Tag Archives: Dubai Mall

Bloomsbury’s Artisan Bakery – for your cup of joy!

Ooh it is a tough task to get me to Dubai Mall; and that too on a Friday. Truth be told, I don’t remember where I came from and where I need to go. As a man who prides his in-built GPS sense, there is a stereo-typical shame in admitting that I am foxed by the ‘exit’ signage. Besides, on a Friday, Dubai Mall is a test in negotiating skills more than I have used all week. I accepted to visit Bloomsbury’s Artisan Bakery in Dubai Mall rather gingerly. I didn’t fancy cup-cakes either.

The Bloomsbury's Parlour
The Bloomsbury’s Parlour

And there I found myself driving to Dubai Mall with my wife and toddler in tow for a promised cosy and lazy breakfast. We managed to get to the store which is located twixt the fountain and Wafi Gourmet.

The delicious war-cry!
The delicious war-cry!

Bloomsbury’s – the Boutique Café and Artisan bakery is a home-grown and chef driven concept with all recipes created from scratch using the finest ingredients available seasonally. From cupcakes, confectioneries, the famous high tea, and afternoon tea, Bloomsbury’s serve a fine selection of tea from all over the world.

Bloomsbury's Artisan Bakery
Bloomsbury’s Artisan Bakery

While I was waiting to be served, I was sniffing around their fancy tea test tubes containing some fine mix of teas – some refreshing and some with a vigorous flavor. However, I settled for a cup of strong coffee, since that is my favourite poison.

Advait digging into his cupcake
Advait digging into his cupcake

My son found the quaint café quite interesting, more so as he leafed through a book on London while the smiling hostess put a strawberry cupcake in front of him and a ‘red velvet’ in front of us. The clever boy that he is, he didn’t wait any time in celebrating his cheat-day by digging into the smooth icing on the cupcake. I slowly advanced towards the ‘red velvet’ with some dramatic music in my head – cupcakes give you a sugar rush with the icing that will last you a rugby match – and when I spooned in the first swirl of the icing, I was blown over! Soft, creamy, clearly fresh cream cheese and with the sweetness fine-tuned to perfection! OK, then Bloomsbury’s – you are winning me over!

I walked over to the display to run a look at the motley collection of cupcakes that flaunt over 30 different flavours. The friendly store manager Mayank pointed out that the café has a unique rating system for all their products. That way, only the tops ‘stars’ are served to Bloomsbury’s patrons. Suddenly, I realized the pressure of being a cupcake!

The Hero - chocolate fudge cake
The Hero – chocolate fudge cake

I noticed this very artistic, golden hued chocolate fudge cake. It is Bloomsbury’s big ticket item that has seen unprecedented popularity thanks to its shape, size, texture and hue. Have a special occasion in mind? Book this good-looking baby. And there’s more, Bloomsbury’s also creates bespoke cakes / cupcakes for special days like birthdays, weddings, bridal showers, baby showers et al.

Fresh off the oven!
Fresh off the oven!

I sat down for my breakfast that consisted of oven-fresh flavoured croissant and coffee. Wife and I cooed over the zaa’tar croissant and the cheese variant. They were flaky, perfectly baked with the heat permeating to the deepest inner folds of flour. This is croissant could have you go silent for some time.

Coffee and more!
Coffee and more!

Set your Bloomsbury’s date at the Dubai Mall, near Wafi Gourmet with the café open from 10AM till midnight on weekdays and extending an hour on weekends.

In Abu Dhabi, find them at Al Wahda Mall, Mushrif Mall and Y Tower Building. In case you fancy a drive up to Ras Al Khaimah, look for Bloomsbury’s at the newly opened RAK Mall.

Fresh ingredients, aesthetic and artistic, and made hot off the oven, daily, Bloomsbury’s Artisan Bakery is that perfect place to sit with a book or watch shoppers walk past with a hot, buttered croissant or decadent cupcake and coffee.

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Bengali New Year at La Porte Des Indes

My mother is a Michelin-star chef; in my head. All these years, she made me and my father, food that was quintessentially Bengali and that tasted just as good, for years together. My friends from school and uni, colleagues, girlfriends, cousins, wider family have sworn by her kitchen. About 90% Bengalis would want to copy that first statement of mine and paste it up as their ode to their mum’s cooking. Now you’d know that it would be difficult to please a Bengali with Bengali food.

The Bengali New Year Menu at La Porte Des Indes was a short, one-week affair with head chef Vishal Rane preparing a set Bengali meal, on till 18 April. While the old ad-agency visualizer in me felt that the Bengali menu (with a typo) looked like a cyclo-styled insert in a newspaper, I told myself to wait for the food. And it did not disappoint me.

L to R: Fish Fry, Prawn Croquet, Brinjal Fry and Banana Flower Croquet.
L to R: Fish Fry, Prawn Croquet, Brinjal Fry and Banana Flower Croquet.

The story begins with a plate of mixed fritters, something any Bong would consume even on a weak stomach! I tucked into the fish fry Calcutta style; said a warm hello to the Chingri Chop or prawn croquet; paid my respect to the fried egg-plant or Begun Bhaja and was civil to the Mochar Chop (banana flower croquet). Also on the table was a chicken stir fry with green chillies that I found to be an illegal immigrant on the table.

The main course appeared on the table in a jiffy. And then it was a concert on the plate! Flowery basmati rice with a hint of clarified butter (Ghee Bhaat) and Bengali gram dal with coconut (Chholar Dal) were definitely the couple of the evening. The lentil was cooked to perfection, with the right amount of sweetness and coconut slivers added to the taste. Certainly took me back to the streets of Bagbazar where my cousins and I would gobble down many a ‘kachauri’ or deep-fried fluffed Indian flatbread with ‘chholar dal’. The other memorable dishes were the home-style ‘Aloo Kopi’r Dalna’ and the rich ‘Kosha Mangsho’ or Indian mutton curry with velvety thick gravy. There was a chicken variety of the same for those that are not fond of mutton or lamb. They went best with the fluffy as Snowbell ‘Luchi’ or refined flour deep-fried flatbread. I shameless asked for 2 ‘Luchis’ more as I usually do at home. The other Bengali favourite was the ‘Chingri Machcher Malai Curry’ or prawns prepared in a coconut curry. I found the curry to be a tad high on salt that did not balance out the dish.

While we gave the main course some time to settle down a bit, I managed to catch up with the chef who was posted in Kolkata for a brief bit. He elaborated on plans of doing an exhaustive Bengali menu for this year’s Durga Puja. Now that said, most would be putting down La Porte Des Indes as the ‘must-visit’ during pujas.

Dessert plate: Rabri, Kheer Chamcham and Rossogolla
Dessert plate: Rabri, Kheer Chamcham and Rossogolla

Dessert consisted of rabri, kheer chamcham and rasogolla. It would be a travesty to translate and foster a sense of taste through words; so I shall let it be. It would have been worthwhile, however, to have tasted the menu or wait for the next Bong outing this year around October.

3 Likes:

  • The Calcutta style fish fry!
  • The Chholar Dal – hits the sweet spot
  • The Kheer Chamcham – makes you want to ask for more.

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LA PORTE DES INDES DUBAI LOCATION:
The Address Dubai Mall
GPS Location: 25.199777,55.27732
T:+971 4 438 8610
E: contactus@laportedesindes.ae