TGI-Tea: The Caramel High Tea at City Center Rotana

Thursdays for us here in this Arabic region could mean a lot of things: start of a weekend, party, laundry night, or even just rest binge-watching your favorite flick over Netflix. While the rest of the world would be screaming “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday!” well, we have “Thank God it’s Thursday” instead. And if party, laundry or binge-watching is not your thing, why not try meeting your friends for high tea on a Thursday?

Caramel Lobby Lounge at City Center Rotana invited me and my friends to try their high tea offering which started in February. While I call it as “afternoon tea” rather than “high tea”, it’s a mere “tomāto-tomäto” thing with just a few differentiating variables. Bottom line, it is an afternoon affair with tea, a luscious array of food and a hearty conversation with friends.

The Menu

So how did it go?

If I will be asked to put it in one word, “Divine” would still be an understatement. What I initially thought of a typical “tea-scone-jam-cake” afternoon combo was more of like a lavish spread of all things good (savory and sweet) all paired with your choice of tea. Executive Chef Matias Ayala really poured out his expertise in coming up with the best selection of pastries and sandwiches making it an experience on its own rather than just an afternoon drinking tea.

Upon our arrival, the gracious staff escorted us to our reserved seat and explained how the afternoon will go. Despite the sophisticated set up (complete with live piano performance), you’ll feel right at home with the hospitality. No room for intimidation.

Cozy Athmosphere
Live performance. He’s giving John Legend a run for his money.
These meringue will make any sweet tooth happy. Just don’t tell the dentist.
Plenty of pastries and sandwiches.

One of the wait staff explained to us that we can try the tea samples first before making that all important decision of which tea (from literally a dozen choices) to commit to.

TEA-nk Twice

Extensive choices for your afternoon tea.

In partnership with Dilmah, Caramel offers a wide selection of tea including Ceylon Tea in Breakfast, Apple Pie and Vanilla, Chocolate and Mint, Pomegranate and Mint, Earl Grey, Mint Green Tea, Pure Peppermint, Natural Lemon Verbena among others. And compared to their contemporaries, Caramel lets you choose to sample each before you commit. With such a wide selection, it is really hard to decide. Tough call. I ended up having the chocolate and mint.

 

Choose from your good old green, jasmine, earl grey and breakfast.
To interesting flavors like Apple Pie and Vanilla, Pomegranate and Mint and even Chocolate and Mint
My own Ceylon Tea with Chocolate and Mint

You could also opt to have mocktails if you haven’t made up your mind on which tea to choose.

Refreshing mocktails for the warm afternoon.

Scones and more (a lot more)

And just when we thought that the decision-making process is over, Chef Matias gave us an even harder task as the staff will bring in the assortment of mini sandwiches and sweets.

Thank you Joy for making us right at home the entire afternoon.
Towers of goodies.
Cucumber textured mint cream cheese sandwich, Foie gras mousse and smoked duck, cranberry jam sandwich, Smoked Salmon pinwheel sandwich.

Sandwiches include smoked salmon and rillettes with crushed avocado and fried caper, coronation chicken sandwich with green apple slightly curried mayo, foie gras mousse and smoked duck, roasted beef triangle with baby spinach, celery and onion jam. Those who crave for savory sandwiches will surely be satisfied.

Lavish spread.

For that sweet tooth, you can have warm scones with clotted cream, homemade jam, and preserves. Or dig in with florentines, fig tart, lemon meringue tart, dark chocolate truffle and even Arabic sweets such as maamouls and baklava.

Florentines, Fig Tart, Lemon Meringue Tart, Dark Chocolate Truffle, Eclairs
Misk Maamoul and Misk Baklava

When they say it is more than just scones, they really mean it.

Make some room

Later on, they rolled in the carving trolley where a slow cooked Beef Wellington with mushroom duxelle, served with potato puree and rosemary jus is waiting to be devoured.

Time for the meat.

 

Smothering mushroom duxelle.

Paired with warm ratatouille tart with goat cheese covered with puff pastry, it was a welcome break from the delectable sweets we previously had.

Perfection.

The beef was succulent and tender, it was a perfect match!

Ready to be served.

End with a bang

And what better way to end the afternoon (which extended to early evening) affair with some show to make it even more memorable. They made a sorbet right in front of us using liquid nitrogen served with Apple Pie and Vanilla Dilmah tea infused meringue and passion fruit sauce. Whew! That was a mouthful.

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That’s when I realized I needed a much faster burst rate to capture such moments. Sorry for the rather blurry shots. It could have given more justice to that “grade school science experiment”-ish act.

Served with crushed tea infused meringue, passion fruit sauce and berries.
Sorbet up close.

Recommendations

While it is modestly marketed as a leisure afternoon event or a post-shopping pickup, I highly recommend it for your long overdue catch-up, a birthday or even a bridal party. Without a doubt, it is one of the best high tea places in Doha and you shouldn’t dare miss it.

Reasonably priced at QAR 125 per person, Caramel High Tea is available every Thursday from 3-7PM.

For reservations and further details, you may call +974 4445 8888.

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Caramel - City Centre Rotana Doha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Photo credit: Rona Salazar (@rona.salazar) Anna Ibanez (@incatseye)

2 thoughts on “TGI-Tea: The Caramel High Tea at City Center Rotana

  1. looks like I wanna go there and have some tea =)
    Nice Blog. Cool pics. Good vibe =)
    #teaparty #friends #foodblogger #foodie

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