The Galleria in Abu Dhabi's Maryah island is one of the finer malls of Abu Dhabi. By fine I mean luxurious; the mall is home to an array of designer luxury stores from Christian Louboutin, Diane von Furstenburg and Louis Vuitton to Thomas Pink, Ralph Lauren and of course, Magnolia Cafe.
Granted the cafe isn't a luxury brand name, but it should be, for it fits with the surrounding malls with absolute ease. As soon as you walk in, the glorious scent of baked goodies and caramelised sugar hits you.
It was all I could do, to stop myself from drooling as I eyed the incredibly high cakes, the generously filled muffins and perfectly iced cupcakes.
When I popped in with my sisters and brother-in-law, we couldn't drag ourselves away from the glass cabinets for long enough to take a seat. The sheer array of cheesecake, muffins and cupcakes was impressive, and in terms of presentation, Magnolia Cafe, give it their all.
Now, on to what we enjoyed. I ordered a glass of freshly-pressed carrot and apple juice, and my sisters ordered Moroccan mint tea and an English breakfast tea. Both were served in quaint silver tea pots, and dinky tea cups, perfect for smaller sips.
My brother in law also ordered a fresh juice, his was freshly blended and pressed watermelon juice, which was like sticking a straw in a watermelon, it was so fresh.
The most important and memorable part of our visit, of course, was the cheesecake. We decided on the vanilla cheesecake topped with blueberries. It sounds quite mundane, but I can assure you, this cheesecake was something else.
Vanilla and blueberry cheesecake
I have never enjoyed cheesecake as much as this little beauty. It was a dense, yet light, sweet, but ever so slightly tart dessert, that I could have easily eaten all by myself.
Perhaps I'm being ambitious with that last statement because I could not, in fact, have eaten all of the cheesecake alone. It was a high and full cheesecake in a perfect circular round, topped, precisely with crushed blueberries that has been soaked in icing sugar. Needless to say, it was delicious.
The atmosphere in Magnolia Cafe is wonderful too. Although we visited at a busy period - lunch time, all was quiet and relaxed at the cafe. Only two other tables were full, and chatter was kept to a minimum, which was nice.
It was lovely to sit in each others company, share a cheesecake and sip a hydrating drink.