diningThe Essentials of Arabian Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea has a distinct Arabian twist in Abu Dhabi. Here we explore why

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Afternoon Tea is the most elegant of affairs. The daintiest of pastries sit temptingly alongside neatly crimped sandwiches, while rare, exotic teas are sipped and savoured. English in origin, this ritual was conceived by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in 1840. At four o'clock in the afternoon she would become hungry so requested a pot of tea and light snack. Today, Afternoon Tea is enjoyed all over the world. At Majlis Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, Afternoon Tea is where Middle East meets West. Exotic Arabic flavours and ingredients harmonise with English refinement and ceremony. Here, Pastry Chef Ankit Bhardwaj shares his secrets of an Arabian Afternoon Tea at Majlis Saadiyat.

Family Afternoon Tea The Essentials of Afternoon Tea

 

Afternoon Tea is a very English tradition, how do you give it an Arabian feel?

Unlike classic Afternoon Tea with savoury sandwiches, our Arabic Afternoon Tea is entirely sweet, featuring our favourite regional desserts from across the Arabian Peninsula. We chose classic desserts that are typically enjoyed with tea and coffee, such as kunafa (shredded dough) and luqaimat (sweet saffron dumplings). Guests can also taste khanfroosh (fried cake with cardamom and saffron), asida (a Libyan boiled pudding with date syrup), and Turkish delight. Of course, local dates feature prominently too. To elevate our desserts to something really special, we have refined their presentation and paired them with some of the most interesting teas from around the world.

 

How do you ensure all elements of the Afternoon Tea look and taste perfect?

The kitchen team underwent an intensive training course from the chef at the Royal Palace. We have standard recipe cards, plating guides and pictures to ensure that every guest experiences the finest quality of desserts.

Group Tea The Essentials of Arabian Afternoon Tea

 

What ingredients from the UAE do you use?

We use local milk, ghee and cheese, which are the main components in our Arabian Afternoon Tea desserts.

 

Where else do you source ingredients for your pastries and other bakes?

We source our ingredients from the best suppliers across the world: high quality German and French flours, French butter, and Valrhona chocolate in our pastry. Our fruit purees are from Boiron, France.

Chocolate Treats The Essentials of Arabian Afternoon Tea

 

Majlis Saadiyat has many different teas sourced from around the world – how do you go about pairing them with the food?

Firstly, we hand pick the teas, and then we design desserts around their flavours. We want the guest to experience and appreciate the individual essence of the teas and desserts.

 

What makes Afternoon Tea at Majlis Saadiyat special and unique?

The exceptional quality of the ingredients and curated selection of tea make it one of the finest Afternoon Tea destinations in Abu Dhabi. We create new elements each month, which allows guests to experience something new every time they visit.

Teacakes The Essentials of Arabian Afternoon Tea

 

Do you have a signature pastry or dish that you could share with us?

We have couple of signature pastries in our cake display at Majlis. One of the best-selling is bouny, which has a wonderful creamy combination of milk chocolate and coconut. Then we have bahibe, which includes 46% single origin chocolate from the Dominican Republic. The middle hides a soft coconut cream and coconut dacquoise creates the base.”

Macaroons The Essentials of Arabian Afternoon Tea

 

What about a classic Afternoon Tea at Majlis Saadiyat, is this on offer?

Guests can also sample a classic Western Afternoon Tea, served with a selection of sweets, savoury sandwiches and freshly baked plain and raisin scones with Devon clotted cream and strawberry jam. All accompanied by our curated tea selection.”