Afternoon Tea at Kambaa - The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai

Afternoon Tea! What does it evoke? Dainty sandwiches? Beautiful china and matching silver? Respect for ceremony at a time when life is becoming too easy and casual? Little girls in pretty dresses with their dads having a cup of tea? Whatever it is to you, Afternoon Tea is just a wonderful treat that the English have gifted us. The venue for my latest experience of this tradition is at the fabulous The Address Dubai Marina, at its lobby lounge, Kambaa. 

Three tiers, as is customary in fairness,  greet us, with scones  at the top. Rather appropriate. The centre piece for me in an afternoon tea set is the scones. The set has two types - a raisin scone and a plain classic scone, if you will. The scones make the afternoon experience for me because everything hinges on them. You can have excellent pastries and finger sandwiches, but the scones have to be perfect. Today, the scones are just that. They break without crumbling - so they have the right level of firmness. They are still warm, but there is still a bit of crustiness as I bite into them. Home made jam and Devonshire cream make them even better, even though I could gladly have them on their own. That is the mark of a good scone, isn't it? Can you have it without any jam or cream and still love it.  

The sweetness continues as we try the bottom tier - English fruit cake, Lemon cake and Lemon tart, strawberry tart and of course the Opera cake with its local pistachio twist.. There are two pastries that really stand out - the Opera with its decadently robust coffee flavours and creaminess is a must eat while my second favourite is a less obvious one - the English cake. Yes it is quite a plain cake, but try dipping it in your tea. Nice. 

The second tier comprises of the savoury items; Salmon and cheese roll avocado cream, Zucchini and carrot roulade with bell pepper, Tuna tataki and mango salsa, Turkey with tomato raisin chutney  and pastrami caramelised onion and caper horse radish. The first thing that excites me is that distinctly different breads are used, and each one really is a good match. 

I actually try all 5, and they are all of such  high quality that it would be hard to choose the best, but not one to sit on the proverbial fence, I have to say that the turkey is exceptional because it was so different. Turkey is usually thinly sliced in all its processed glory and part of a sandwich. The turkey is smartly presented here. Start with it.

Then, the Zucchini and carrot roulade with bell pepper would cause many a meat eater sleepless nights over their choice. What makes it the wow factor though is the zattar baguette that adds that gentle zattar flavour and the baguette which brings a crispy texture to bear on the sandwich. Finally, the pastrami caramelised onion and caper horse radish has the best balance of flavours among all these wonderful treats. Sweet, sour and salty all come together nicely!

Finally, food is about memories. The truth is that in a couple weeks I will not remember all the savoury and sweet treats I had as part of the afternoon tea, but I will not forget the experience. Integral to that memory is people. Karen, who took care of us all  afternoon, is the reason my daughter will also remember the experience. Karen is able to connect with young and old without being patronising. You see, kids can see through anything plastic, but Karen is all real. Service from the heart - isn't that what Food and Beverage should be about? 

While this  the afternoon is quite traditional, the setting is not stiff or stuck up at all. The open plan lounge makes it possible for the overall mood to be really relaxed and laid back.  At 135AED, it is a good value for money deal, considering the quality of the ingredients and the tea, itself an occasion - TWG. 

So, regardless of what Afternoon tea is to you, make sure you indulge, and when next you are in Dubai, drop in at Kambaa and you will leave having created another memory because Afternoon Tea is much more than just afternoon tea.

Kambaa Lounge
The Address Dubai Marina,
Dubai Marina

PO Box 329323Dubai
The Address Dubai Marina
+971 4 436 7777

Afternoon Tea with unlimited tea and coffee 135AED
Daily 3-6pm

Brandon Stoltenkamp
Disclaimer: I tried Afternoon Tea at Kambaa by invitation of the hotel.