An errand run took me to Abu Dhabi with my son Adrian who was happy to keep me company on the drive up and down. While driving by a sparsely populated quite residential area surrounded by villas in Khalifa city, I caught a glimpse of a coffee shop with a lot of interesting pieces of Arabic decor. We had a long drive back and we decided to make a stop.
Al Tabaq Al Hjazi restaurant.
They celebrate Hjazi culture through their food, drink, and decor. A lot of detail has gone into the decor and feel of the restaurant with old Arabic artifacts. The interiors are set up again in Arabic style with comfortable seating on the floor which is done very tastefully.
A cup of Al Hijaz habq tea for the mother and a mango smoothie for Adrian. I was very curious and excited to try this cup of tea which I hadn’t heard of before. I did some reading on what exactly Habq is. Also spelled ‘Habek’; it is a wild mint or horsemint. It has several other names as well.
On being served, a very unique fragrance of smoked spices rose from my cup of tea. The tea was a dark black color and I sensed the strength of flavor from the aroma of the tea. The habq added to the intensity of the already bold black tea base. I would have preferred the tea lightly sweetened. A very interesting tasting and I’m always excited to see something new and unheard of on the menu.
Slowing down with tea is a phrase that is used quite a bit. But what does it mean to you? A little before taking this picture my mind was cluttered. The kind of clutter that made me want to sit alone up a mountain and just breathe.
And then I got my hands on a unique cup of tea. I conversed with the staff at the restaurant and looked around at the effort taken to bring out elements of a culture through seemingly simple items. And that for me was slowing down with my cup of tea in hand. Not thinking of the past or worrying about the future. Only focussing on the present. Only that which is still in your hands.