Afternoon tea is becoming very popular in the United Arab Emirates. Everywhere you turn a restaurant is hosting an afternoon tea. So much so, that it starts to get overwhelming on where is the best place to go. I wanted to do afternoon tea while visiting, as it was very high on my list of things to do. I looked at several options, and happened on a place called The Chocolate Gallery in Abu Dhabi. I love chocolate, and The Chocolate Gallery just sounded fabulous.
The location for The Chocolate Gallery couldn’t be any more perfect! It is located inside the beautiful Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel. The hotel is about 5 minutes away from the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque. While seated inside we had the most amazing view of not only the Grand Mosque, but the immaculate beachfront overlooking the Abu Dhabi Creek. Depending where you sit depends how good of view you will have. For those who prefer to sit outside when the weather is cooler, there is a very nice terrace overlooking a large lawn. We sat out there for a few minutes to take it all in and it was very relaxing.
The Chocolate Gallery
As soon as you walk into The Chocolate Gallery there is so much to take in. The gold alcove seating areas, beautiful chandeliers, a huge incased wedding cake, and minions. Yes, the minions from the movie Despicable Me! They were handmade from chocolate! I also saw a large table that had cocoa beans, and chocolate incased in glass. As we walked further in I spotted all kinds of delectable looking items.
Walking towards the golden alcove, I noticed to my left a gentleman making chocolate. I was able to stand there and watch him begin to create something. As I looked into the area he was seated, I saw other characters made from chocolate including Superman, Cupid, and the Hulk. I wasn’t quite sure what the gentleman was making, but I would soon find out.
The waiter brought over a couple of tea menus. There were a huge number of teas to choose from, over 80! I chose the Lemonade Strawberry Tea, while my mom choose the Indian Masala Chai Tea. The Afternoon Tea has 3 options, with differences being in sandwiches and desserts. If you were to go 3 consecutive days in a row, you would be able to delight your taste buds with something different each time. The day we were there was Afternoon Tea 3.
The waiter brought out these beautiful tea pots and a flame. He placed the teapot on top of the flame, and said to give it a few minutes. After letting the small time pass by I went to pour my first cup of tea, only to find the tea pot was heavy. I loved it though! I tried both teas and although my Lemonade Strawberry Tea was really good, the Indian Masala Chai Tea was even better! I am now on the hunt to buy some!
While sipping my tea and taking in the beautiful view, mini sandwiches were brought over on a beautiful serving plate. The serving plate was shaped in the form of a painters palette. The sandwiches were good. A couple of them had some spice to it that I wasn’t expecting. Regardless of the spice they were still good. I loved the attention to detail on the sandwiches.
A plate of fluffy raisin scones were brought over along with passion fruit spread, clotted cream, and strawberry jam. My favorite was the strawberry jam. I went to heaven eating those scones. I wish I had taken some to go with me! I have been craving those scones since I stepped foot out The Chocolate Gallery door. I am not too sure I will find scones elsewhere that will match the ones they served.
Shortly after, a plate of beautifully decorated desserts were sat down on the table. I partly wish they had used a tier stand, at least for the sandwiches, because the table became crowded. The desserts were so good! Surprisingly one of my favorites was the macaroon! I have had macaroons in Paris and wasn’t that impressed. This macaroon tasted amazing and gave me a new found love for them.
The Head Chef/Chocolatier
As I was finishing up my afternoon tea, I headed back over to the chocolate studio. I felt like a kid as I pressed my face close to the glass to see what was being made. As I got closer I saw he had created a camel. He then came out to speak with us. I soon found out that the gentleman behind the glass, Abe, was the head chef/chocolatier. He said he was also planning to make palm trees, a sheik, and other characters.
Abe has a very uplifting personality that allows for an enjoyable conversation. He is extremely passionate about everything he makes and wants nothing but perfection for his customers. Abe takes much pride in his work and is very knowledgeable. He was such a pleasure to talk to.
He then began to tell us about the hot chocolate they serve, which I was told many say is the best in Abu Dhabi. I love hot chocolate, so this was something I was more than happy to try. This too was something Abe was extremely passionate about. Abe informed me that he arrives early to taste the hot chocolate to make sure it was created properly, if not it has to be made all over again.
I tried a cup of the hot chocolate. I think I was a bit too anxious because it was still very hot. I attempted to be patient and wait for it to cool off a bit. I finally got to try the hot chocolate, and I can honestly say I have never tasted anything like it. It was delicious! If they don’t already, they need to box that up and sell it! I highly recommend getting some hot chocolate while there, you will not be disappointed.
Everyone was very kind and knowledgeable at The Chocolate Gallery. In 2012 Time Out Abu Dhabi awarded The Chocolate Gallery with The Best Afternoon Tea. After my experience I can see why, and hope they achieve this award for 2015! The presentation for their afternoon tea was awesome. I keep thinking about all the great food I ate, and tea I drank and wish I had it at this very moment.
Not only is their afternoon tea great, but well priced! Make sure you make a reservation! I also hear they have a 24 Carat afternoon tea. Upon visiting Abu Dhabi again I will make sure to make my way to The Chocolate Gallery. So if you are interested in afternoon tea, I highly suggest The Chocolate Gallery in Abu Dhabi!
Afternoon tea set including choice of tea and scones
95 Dhs standard set
125 Dhs ( standard set with 6 truffles)
195 Dhs (standard set, 6 truffles plus a glass of Prosecco)
Have you every been to afternoon tea? Ever visited The Chocolate Gallery in Abu Dhabi? How was your experience?
Disclaimer: Whilst receiving an invitation to The Chocolate Gallery for their Afternoon Tea, all opinions are my own and have not been influenced.