Tea on the Palm
Dubai; FooDiva always loves new happenings, whether the opening of a new eaterie or hotel, the launch of a new menu or introduction of a new chef. So with One & Only The Palm, Dubai just officially open, I had to check it out. Its very well established sister property, One & Only’s Royal Mirage Palace hotel has consistently delivered one of Dubai’s best English afternoon teas. So with my visitor in tow, yesterday we decided to taste the new hotel’s ‘Palm Afternoon Tea’.
The new resort is located on the west crescent, a bit of a drive, but lovely all the same as you gaze across the sea and the JBR skyline.
Afternoon tea is served in ‘The Lounge’ overlooking the swimming pool. Very much a British institution dating back to the 17th century, afternoon tea is not just an ordinary cuppa, but an elaborate affair and a meal in itself.
The Palm’s offering allows you to choose one of 14 teas (we both selected Organic Himalayan Peak Darjeeling) or coffee if you prefer. The mini savoury sandwich selection includes seared tuna and avocado, chicken and mayonnaise with fresh herbs, cucumber with yoghurt, smoked Scottish salmon with sour cream cheese, and if that wasn’t enough, egg and watercress. Guests then have the choice of selecting an English (lemon curd and shortbread), Arabic (baklava and om ali) or French (macaroons, madeleine and almond financier) ‘twist’ to their tea. Naturally I felt obliged to choose English, whilst my guest opted for French. The finale and pièce de résistance are the scones (two each) plus clotted cream and strawberry jam.
Whilst the staff were very welcoming, they did not know their own menu. The waiter quite rightly served the tea first, but without sugar and milk which came a few minutes later. We then waited over half an hour for the food to arrive… they first brought the sweets and scones, forgetting the sandwiches. We had to remind them, at which point it took another half an hour. A real shame, as the quality of both the savouries and the sweets was excellent. The mini sandwiches were served on a variety of breads using fresh ingredients, but the highlight was indeed the scones…beautiful and buttery with a dusting of icing sugar. Presentation as you can see was unusual yet contemporary, but somehow it worked. And all for AED 105 including taxes per person. Word of warning, do share one, otherwise you’ll be taking a doggy bag home.
Like with most hotel openings in this part of the world, training is clearly an issue – One & Only The Palm Dubai will need a few weeks to settle in and train their staff, so have your cuppa at home for now.