Until recently, Abu Dhabi was known only for its plethora of breads
like thin naan, roti and puffy Emirati khamir. Yeast enthusiasts at NYU Abu Dhabi looking for baked delights to pair with cheese or jam had to pick through the often-stale baguettes at Spinney’s or bake their own.
Now, with the opening of WhEAT at Le Royal Meridien hotel, the options have expanded to include freshly baked Estonian kringle, brioche, polka bread, alsacien kouglof and wheat loaves. The treats, piled in straw baskets, decorate the modern café-bistro. Sugary vices — mille feuille cakes, honeycomb muffins, pistachio and raspberry eclairs — tempt from behind the counter.
WhEAT’s treats are all made in-house and their prices are extremely competitive. All breads and cakes are less than 15 AED, and in addition to the wheat treats, they have an assortment of homemade ice creams that are certainly worth the trip.
Photo by Nicole Lopez del Carril/The Gazelle
For local flavors, try the delicious Turkish coffee ice cream, the pistachio saffron, or the lemongrass. For vegan customers, the creamy almond milk ice cream can be paired with orange olive oil and orange juice for a vegan milkshake unique to WhEAT. Try their spiked shakes for an adult variation on a childhood treat.
If you have procrastinated buying your family gifts, or have run out of ideas beyond a multitude of camel-themed gifts and sheikh bobbleheads, pick up whEAT's’ specialty date mustard or date ketchup for a Gulf variation on favorite condiments. Their hampers, or gift baskets, include tea, jams and chutneys, all locally made.
For students looking for a new place to study, WhEAT’s long workbenches and outdoor seating are a perfect spot to cram for finals, perhaps with a classic root beer float in hand or a slice of pumpkin bread.
WhEAT is located in Le Royal Meridien hotel, to the left of the main lobby. Suggestion: go in the morning when all cakes and breads are freshly baked. Wi-fi is free.
Nicole Lopez del Carril is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.