Le Cafe Afternoon tea revisited - Sofitel, Abu Dhabi
In continuing their trend of being open to new things, I revisited them yesterday as they were planning on introducing two new afternoon tea sets. I think there is something exciting when one is able to make a difference to a restaurant's menu by offering constructive feedback. It was this in mind, that I headed back.
Briefly, they are revamping their Afternoon tea by serving it in a new dedicated area. I commented last time that I thought the tables were far too low, and more ideal for drinks a very light snacks. Afternoon tea or especially High tea is quite substantial in what it offers, so having comfortable seating is important. In one day, you may have 3 or 4 guests ordering afternoon tea, so all you really need is to have that amount of appropriate tables available.
|Almost perfect, but a work in progress.|
The new tea sets, the French and English, are intimidating. They include the excellent sandwich selections with those fantastic combinations (see http://mitsukiemma.blogspot.ae/2013/12/sofitel-abu-dhabi-afternoon-tea.html). The sandwiches were again fantastic, brimming with freshness and flavour. I still would like to see them go with the more traditional two slice sandwich. Afternoon tea is all about presentation. It is a world of pretty and dainty things. And besides, triangles beat squares anytime. Moreover, the tea set really is big, so smaller sandwiches will not leave people unsatisfied. Less is more.
The scones were, as last time, tasty, light and soft, but not doughy and were accompanied well by the jams and clotted cream. The jams this time were a marmalade and apricot/peach selection. The issue with this is colour. You need a strawberry or raspberry option. Beautiful juxtaposition of colour.
|English Afternoon tea.|
|French Afternoon tea.|
Next though, on to the new additions. The French-inspired set had came in three tiers with immaculately presented strawberries and macarons on the top tier. The macarons were perfect. Bite size. The second tier featured French classics like Opera cake and Paris Brest. A taste explosion. However, they should consider losing the selection of muffins on the third tier. They just overwhelm the tray. They could replace the muffins with the scones.
The English inspired Afternoon tea had a first tier with strawberries and wafer size chocolate delights. The second tier featured delectable chocolate and raspberry domes. Pure indulgence. The muffin selection again appeared on the third tier. See comment above.
|Special attention was paid to the actual tea on this occasion. No mistakes this time.|
|Our waiter showed us the possibilities of great service.|
Of course if you forsook the option of tea, there is also a lovely selection of coffees. Yes, I have seen people enjoy their afternoon tea with a cup of coffee. If you choose coffee, I recommend a strong black. So, American with an extra shot of espresso. No sugar. The sweet treats will balance the coffee beautifully.
|The Perfect cup - Damman's Paul and Virginie tea.|
I think if Sofitel makes a few minor tweaks, they could be offering a very special Afternoon tea. More importantly, if they can use Justin to inspire his colleagues to serve with the same care and verve that he does, they could be serious contenders for one of the best Afternoon experiences in the city.