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{Restaurant Review} Jim’s Restaurant, Adliya – Good old Jim’s is back!

22 Aug

Three years ago, I completed a project. No, it wasn’t of any national interest but it was important for me as a food blogger and a restaurant reviewer.It was called the Restaurant Review project  on the blog, where I had taken up the task of reviewing 24 restaurants in Bahrain in  6 months time in 2010. Many obstacles came my way, but I did finally finish it, not it 6 months but it took me 12-14 months to finish. Today, I have nearly 29 restaurants reviewed on my blog and you can check them out here. The very first restaurant I reviewed was Jim’s Restaurant in Adliya.  It was a great evening with friends and family and I went home from Jim’s Restaurant feeling wonderful from all the good food.  In between now and the first time at Jim’s Restaurant, I did pay it a visit a couple of times, but was disappointed by the food and the service. It was then I got to know Jim’s has changed hands twice and the new team wasn’t able to create the ‘ Old Jim’s magic’. I decided to avoid Jim’s until now, when I was invited to review them two weeks back. I was reluctant but then the new management at Jim’s were really persuasive.  The new management of Jim’s Restaurant informed that their old Chef Firdaus is back and with him the restaurant is back to being the ‘good old Jim’s’ 

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Jim’s Restaurant in Adliya was always known to be a fun place for a great night with friend’s on a weekend. With food that draws inspiration from Anglo- Irish to Indo- Persian cuisine, Jim’s Restaurant has always promised it’s diners a sumptuous meal in a fine yet casual set up.

I was quite intrigued to see if I would witness the old charm of Jim’s Restaurant after 3 years.

Upon entering the restaurant on a Thursday late evening, after a hard day’s work, I only had one thing on my mind – relaxation. I wanted go to a place where I could put my feet up and feel the casual vibe around me. It seemed that my wish might just come true when we were welcomed inside the  restaurant by the restaurant’s staff  with broad smiles. We ordered our drinks as it was extremely hot and humid that evening. The chilled and refreshing drinks provided the much needed succor. It was a matter of time that I felt very relaxed and was genuinely looking forward to my dinner at Jim’s. We ordered some starters which I realized were the same that I had ordered three years ago. It is funny how our memory points us to migrate to everything that is familiar and comfortable. My taste bud memories immediately got to work and I recalled the contrasting tastes of the salty brie against the tangy sweetness of the blueberry coulis. The Deep fried brie wedges in blueberry coulis was everything that my taste buds remembered and loved. I was nearly convinced that I could forget the past and imagine that good old Jim’s was really back. Now I was very excited to see how the other courses turned out.

Deep fried brie wedges with blueberry coulees

Deep fried brie wedges with blueberry coulees

To accompany the starter, we also ordered for an appetizing oriental chicken salad.  The salad was refreshing because it was made from all the seasonal and local produce such a locally sourced chicken, cucumbers, beetroot, crispy lettuce, onions and coriander leaves. The satay style marinated chicken was delicious while the tangy peanut dressing made it very addictive. I had many helpings of this salad which I found genuinely filling and would recommend it just as highly as I would the deep fried brie wedges with coulis.

Oriental chicken salad

Oriental chicken saladR

The main course seemed unnecessary but my gluttonous nature got better of me. We ordered for a spinach, brie, mushroom stuffed chicken and a vegetable quiche – again both main courses were the same from our first time at Jim’s Restaurant.  The hearty spinach, brie and mushroom stuffed chicken was accompanied by mashed potatoes,  garlic cream sauce and buttered vegetables while the vegetable quiche had a salad side to it – every bit scrumptious and hearty.

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Spinach, brie and mushroom stuffed chicken

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Vegetable Quiche

By the time, we finished our main courses, we were in food heaven. The portions were fantastic and it really felt like we were back at the old Jim’s Restaurant. Jim’s is lucky to have chef Firdaus back and it was his magic that was helping his patrons relive old Jim’s Restaurant memories. All in all, I sensed that this is a chef who knows exactly what he’s reaching for, a chef whose ultimate goal is simply to make his patrons and new customers happy.  And this is just the beginning and Jim’s Restaurant has some hard work to put in before they can have all their old customers back. I have no doubt in my mind, that Jim’s will be very successful like it used to be once. I missed eating the dessert because I was too full from all the tasty food. The next time, I go to Jim’s Restaurant, I will start with dessert first.

If this review has made you hungry, you can check out Jim’s menu here

This is a sponsored post but the views expressed are solely mine.

