About 20 years ago, Magnolia Bakery opened its first ever shop in New York City. Ever since, Magnolia has been valued for its simplistic and definitive baked delights, cozy and comforting setting with subtle hints of pastel decor and in general a very welcoming atmosphere.
Over the years, Magnolia has grown into a globally recognized bakery and luckily for us, has expanded into the Middle East as well.
We have been devoted customers of Magnolia ever since its inception in Dubai, which probably explains why we were more than thrilled when we were invited over for a tasting.
So last weekend we headed over to the beautiful Beach Mall in JBR and visited Magnolia Bakery there. The bakery is surrounded with glass walls, allowing natural light to shine through and brighten up the bakery. The interior decor was very minimal yet very vintage and warm. As you enter Magnolia, you are greeted with a massive spread of freshly baked goods that are delicately placed along the counters for you to gaze and drool at!
We were seated by our very friendly server who guided us through the menu and left us to decide what we would like to order.
For drinks we ordered a cup of cappuccino that was served in a pretty tall blue mug- it was extra frothy and tasted very pleasant. We ordered a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice as well.
The notion at Magnolia is that you can choose any savory options you desire from the menu provided at your table, and the desserts and other baked goods can be selected by strolling by the counters and picking the items that make your mouth water; we love this concept!
Among the savory items, you have an option of breakfast (egg dishes, parfaits and fresh fruits), salads, sandwiches and pastas. Since we already had our fix of breakfast in the morning, we decided to opt for a salad and a pasta dish.
For salad we opted for the Chicken Cobb Salad (which we were told is one of their very popular salads). It comprised of grilled herbed chicken, crumbled blue cheese, beef bacon, sliced red onion, avocado, hard-boiled egg and tomato, all on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce and dressing. The salad was fresh and light. The blue cheese added a perfect hint of salt to the dish and perfected the beef bacon and chicken. The addition of the hard-boiled egg and avocado adds to the salad making the salad enough to be eaten on its own as a meal.
We also ordered the Fettuccine Milano which is fettuccine pasta tossed in a creamy chicken broth, served with herbed grilled chicken and sun dried tomatoes; sprinkled with fresh basil leaves. The quantity of the dish was generous, at the same time unlike normal creamy pastas; this dish was not too filling and tasted delightful.
Moving on the best part, Desserts! We took a quick scan around the baked items counter and immediately knew what we wanted. We chose four items, which we know might seem a lot for just two people, but trust us, when you are presented with an assortment of dessert like what Magnolia has to offer, four items will not be enough!
We started off with their cupcake of the month which is a play on everyone’s childhood favorite sandwich – the PBJ sandwich! Of Course, Magnolia has turned it into a very delectable dessert – The Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake! Moist vanilla cake with a peanut butter cream is what appears on the outside. However the real treat is when you cut through the cupcake and notice the jelly oozing out from the center. We loved the element of surprise in this cupcake and the fact that the jelly adds to the moisture of the cake, making it a cupcake like no other.
Our second selection was the Banana Cream Pie! If you have been following us over the months on social media, the one thing that is very obvious in our dessert selection is that banana is our favorite dessert fruit (and salted caramel is our favorite flavor). Having said that, it’s no doubt that if come across a Banana Cream Pie, we have to order it. The pie consisted of Nilla wafer crust layered with fresh bananas and vanilla pudding, topped with fresh whipped cream. For those who do not like their desserts too rich, this dessert is god sent! We loved the generous portion of banana in the pie, making it sufficient as a dessert for up to two to three people.
Our third option was based on our cravings for something tart, and nothing screams tart more than lemon and raspberry. So we opted for the absolutely gorgeous and delicious Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake. One bite of this cheesecake will make you salivate, however we do not recommend this dessert for those of you who aren’t a fan of sour or tart flavors. The raspberry coulis went well with the lemon cheesecake and cut through the richness.
Lastly, for our final dessert, we went with a Magnolia Signature. The Magnolia Bakery’s Famous Banana Pudding! (Of Course we had to order two banana desserts!). The pudding comprises of layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and creamy vanilla pudding. They are served in tubs of different sizes and once you taste them, you will understand why these are their best sellers. We loved the element of crunch the wafers added and the smoothness of the banana and the cream, making you weak in the knees with every bite!
Chicken Cobb Salad – 45Dhs
Fettuccine Milano – 55Dhs
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake – 16Dhs
Banana Cream Pie – 35Dhs
Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake – 35Dhs
Banana Pudding – 25Dhs
Total – 211Dhs
Ambience : 4/5
Food : 4/5