There is a magical place in Abu Dhabi that serves up golden cappuccinos and golden vanilla camel milk soft serve ice cream. Yes, you read that right: Gilded camel milk vanilla soft serve ice-cream. I’m not talking about a tiny little fleck on the top to symbolize extravagance, I am talking about enough gold you can almost taste it.
The coffee shop in the lobby of The Palace hotel serves up abundantly gold dusted cappuccinos, which I positively had to order. In all honesty, it was the only reason for going to this particular cafe in the first place. I primarily ordered the cappuccino for the photo-op. I mean let’s face it, this coffee is extremely Instagramable. Nothing adds more foodie cultural capital than a gold cappuccino in the land synonymous with gold (UAE).
Don’t judge me! We have all done it, ordered a dish or drink for the sole purpose of taking a selfie with it and posting it on social media. It is similar to when a climber reaches the top of the mountain, plants a flag, and takes a picture. The same but, without any of the hard work, personal sacrifice, and effort. At least I’m deep enough to realize I am a shallow foodie.
The cappuccino arrived and I proceeded to become its personal paparazzo; I got a picture of it in every scandulous angle. After I was sure I got the money shot, I decided to try it. I thought I might as well slurp up the gold; it is bound to have some sort of health benefit I don’t know about. To my surprise, the coffee was absolutely delicious.
Having watched my entire photoshoot, our server figured out I would also enjoy the gold-covered ice cream they offer. Like the coffee, I assumed I could get a few cool pictures and try frozen camel milk; that’s two extra foodie cultural capital points right there.
As you can see below, the ice cream was even more photogenic than its cappuccino cousin. This was not a gentle sprinkling of gold dust, this was an entire gold leaf gently draped over the top. Having had photography sessions with cold foods before, I knew I had to work quickly. A few strategical angles and it was over. I haven’t try straight-up camel’s milk yet, but I have been told that it is very fatty, with an earthy taste, and pungent smell. I was expecting a smelly, greasy serving of ice cream.
To my surprise, yet again, it was utterly delectable. I am not usually an ice cream fan, but this soft-serve cone of deliciousness won me over. It was creamy and voluptuous, with the most intense vanilla flavor I had ever experienced. This ice cream was creamier than usual, which I am assuming is due to the camel milk base. Long story short #atethewholething.
The entire experience at The Palace Cafe was wonderful and I’m not sure why. I’m not sure if my extremely low expectations regarding the taste set it up so that I would be pleasantly surprised. Or was it more psychological than that? Was the fact that I was eating gold in such a palatial setting adding to my enjoyment? Was my brain telling my tastebuds to enjoy this because it is luxurious and expensive? Or could it simply be that both items are delicious in and of themselves? It is probably a combination of all the above. Either way, if you find yourself in Abu Dhabi and want to treat yourself, I highly recommend you become a gold eater like me.