{Restaurant Review} Go to The Meat Co. for a hearty meal and a great time

8 Aug

How many times in life we miss out on great opportunities only because we hold preconceived notions about them. They slip by because we are hesitant and limit our imagination and thus our experiences in life. I had a similar experience very recently when I went to The Meat Company when I was graciously asked to review them. I was quite hesitant considering The Meat Co. held a reputation of being a steak house and I do not eat steak. Going to a steak house and then eating vegetarian fare would never be a fair deal. But The Meat Co. ‘s PR persuaded me to try their non-steak menu and promised that it would be just as delightful, if not more.  Armed with my camera and a non-steak eating husband, I tottered off to The Meat Co. on a sultry evening during Ramadan.

Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by the gracious hostess who showed us our table.  We are asked promptly about the beverage of choice and we opted for water at room temperature. I made an additional request for hot water because I wasn’t keeping well. The request was dealt with spontaneity which impressed me as a pot of boiling water was kept on my table. We were introduced to the server, Alex who was more than pleased to help us figure out the menu and how we could get the best out of it despite belonging to the category of the non-steak eating lot.

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While we spent time perusing and contemplating the options on the menu, we were served a crusty wholemeal bread with balsamic and olive oil to dip into. Just perfect start to what was to be a fine dining experience. In the beginning, we were seated on the ground floor where the lighting wasn’t the best for food photos. We were escorted to the first floor which was less crowded and that helped my cause. It meant having the freedom to take pictures from all odd angles which would have otherwise drawn a lot of eye balls. Such is a life of a food aficionado! Sigh!

Well, I digress. The moot point is, we were treated exclusively with Alex giving us all the information we needed about the cuisine and what to expect from dishes we hadn’t tasted before. He told us about the South African food that is The Meat Co.’s origins and how it is different from other kinds of cuisines.

 

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Alex & Amit

For the starters we ordered the Wild Mushroom and Spinach Vol-au-vent which was sauteed wild mushroom in a creamy spinach sauce, stuffed into a flaky pastry and topped with cheese which I suspect was Parmesan and Mozzarella.  The pastry was crunchy and flaky while the stuffing was a creamy deliciousness of a match that was made in heaven.

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Wild Mushroom and Spinach Vol -au-vent

We also ordered for a warm goat cheese salad as a starter which was slightly sweet and tangy which could be credited to the mild honey balsamic dressing on the salad. Oh somehow I forgot about this third starter – Scallops on the bed of risotto! How could I,  considering this was my first time trying scallops. And tell you what; I loved it!!  The risotto was comfort food at its best with a mild cheese flavour and a kick from the pepper balancing the subtle flavours of the pan- fried scallops. Somehow, both the salads, scallops were so filling plus the bread was so hearty that we felt, we could have easily skipped the main course. But we had already ordered for it and were feeling completely intimidated by the portions! ( What were we thinking!)

 

A warm goat cheese salad

A warm goat cheese salad

 

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Scallops on a bed of risotto

The the main courses arrived, we realized that The Meat Co. definitely doesn’t believe in less is more! The portions were LARGE and HEARTY and so TASTY. It was a pity that we over -ordered ( is there such a term??) our starters and didn’t take the steakhouse definition too seriously.

For the main course we ordered the grilled fish ( hammour) with steamed vegetables for me and a ‘well-done’ chicken burger for my husband with fries and onion rings. It was an absolute pity that we were up until our mouths with all the wonderful food, that the main course went largely unappreciated. I made it a point to doggy bag my left over fish because leaving it felt like a criminal waste. The left overs served me well the next day for lunch where I marveled at the succulent texture of the fish.

Grilled Hammour with vegetables

Grilled Hammour with vegetables

Chicken burger

Chicken burger

Alex entertained and encouraged us to eat more and heartily but I told him that if I had a morsel more, I might just die there. To which he said, ” Not yet!”  You have to try our chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream and creme anglaise for dessert. My heart just stopped at the words, chocolate and fondant. I had to have atleast a spoonful, even it meant falling into a food -induced coma for life.

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Was the chocolate fondant dessert everything that I hoped it would be? Perhaps, no. The dessert was the only downer among all that we ordered. But that is alright since I was too stuffed to even enjoy anything beyond a spoonful. All in all, it was such a pleasant evening spent at The Meat Co. with its pleasant staff, who made sure we were attended exclusively. The food was the star of the night and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that The Meat Co. ‘s food has been one of the best meals I have had in a long time.

Having a meal there, changed my perception about the place. The Meat Co. has a lot more wonderful food to offer than just steaks for which is widely popular. An engaging and customer friendly staff is an asset to any restaurant. The Meat Co.’s staff had been very hospitable and they knew their food. This really impressed me. I am definitely going back there with my friends some time soon because a lot of my friend’s, like me, have avoided going there for the same reason. I need to show them that there is so much more to The Meat Co. than simply steaks.

