Cafe Columbia, Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi, UAE
I was delighted to be invited to try out the updated Classic High Tea menu at Café Columbia, Beach Rotana. Having stayed at a long-term suite at Beach Rotana last year, Café Columbia was a regular go-to hot spot for me whether for a quick bite before a squash game or a coffee date with my hubby. The classic high tea set at Café Columbia gave me the best impression and I recommend it to my friends every time they ask me which high tea to go for. Now that they have recently updated their menu again, that’s another reason to pay them another visit.
Reasons why this is my ultimate favorite afternoon tea place in the Abu Dhabi:
- Presentation 5/5 – The sets at Café Columbia are so beautifully designed. From the tea pots, tea cups and the 3 tier stand the set come on, you will be impressed! I think the pictures really speak for itself on the presentation. I find that the labeling of the jars, the mini chocolate sauce squeezers combined with a tie-on meringue ball at the top made this set complete and absolutely adorable!
- Best Value for Money 5/5 – For 1 persons portion of high tea for 135 dhs, the set comes with 24+ items. For most high teas, the usual 24 set item is usually meant to be shared among 2 orders. However, for Café Columbia, their standard 24 item set is for 1 order only. The first time I ordered the classic high tea, my hubby had to ask the waitress to confirm it was only indeed for 1 order and not 2. Each time we have gone, we only opt for 1 high tea set to share between 2 people. There is an entertainer available (buy 1 get 1) but with the large quantity, there is always left-over even for the 2 of us. Entertainer will be a good idea for a group of 4 sharing 2 high tea sets. However, I do have to note that only 1 drink (tea/coffee) does come with the 1 order.
- Location & Ambience 4/5– Beach Rotana is in a central location within the city. With Abu Dhabi Mall right beside it, I find Café Columbia to be a convenient meet up location for high tea or a dessert night. The Café itself is very casual, you can sit out in the lobby where they play live-piano and violin on some nights. The terrace is also another great place to chat once the weather cools down. If you’re looking for a more private location, they have a few tables in the café where you could also opt for alcoholic pairings. I always love to sit in the lobby tables closets to the windows for the best natural lighting to capture some beautiful photos for the memories.
- Quality & Service 4/5 – I personally met Chef Ajinka, who walked me through some of the most delectable dessert offerings at Beach Rotana. Made fresh everyday, I seriously drooled over some of the cakes and pastries up for display in their café. From each bite of the dessert, I could tell they were made fresh and thoughtfully. Each dessert had handcrafted details to it, whether it had edible paint strokes or the carefully placed gold flakes. I especially love the macarons and the scones with clotted cream. You can always tell if their high tea set is good quality by the quality of the scone. 😉
We enjoyed a lovely time this afternoon with Jay, our waitress.
- Innovation 5/5 – Café Columbia made it high on the list this year with their newly updated afternoon tea set menu. No where else have I had an amazing goat cheese cranberry polenta roll. What a wonderfully delicious combination! I also really enjoyed the carrot cake with caramel popcorn, what an unexpectedly amazing duo. Each item on this set was different than last year’s set menu. Check it out!Available in the new classic set:
- Crispy Meringue sphere
- Chocolate Truffle cone
- Lemon Choux, Hazelnut Sponge
- Fresh Raspberry Tart
- Classic Opera
- Duo Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry Jelly
- Carrot Cake with cheese frosting Caramel Popcorn
- Raspberry Macarons
- Chocolate dipped Anise cookie
- Scones with jam and clotted cream
- Smoked salmon roll on pumpernickel bread
- Pastrami rolled Asparagus
- Baked Goat cheese cranberry on Polenta Roll
- Avocado Boursin in Multigrain Toast
Of course the menu will change according to what set you choose. The afternoon tea sets at Cafe Columbia have 3 different options you can opt for – (1) the classic, (2) chocolate decadence and (3) berry mania. If you are in the mood to celebrate, they also have a 2 glasses of bubbly add-on available too!
All Tea sets available daily 3:00 – 6:00 pm.
Advise to call ahead as items are made fresh daily 02 697 9011
Apart from their tea sets, they have dessert cakes and pastries available from their display tables. Baked fresh daily, these combinations may change day to day according to availability. Whole cakes are also available from the display or by request. The amazing chefs can customize the order to your preferences and make a beautiful cake for your day. Just check out the cake display window at Cafe Columbia for ideas!
And there you have it, 5 reasons to have high tea & more at Café Columbia! Now who wants to share a tea set with me?
Located in Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
Al Zahiyah Area (Tourst Club Area)
P.O. Box 45200, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Telephone number: 02 697 9011; firstname.lastname@example.org