Trendy young things and Jumeirah Janes are gathering at Tania’s Teahouse, a paean to all things pastel.
Tania’s Teahouse opened up in a converted villa space at the Burj Al Arab end of Jumeirah Beach Road just a few months ago, but it’s already made a huge impact on social media, with a tremendous variety of tea, imaginative food and cakes, and decor to die for.
Even the parking space outside the villa is quirky, twinkling with fairy lights and floral graffiti. Step inside, and there’s a magical, almost other-worldy feel to the space. It’s warm and welcoming, and we are greeted by Tania herself, a figure as bright and bubbly as her namesake café.
Muted pastel shades, pink, white and rose gold are the dominant colours, with a dramatic wooden-railed marble spiral staircase, and a lot of floral touches. It’s quirky, insta-worthy, and littered with gentle humour (the staff wear ‘Hey there, habib-tea‘ t-shirts). Wes Anderson wouldn’t be uncomfortable using the Teahouse as a film set, although there is a hint of teenager-hitting-up-Typo vibe.
There’s a Ramadan special menu when we visit, but first up we are presented with a wire basket full of tiny bottles of tea. You could spend hours sniffing these samples, and with 25 to choose from, this isn’t a place for the indecisive.
I opted for a bold, spicy, ginger, coconut and cayenne pepper herbal concoction called “Jamaican Me Crazy”, served in a futuristic press which only activated when placed atop the mug. I spotted other guests playing with the contraption, so it wasn’t just me that was impressed with its ingenuity.
The super-friendly staff pointed out the Ramadan special menu, offering lighter, healthy options which you might say lay somewhere between iftar and suhour. The joint also serves all day breakfast. Some of the tea names and menu items have pun-based names, a feature the staff still seem to find funny, which was sweet.
Mindful that the Ramadan specials might disappear next week, I took the “It’s a Wrap!” sweet potato wrap.
The menu also featured a smoothie bowl, beetroot and feta salad (“Let the Beet Drop”), couscous salad, “For Goodness Steak!” (a steak mushroom and caramelised onion sandwich – and this special menu’s best seller) , a seasonal fruit platter, tahini infused cookies, sticky date cake or macarons.
While I eyed the masala popcorn with interest, I opted for the zaatar-dusted sweet potato fries served with a mild garlic dip. The promised crispiness wasn’t there, and the zaatar didn’t pack the zing I’d hoped for. Still, good comfort food.
The wrap proved to be tasty and filling. Soft mashed sweet potato rolled up with black beans and a generous slice of avocado hit the spot, but I couldn’t help feeling it needed pepper, chilli or lime to somehow perk it up. The fries are another menu best seller, according to our ever-so-smiley waitress.
I couldn’t leave without tucking into one of the cakes-in-a-cup which have already stamped Tania’s Teahouse forever on Dubai’s instagram map (and let’s not even get into the Mermaid toast or the almost-too-trendy paleo guac on toast). I wasn’t disappointed. Baked apple pie with oats and ice cream was a real treat, and judging by the dessert counter, we have to come back again and again to work our way through all the homemade goodies.
While it’s a speciality tea cafe and cake emporium, the savoury menu impressed us. The floral wallpaper, jewellery and journals on sale might hint at the fem-friendly aesthetic, but this bloke is looking forward to heading back for a decent brew, interesting food and the chance to grab a game of Monopoly or Scrabble upstairs.
This little gem is a welcome addition to what we thought was already a crowded evening casual dining scene in Jumeirah, and there’s a promise of an extended menu on the horizon, too.
Open daily 6.30pm – 1.30am
Call 04 324 0021
Villa 799A, Jumeirah Beach Road
Valet Parking available