For some reason this section always makes me go ‘ta na na na naa Inspector Gadget’ 😀 … This section is dedicated to all the fantastic cafe’s/restaurants offering delicious baked goodies around town! Only the best make it to this section so be sure to try out the recommended. If your favourite hangout place hasn’t made it to this section yet, then please do email me at thebakealogue@gmail.com to tell me more about it! 🙂

……… Pick of the week  ……..

SPONTIPHORIA

Boutique and Bakery
Was Square, Al Safa
www.facebook.com/spontiphoria
Tel: 04 – 338 8827

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And I’m back!! How’s it going everyone? Apologies for the silent treatment the last few weeks, but had a lot of visitors recently and I went into complete lazy mode after they left! My friends have been nagging me the whole time to get back on baking track but I just wasn’t finding that inspiration anywhere to snap out of this phase … that was up until I came across a brilliant cafe yesterday that did the trick and made me want to bake again …

I’m referring to Spontiphoria Cafe on Wasl Square in Dubai. This cafe was truly love at first sight for me .. it was very bright and welcoming, and had such a cosy set up and ‘feel good’ factor, it almost felt like walking into the brightest room of your house! Spontiphoria is the first of its kind in Dubai as it’s actually a boutique as well a bakery. I was there to attend a Basic Baking Demo session yesterday which my friend had luckily signed me up for (and will probably expect baked goodies in return now as a thank you). I was greeted by the friendly owner, Sidiqa Sohail, and it was great to speak to someone who also has a strong passion for baking and had come such a long way to set up a wonderful cafe that had obviously become a crowd favourite by many.

As I waited for the demo to start, I flicked through the menu which was an absolute treat! They have so much to offer be it breakfast, snacks or simply desserts. The sandwiches they offer as snacks looked quite interesting as they were named after different cities worldwide. They served mini chutney sandwiches as the nibbles during the demo, and they were absolutely delicious! Definitely ordering those again when I visit next. But the part that stood out for me the most, was the section named ‘Dessert as meals!’ … and I do not joke, when I say there was a ‘Chocolate Burger’ on that menu as well! Now that is a dream come true for chocoholics like me! But as I was there for the demo, I had to behave, and decided to save digging in to all the wonderful treats at Spontiphoria for my next visit. It didn’t stop me from tasting their best seller ‘Salted Caramel Brownies’ though …. yummylicious!

The baking demo in itself was very informative. It was a good turnout, and everyone absolutely loved icing their own mini cupcakes towards the end. Spontiphoria does host many events throughout the year, so make sure you visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/spontiphoria to keep track of it all.

My overall experience at Spontiphoria was an excellent one! I’ve always had a soft corner for cafe’s with the ‘home-made’ feel to it, and Spontiphoria definitely ticks that box. I’ve already made plans with friends to visit Spontiphoria again soon and will keep you posted on all the new goodies I try out. In the meantime, make sure you make your way there too and you’ll see what I meant about the ‘feel good’ factor.

Thank you Spontiphoria team for the wonderful experience!

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SUGAR MOO

Online/Home Delivery for desserts
www.sugarmoo.com
Tel: 800-SUGAR (78427)

