Abidjan is a city that has traditionally been known for its sophistication, culture, and joie de vivre. With the departure of the African Development Bank for Tunis and a series of political crises, Abidjan’s shining star has tarnished a bit over the past several years.
However, since 2011, with an urbane international technocrat at its helm, Côte d’Ivoire is bouncing back. Signs of a cultural renaissance abound, including the emergence of some elegant European-style tea rooms around town.
Last Friday, I finally went to lunch at Volup’thé, the much anticipated sister restaurant of one of Abidjan’s best patisseries, Des Gâteaux et Du Pain. What a treat!
Entering the urbane dining room at Volup’thé, one is immediately transported from the hustle and bustle of this busy African city to an elegant, modern space that is instantly soothing.
I decided to start my meal with a refreshing glass of the house lemonade, which turned out to be one of the best juices I have had in a while. Not only was the juice pleasantly tart, it was also topped with a divine mint foam, which made it taste a bit like a spa-quality, virgin mojito.
It was really refreshing to find an Abidjan restaurant with so many delectable vegetarian menu options. I had my choice of salad, pasta or a sandwich. Being lunchtime, I went for the Volup’thé house sandwich, which consisted of fresh mozzarella, tomato, pesto and rocket on a black olive ciabatta. The sandwich was as delicious as it looks. The flavor of fresh herbs permeated the cheese, without overwhelming its flavor, and the fine bread from Des Gâteaux et Du Pain was icing on the cake.
Since I knew I was reviewing this restaurant for flânerie féminine, I had to finish my meal with a café viennoise, and am I glad I did! The coffee transported me to Vienna for a moment, with its double shot of high quality espresso coffee, luscious whipped cream and homemade chocolate sauce.
Being in a decadent mood, after a week at home with the flu, I topped it all off with a plate of the most glorious profiteroles I have ever tasted. These little gems are filled with Des Gâteaux et Du Pain’s homemade vanilla ice cream and are delicious enough to make you abandon all of your New Year’s resolutions. Dessert and coffee alone are more than enough reason to return to Volup’thé.
For Abidjan, Volup’thé is a little on the pricey side. However, it is worth every penny, particularly if you are a vegetarian. I will definitely be visiting this Abidjan tea room again!
- Lemonade, 2,500 CFA
- House sandwich, 4,500 CFA
- Café viennoise, 2,500 CFA
- Profiteroles, 4,500 CFA
Address: Rue des Jardins, Deux Plateaux a coté de la Patisserie Des Gâteaux et Du Pain
Opening hours: Tue-Sun, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
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