When you want to escape the daunting demands of your life, where do you go? One of the simplest answers is a cafe. It’s no secret that coffee shops have proliferated in most cities in the world and a lot of people have been consuming not only coffee but also the pastries and free wifi that comes with sitting in one of the couches or wooden chairs inside. A coffee shop is where we go to be by our self or to interact more with our friends, whichever is on your night’s agenda. Did you know that the hum of a coffee shop can actually boost creativity? Then Riyadhizens must be some of the most creative people in the world with the number of cafes in Riyadh.
One that not only boasts of its coffee but also of its outstanding pastries is Cafe Lenôtre. You might have been familiar with the branch in Centria Mall (which The Pink Tarha featured HERE) but did you know of the branch in Panorama Mall? There is a smaller version of the world-renowned pastry shop tucked in the company of Trader Vic’s, Cacao Sampaka, and Bello Gelato. The ambiance and setting of Cafe Lenôtre in Centria didn’t transcend well with the one in Panorama because the new one is devoid of the elegance and sophistication of the main branch’s dining area but in the busy and crowded streets of Takhasussi, this Cafe Lenôtre Boutique provides a much needed respite.
Lenôtre is a company founded by famous pastry chef Gaston Lenotre in 1957. The pâtisserie gave a visual drama and appeal to desserts and since it has always been the most visual part of haute cuisine, Lenôtre earned its name as one of the best pâtisseries in the world. Its signature pastry is the Opera, a chocolate-covered almond cage and coffee cream confection. It’s more enjoyable to consume this on the Centria Mall branch with its terrace that gives a good view of the Kingdom Tower, Narcissus Hotel, and Faisaliah Tower and a sprinkle of the water mist.
But since we were in Panorama Mall that night, we decided to check out Cafe Lenôtre there. A shelf of glorious chocolate boxes lined with ribbons in their signature colors line the wall of this cafe. In the inner sanctum are a few tables and chairs where families and ladies can share drinks and pastries. A pared down dinner menu is also at hand but we went there for coffee and dessert. We ordered their Hot Chocolate and Cappuccino, both of which went well with our coffee and chocolate cravings.
I had the chocolate and I must say that it’s one of the better ones in Riyadh. It has the right consistency and sweetness. My friend said she enjoyed the foam art in her coffee.
Of course we ordered the chocolate fondant. It’s one of the must-tries. It’s a beautiful and well-plated. I already had a lot of chocolate fondants from different restaurants in Riyadh and I must agree with Reina that this is up there in the Top 5 of Chocolate Fondants in Riyadh (we should write this already!).
Our waiter gave us a free blueberry cheesecake and we loved it too. This is probably his way of introducing Lenôtre’s friendly service to us, haha! The Venus cheesecake (that doesn’t look like a cheesecake just by looking at it) is soft and creamy and truly decadent. We love the chocolate sign in the mini cake. It adds character and grandeur. Even without stepping in France, we already feel welcome.
Try Cafe Lenôtre in Panorama Mall when you want to escape the madness of the city life for quite a while. It doesn’t have the ambiance of the bigger restaurant but it’s adequate.
Cafe Lenôtre Boutique
Panorama Mall, Takhasussi Street
Riyadh. Saudi Arabia