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If you live in Dubai and are a dessert-freak like me,then have i got news for you!! There’s finally a proper dessert delivery place that has been launched in Dubai by the name of Sugar Moo. The Bakealogue was fortunate enough to be part of their soft launch which means i’ve already had a sneak peak and tasting session of their desserts (I love my job!!) and couldn’t wait to tell you guys about it coz man were they divine!!! But lets start from the beginning … when I first heard about Sugar Moo, my question was probably the same as what most of you are thinking right now – “Sugar Moo? What does that even mean!” – the explanation was pretty simple as Raki Phillips, co-founder of Sugar Moo, explained to me “The two most common ingredients used in making desserts are sugar and milk … put that together and what does that give you? Sugar Moo!” … And now we’re all probably going “Ahhhhh, creative!!!”. But their creativity doesn’t just stop at the name, as if you have a look at their menu their desserts aren’t the usual we’ve had time and again and pretty much bored of now to be honest! They have really thought out their desserts quite well, and come up with something completely new! While almost everything on their menu tastes incredibly delicious and different, but two desserts that deserve a special mention here are the “Twisted Apple Crumble Cheesecake” and “Seductive Cheesecake with a Surprise”. As you can see in the picture the presentation is immaculate as it is, but that’s not what sold me here … I’ve never been a fan of cheesecakes so the plan was i’ll have a bite or two and then share with my husband whose more of a cheesecake fan. So I started off with pretty low expectations and my thoughts through the first few bites were as follows… “Hmm, not bad”, “This isn’t bad at all” , “This is pretty good actually” , “Ahmed, I don’t think i’m sharing this with you anymore, get your own!” … *and then when halfway through the cheesecake* “Omg, look there’s a surprise in the middle!”. And I’m not even kidding here, that is the uniqueness of it all. They actually have a surprise element in the middle of their cheesecake (different surprise in each one) which completely takes you by surprise and changes the taste completely! So it’s practically like eating two of your favourite desserts at once. In fact, my husband who doesn’t comment much on desserts couldn’t resist either and was full of praise. I’m kinda debating with myself right now over if I should tell you what the surprise was or leave you curious. But I think curiosity would be the better option here as that’s how you will end up pleasantly surprised like me, and enjoy every single bite that remains. So these two are the highly recommended desserts I would encourage you to order from Sugar Moo. They have a range of other delicious goodies to choose from too though such as the Tootsie Rolls or even the Cupookies (another creative name they came up with for cupcakes & cookies combined in the shape of a cup!). I think their packaging and presentation deserves a special mention too, as they deliver the desserts in such a nice way that it reaches you in mint condition, and won’t be a case of smudged up desserts. In fact the first thought that I had when I saw them was how great this would be for parties as it looked very proper and presentable! So there’s another thought for those of you hosting a party soon! ;). I bet now you’re probably convinced that if Sugar Moo really is as great as I make it sound, then the pricing will be over the top too! Well, then you’re in for another surprise my friend, coz I thought it was quite reasonably priced. Most of their items are priced in the AED 25 – 40 range. But even if it was priced a lot more, I’d certainly go for it knowing how incredible it tasted! Right, that’s enough from me now, and time for you to pick up the phone, dial 800 SUGAR (78427), and order away. If you’re out of phone credits or haven’t paid your bill (:D) then not to worry as you can order online too at http://www.sugarmoo.com. 😀 Make sure you’re home though coz Sugar Moo is pretty punctual and desserts are delivered on the dot! Thank you so much Sugar Moo for the wonderful opportunity to taste your desserts. Sugar Moo is a wonderful concept and a welcoming thought for home bakers like myself who look forward to days off! All the best from The Bakealogue 🙂 …

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PANTRY CAFE

Wasl Square
Website: http://pantrycafe.me
Tel: 00971-4-3883868

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Finally got time to have a proper catch up with my friends over coffee yesterday … as Dubai is overflowing with tourists these days we were avoiding the shopping mall at all costs and were on the lookout for a nice quiet place … so our choice of venue yesterday was Pantry Cafe located in Wasl Square, Dubai. As soon as I stepped inside, I knew it was totally my kind of place as I love cafe’s which have a lot of personality to it! We were greeted by friendly staff, and handed mini iPads as the menu (what a great idea in this fast-paced world!). Whether you choose to have breakfast, brunch, or just simple desserts, the Cafe has something for everyone. I went for the Apple Crumble dessert, which was quite good and not too sweet. But the part about the Cafe which I liked the most was the kitchen gift items on display. There were a lot of cute yet useful items to choose from such as baking sets, colourful mugs, and a lot more (refer to the shelves pic to see the variety!). The overall ambience was the biggest selling point for me, and though I only had dessert this time, would definitely be going back again to try out their breakfast! So if you happen to be in Dubai and are tired of meeting up in malls, then you might want to consider Pantry Cafe …Thank You to the entire staff at Pantry Cafe for making my visit a very special one. 🙂

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SAPORI DI BICE

City Walk, Jumeirah
Website: www.saporidibice.com
Tel: +971-4-344-2550

 

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This week I’m taking you on a mini trip to Italy …and if you have been to Sapori di Bice then you will know I am not exaggerating one bit! I stumbled upon Sapori di Bice by chance, as my girlfriends made a last minute plan to meet up there for breakfast. The minute I stepped inside I just knew I had to come back again for my cake spy section … Sapori di Bice has such a positive vibe about it, and is one of those rare places where whether you go alone, with friends, or even kids, you will feel very much at home. They have an all-day dining menu and the portions served are generous enough to be shared! So if you’re feeling the pinch a bit, then don’t worry as Sapori di Bice will be your perfect choice to enjoy good quality food at a very reasonable price, in a very warm and friendly-setting. The interior at Sapori di Bice has been done to perfection, with every little minute detail taken in to account to remind you of Italy. I’ll let the slideshow do all the talking as far as that’s concerned.

