasmine Tea, Triple Chocolate Brownie, Ferrero Rocher cupcake, Crackling Gold Chocolate and pistachio macarons.

Bloomsbury's is located on the lower ground level in Dubai Mall, next to Wafi Gourmet. They are also available in Abu Dhabi at Al Wahda Mall, Mushriff Mall and in RAK Mall, RAK.

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