Crème de la Crème

Crème de la Crème. It’s a bit of a haughty name, isn’t it? When you call your ice cream company something like that, you’re opening yourself up to a load of ridicule. That is, of course, unless you have the goods to back up the claim. But then, the name isn’t the only giveaway that DIFC’s new ice-cream boutique (their words, not ours) has notions of grandeur. The place kind of resembles a spa, with breathy jazz and panpipes oozing from the stereo and a willowy white décor complete with crystal beaded curtains. The chairs resemble domed, white leather thrones and there is a menu that spans several pages. Crème de la Crème doesn’t really do plain ol’ ice cream. You can, of course, just order a scoop, but the majority of the menu is dedicated to artsy concoctions – some including freshly made Belgian waffles or decadent cakes. Three of us turned up half an hour before closing. I felt bad for our waitress, who showed extreme patience in the face of our maddening indecision. Every menu description tantalised (how is a kid in a candy shop supposed to choose just one item?). When we did ultimately make up our minds, what we received met with mixed reviews. The design of the dishes was impeccable in nearly every instance. One friend ordered the Sublime: scoops of mango and white chocolate ice cream, sprinkled with lime shavings and served with a glorious side of perfectly ripe mango and passion fruit. Another friend ordered the Nougatine Exotique: ginger ice cream and nougat ice cream served alongside a bowl bearing a juicy mix of drooling strawberries, raspberries and pistachios. The problem was that, in both instances, the best parts of the dish were the fruity accompaniments; no matter the flavour of ice cream, they all pretty much tasted like some slight variation of vanilla. The exception was my order, curiously titled the UAE Exclusive. It was without a doubt the most unique frozen treat I’ve ever consumed. Raspberry sorbet and umm ali ice cream were swirled and then formed in a kind of cake, plopped onto a gooey serving of baklava and covered in dried fruit, pistachios and rose syrup. It was something different, and certainly good, except that the umm ali flavour was as indistinct as the rest of them. So no – to answer the implied question – this isn’t the crème de la crème of Dubai ice cream shops, but the concoctions were pleasant, and the place’s relaxed vibe was conducive to a leisurely night out. The bill (for three) 1x Nougatine Exotique Dhs40 1x Sublime Dhs36 1x UAE Exclusive Dhs45 Subtotal Dhs121 Service (15 per cent) Dhs18.15 Total Dhs139.15

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