Whether you’re in to savouries, sweets, or even just one of those healthy fruit and veg kind, there is a section for everyone. Everything at Sapori di Bice looks so fresh and welcoming and is prepared by a full Italian culinary team. Starting with the savouries, there is a very good selection of freshly made bread served with different kinds of sauce. One basket of bread would be more than enough for 2 people to share, and costs just 20 Dirhams. Kids will particularly enjoy the pizza section, as they do get to be involved in the making-process and choose their own character shapes and toppings. Heading over to desserts, there is a large selection of cakes, muffins, and mini appetisers. My choice for the day was ‘Italian Cheesecake’ and I just had to try their ‘Grandmother Cookies’ filled with raspberry jam. Both were an absolute delight to have. In fact I will head back there on my day off with a book in tow just to have those ‘Grandmother Cookies’ again with a cup of coffee while soaking up the sun (until the good weather lasts!). I spent approximately AED 80 for the 3 items ordered. Now that is a very reasonable price considering the portions that were served.

With the weekend coming up, Sapori di Bice would be our ‘pick of the week’ for you to enjoy. It is the perfect place to unwind after a long week. So make the most of this amazing weather and enjoy some good quality food with people who matter most to you. Thank you to the entire staff at Sapori di Bice for making our visit a special one! Will definitely be back again soon!

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BOOK MUNCH

Wasl Square
Website: www.bookmunchcafe.com
Tel: 00971-4-3884006

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Whenever it comes to working on The Bake-a-logue, I always prefer a nice cosy cafe with a quiet corner, where I can plan out the blogs weekly activities . Well today, not only did I find the perfect cafe, but also one that was full of inspiration as well. I’m referring to Book Munch – the first literary cafe in Dubai located on Wasl Square. If you love reading, and if you love your food, then Book Munch won’t disappoint at all. The overall look is so fresh and vibrant, you feel very much at home and form an instant connection with the place! But hey don’t get too comfortable, as there are certain etiquettes you need to follow here as well! 🙂

Book Munch was simply perfect from the baking point of view as well. Not only did they have a good selection of baked goodies to choose from, but they also had fantastic baking books on display. If we talk about the baked goodies, then the best-selling item here is the ‘Carrot & Courgette’ cake. I must admit, I did think twice when I heard that combination, but I am so glad I went for it as it really was a delicious moist cake that blended so well with the lemon cream cheese frosting. It was a very generous portion too, so almost felt like a double treat! I spent approximately AED 50 for the dessert and cup of coffee. But if you’re coming in with a friend then I would suggest you go for the Madhatters Afternoon Tea Party for 2 which would cost AED 89 and includes both savoury and sweets. Sounds fun too! It might be worth mentioning here that Book Munch does serve breakfast and lunch as well, so do have a look at the menu on their website. Overall, Book Munch has a good variety of books on display, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a variety of baking books as well. My pick of the day was ‘Mary Berry at Home’. In fact I might just buy that one next time, as it had such good recipes in there.

So with the perfect weather in Dubai these days, a picnic at one of the parks would be ideal right? Well, guess what .. Book Munch also offers picnic baskets full of food and beverages to suit different age groups, a picnic rug, and complementary passes to Safa Park. You don’t even have to worry about the sandwiches getting cold as the two are located quite near to one another. Isn’t that fantastic? And not just that, Book Munch also hosts regular events such as Poetry Night – perfect for all you poets out there, Cook the Book – a session featuring different chefs who share their recipes with you, Story Telling – perfect for the one with kids, and tomorrow they will be hosting ‘Cooking Classes for Couples’ as their Valentine Special.

