One of the lessons in life that I always keep in mind is to never judge a book by its cover. Just like every other human being, I have done some false judgments in the past; mistakes that I regret. But everyday is new day, every mistake can be corrected; another day is another chance to get to know someone or something better. I'm not just talking about people, I'm pertaining to dine-out spots as well. I bet most of us would chose a restaurant that looks fancy outside. I've done that a hundred times, and often times I leave the place unsatisfied.
One late afternoon, Ed and I went out for a stroll at the Old Dubai district. We were in Bastakiya when we noticed the Arabian Tea House Cafe. I was fascinated with the wind catchers and not with the tea house itself. The whole cafe is covered with a fortress wall; it looks mysterious but not too inviting for me. Outside, Arabian Tea House Cafe looked so sad, plain and empty.
We went to and fro the area, read about the specialty drinks at the cafe's banner outside, read about the camel burgers at the nearby restaurant, then back to the cafe's plain entrance door. Ed and I asked each other I-can't-decide-you-decide questions: Do you want some tea? Should we try the specialty drinks? Should we give Arabian Tea House a try? Should we enter the mysterious door?
We eventually went inside, and yes, we were surprised! Who would have thought that behind the fortress wall is a lovely garden cafe with a shady tree, flower pots, white basket chairs, draped sheer curtains and blue painted wooden bench with crisp white pillow covers.
Arabian Tea House Cafe is a very romantic place, I almost forgot that we were in the busy Old Dubai area. There was no loud music, all that we heard was a relaxing sound of chirping birds! Far from my expectations, the cafe was not empty and not plain. It is serene, not sad.
On the menu book, we read about Arabian Tea House Cafe's history. Before it turned into a cafe, the place was a home of a well-known pearl merchant. It was converted into a traditional cafe 15 years ago. Since then, Arabian Tea House caters premium teas and traditional delicacies to both local patrons and international tourists.
The cafe has an extensive selection of tea; from simple ones like Chamomile and Earl Grey, to mixed specialty drinks like Black Lemon & Berry and Chocolate Mint. Ed and I are chocolate lovers, so Chocolate Mint Tea was ordered without second thoughts. Along with our tea, we wanted to have an Arabic dessert. Date and Walnut cake was our initial choice, but the wait staff sadly told us that it's not available. We chose the ultimate comfort food instead, Chocolate Cake!
The chocolate cake was more of a chocolate mousse, but it was delicious; sweet and simple. The heavenly chocolatey goodness reminds me of Paul's Fleur de Lis. The Chocolate Mint Tea was far beyond perfect! It has a great blend of mild chocolate taste, fresh mint and relaxing tea.
Arabian Tea House Cafe is wonderful. It is that relaxing place you always long to go to after a busy stressful week at work. This is another "Don't judge a book by its cover" lesson.
a slice of Chocolate Cake: 18 AED
a pot of Chocolate Mint Tea: 18 AED
Total 36 AED
Bastakiya Heritage Area
near Dubai Museum