So now you know I wasn’t joking when I said Book Munch really is the first cafe of it’s kind in Dubai, and I’m certain it will continue to do really well! If you haven’t been there yet, then add it to your list this weekend, as you wont be disappointed. I know I’ll be going back there again very soon! Thank You to the entire staff at Book Munch for making my visit a very special one. 🙂

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ANGELINA

The Dubai Mall – Ground  Floor
Website: http://www.angelina-paris.fr/en/
Tel: +971 -4- 442 9112

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We’re still a month away but the ads on the radio are already in full bloom on the best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day! When one thinks Valentine’s, then the first place that automatically pops in mind is Paris … so this afternoon, we decided to have afternoon tea in Paris! Well not quite the Paris in France, rather the brand new French cafe that recently opened in Dubai Mall … Angelina! Once inside, you actually forget for a while you are in Dubai as the whole decor and ambience of Angelina symbolises the French taste! Angelina seems to be a popular choice for breakfast and you can always count on seeing the cafe packed with visitors. So if you are planning to go to Angelina, probably best to make a reservation in advance to avoid disappointment!

As you know by now, the first thing we look for when visiting any cafe/restaurant is the service being provided. Pleased to say that the staff at Angelina were very welcoming and greeted us with a smile at all times. With things getting off to a good start it was bound to get better as next in line was the display of delicious treats Angelina has to offer. Their signature pastry is Le Mont Blanc, and Choc Mont-Blanc – delicious cakes made up of meringue, whipped cream, dark chocolate, and chestnut cream vermicelli. Anything with meringue in it tastes magical as it is, but thatcombined with chocolate just adds a very unique taste – highly recommended! However, there is another pastry they do, called Babylone, which was enticing me right from the word go thanks to its bright red colour (what a perfect dessert for Valentines!). Once I was told it was an almond meringue biscuit topped with vanilla mousse and raspberry sauce, I knew I just had to try that one out too (and feel guilty later!) …simply delicious and so worth it! As far as drinks go, Hot Chocolate is another favourite at Angelina’s, and you’ll find many agreeing with your choice of drink at the cafe! There were a lot more desserts such as eclairs and macaroons which unfortunately we couldn’t try out today, but with the pleasant experience we had at Angelina’s, we are sure we will be going back for another visit very soon! :). As far as the pricing goes, for their baked items together with a cup of tea, you would roughly end up spending between AED 150 – 190 for 2 people. Definitely worth every Dirham because visiting Angelina should be about marking a special occasion in the perfect ambience, and price is only secondary when it comes to that. If you’re still not convinced, then lets just say it’s much cheaper than actually flying your loved one over to Paris for a cup of tea! 🙂

The Bake-a-logue team would highly recommend visiting Angelina for Valentine’s Day as the entire ambience seems perfect for it! But be warned, as it is a very happening and popular cafe in Dubai Mall, so probably best to make reservations in advance! Thank you to the entire staff at Angelina’s for making our visit today a special one! Will definitely be back again soon!

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LA MAISON DU CHOCOLAT

The Dubai Mall – Ground floor
Website: www.lamaisonduchocolat.com
Tel: 00971 50 424 3638

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Yesterday was one of those days where you’ve had a long day at work and feel the need to treat yourself to a nice cafe packed with goodies to re-energise. La Maison du Chocolat is the perfect choice for such days! It launched in Dubai two weeks ago and is located in a perfect cosy corner of The Dubai mall free from the hustle bustle of the crowd. So it really does become a whole lot more about some quality ‘me’ time (and not many to watch you gobble up all those delicious chocs without any guilt!). The chocolates at La Maison du Chocolat need no introduction as they are world-renowned for it, so this review will be more focused on the baking side as that’s what The Bake-a-logue is all about. I couldn’t resist taking some pics of them though as they looked so tempting wrapped up perfectly in boxes. So if you’re cup of tea is ready lets get on with the review as there honestly was no room left for disappointment at La Maison du Chocolat (yes, I like repeating the name over and over as it’s the only French I know :D)….

The staff at La Maison du Chocolat is very friendly and welcoming. That’s not an important factor for a lot of people but it is for me because everyone deserves to feel special. Trust me, the smile only got broader as I walked further in (not only because a very famous Bollywood actor John Abraham happened to be buying chocolates there), as the display of goodies you see at first glance is very impressive. Once again, my decision-making power hit the floor as I kept hopping from one dessert to the other. At first I wanted that ever-so tempting Pleyel, which is a classic chocolate delight with almonds, but then the generous helping of chocolate mousse seemed equally tempting as did the chocolate tart! Sadly enough I convinced myself I need to over-look chocolate this time and try out something new … so I settled for the Charlotte Framboise-Chocolat. I would highly recommend this as it was very light to have (obviously lesser the guilt then), and had the perfect combination of chocolate ganache and raspberry inside … a delightful combo for the taste buds! I wasn’t going to stop just there though and had to try their macaroons as well as the choice was just incredible. These are no ordinary-tasting macaroons. They are filled with a special chocolate ganache to stay true to the origin of La Maison du Chocolat. So the different flavoured macaroon shell together with the chocolate ganache filling makes it unique and a must-have. As far as the pricing goes, I would say you would roughly end up spending AED 100 for a cup of tea with one of the baked goodies on the side. That might seem a bit on the higher side to some, but remember, La Maison du Chocolat is all about treating yourself somewhere special, so it is worth every dirham spent.

I’ll say very little about their chocolates as I feel they need no explanation and best explain themselves while being consumed. Just have a look at the perfect boxes to wrap them in though .. don’t they make excellent give-aways? Was also impressed with the fruit flavoured chocolates you see in the pics as well. You should definitely try these when you visit La Maison du Chocolat.

Time to wrap up another review now… But I will say La Maison du Chocolat did achieve what I went there for which was a special treat. So if you’re having one of those dull days too or feel the need to impress, then think no further and head straight to La Maison du Chocolat as you wont be disappointed and walk out feeling good about yourself. Thank you La Maison du Chocolat for a great experience!

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BLOOMSBURY’S

The Dubai Mall – Lower Ground Floor
Tel: 04 325 3166
Email: bloomsburys.dubaimall@tablez.com

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You know you live in the Middle East when you love your tea! My friends and I have been in search of a new tea place to hang out at for a while now, and I’m glad to say I found just the ideal place today …. Bloomsbury’s!! This trendy boutique cafe located in Dubai Mall has something to offer for everyone … whether you need a hot cup of tea to re-energise yourself after a long day of shopping, a cool drink to quench your thirst, or just indulge in some deliciously baked goodies then look no further .. Bloomsbury’s is your answer! The baking aroma and heavenly display of baked goodies makes it impossible to just pass by without having a quick sneak peak inside. Once inside, then there’s no way you’re going out without tasting their cupcakes! The overall first impression you get of Bloomsbury’s is ‘this place will definitely make me fatter and my wallet thinner’ because of the trendy setting. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover it is quite reasonably priced and great value for money. As for the calories, well, you’re in Dubai Mall for God sake .. you’re bound to burn it all off by the time you get to your car! :).

Just have a look at all these goodies! It’s a good thing they have really friendly and patient staff as you turn in to a small kid at the sight of all these cupcakes and keep changing  your mind about which one to have when you’re finally at the counter! The entire staff at Bloomsbury’s has been trained by celebrity British Aritisan Baker, Lilly Vanilli, and have also ventured into English culinary territories such as salads, sandwiches and plenty more. If you’re in a hurry then you can also grab a quick takeaway from Bloomsbury’s as they have the cutest cupcake parcels to carry your cupcakes in (be it 1,,2,6 or even 12!). Bloomsbury’s have taken everyone into consideration and even offer cupcakes for the diabetic. How thoughtful! Bloomsbury’s offer Afternoon Tea daily from 12:30 – 19:30. They also offer customised cakes and cupcakes. So if you’re planning a special celebration then you can always book your order with Bloomsbury’s 24 hours in advance. It’s a really nice touch and gives the feel of a more personalised touch to suit your requirements. 🙂

After a good 10 minutes of exploring I finally settled for a lemon tart with a cup of tea! Their baking is exceptional! The cupcakes range from AED 12 – 16, whereas the tea or coffee ranges from AED 16 – 22. So on an average for 2 people I’d say you would end up spending AED 80 maximum.

My overall first impression of Bloomsbury’s was a fantastic one. And I would definitely recommend it to all of you out there. It’s the kind of cafe where you can just relax and unwind with friends without keeping track of time! It’s really hard to find an excuse not to go to Bloomsbury’s and I would definitely be going back again with my friends! :). Thank you Bloomsbury’s for a great experience.

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10 responses »

  1. Pingback: La Maison du Chocolat opens its doors to Dubai | The Bake-a-logue

  2. Pingback: Afternoon Tea in Paris! | The Bake-a-logue

  3. Pingback: Are you ready to take a quick trip to Italy? | The Bake-a-logue

  4. Pingback: Book Munch – we finally have a literary cafe in Dubai! | The Bake-a-logue

  5. Pingback: You’re invited! :) | The Bake-a-logue

  6. Pingback: Catch up over Coffee? | The Bake-a-logue

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