*This is a sponsored post but all the views expressed are solely mine. 

{Restaurant Review} Vapiano – fresh and delicious

31 May

What do they say about never saying never?

Insalata di arance e noci

Insalata di arance e noci

Well, I experienced it myself very recently. Vapiano in Bahrain City Center always looked promising but the previous two dining experiences at Vapiano were sub-par and less than delightful that I was quite sure I wouldn’t want to try them again. But with a little coaxing from Obai & Hill’s Zainab, I thought about giving Vapiano’s summer, fresh menu a try with a disclaimer that if I didn’t like it (again), I would refrain from doing a review on my blog.

On the scheduled day, my family and I stepped into Vapiano to sample their new menu. We were ushered in by a very friendly server who then educated us about all the new dishes and desserts. On her recommendations we settled for 1 starter, 2 main courses, 1 salad and a dessert. All this was to be accompanied by freshly squeezed orange.  For the starters we ordered the Caprese  that had cherry tomatoes with buffalo mozzerella on the bed of basil and rocket leaves. The cherry tomatoes were sweet and juicy and the rocket peppery as its supposed to be – all fresh and crunchy.

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Caprese

This was just the right antipasti to whet our appetite for the remaining courses to come. The hubby had ordered Estiva – a tender chicken breast pasta drenched in semi- dried tomato sauce, with a mild kick of ginger, mint and rocket . We specially asked our server to request the chef to cook the pasta a bit more than the “Vapiano” al dente. As per our request, the pasta was just perfectly done with succulent chicken pieces and  flavoursome tomato sauce and herbs.

Estiva with conchiglie

Estiva with conchiglie

My daughter who is notorious for shunning restaurant food was content with her bread and butter. She particularly enjoyed the fresh orange juice with her simple grub. As for me, I had ordered a barbecued chicken pizza which was sumptuous to say the least. It was quite a large portion unexpectedly and so we had the rest of it in a take away bag.

barbecued chicken pizza

barbecued chicken pizza

All the wonderful food was balanced by a very citrus-y , sunshine salad adorned by pistachio called the insalata di arance e noci. To my mind, it feels like summer on my plate with juicy orange fillets, pistachios, lamb’s lettuce and chicory. The flavours were heightened by a very light walnut and orange dressing. This was the highlight of my meal at Vapiano and it would be something that I would keep going back to Vapiano for many times over.

Insalata di Arance e noci

Insalata di Arance e noci

The close of the meal was marked by the unavoidable chocolate dessert called the Cioccolata e espresso which is Vapiano’s own homestyle chocolate espresso mousse, cantuccini (literally translates as coffee bread or popularly known as biscotti)  refined with grape juice and sweet amarena cherries.

Cioccolata e espresso

Cioccolata e espresso

Feeling happily sedated after such a wholesome meal, we thanked our hostess for the day and returned home with the lingering memories of the summer food at Vapiano. Thank you Vapiano for a wonderful experience that was so fresh and delicious that I don’t think I can have enough of it this summer!!.

 *This is a sponsored post but the opinions expressed all solely mine.

{Breakfast Banter} New York Coffee : Restaurant Review

29 Mar

It is no secret how much I adore this first meal of the day. Breakfast was and shall remain the single most important meal for me. I plan my breakfast carefully and take time to enjoy my breakfast, however meagre  because that sets the mood for the rest of the day. Weekend breakfasts are even more important because that is the time I take out to spend with the family while having my favourite meal of the day. For this very reason, I was extremely excited to visit the New York Coffee outlet with my family at The Walk in Riffa. To begin with, I have to say, this newish New York Coffee outlet is impressive – full of sunshine, large, spacious, and airy – it gives you a feeling of a relaxed setting.

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Within one quick glance several things caught my eye with regards to the decor. Modern and contemporary with an easy vibe is how I can describe the decor of the cafe. I was overcome with a sudden urge to sit down with my laptop and start writing a new novel or a blog post such as this whilst enjoying a nice cup of cappuccino. My thoughts were interrupted by the cheerful staff at the Cafe who welcomed me with great enthusiasm. The smiling server explained to us our breakfast and brunch options and also made explicit mentions of the offers of the day. We settled for a sumptuous American breakfast and an omelette (my way) while my daughter ordered for a sugary crepe along with a carrot cake.

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While our orders were being prepared in the kitchen, I took the opportunity to walk around the cafe. They have a small outdoor seating area which was dappled in the mid – morning sun. I also loitered around the shelves that housed different coffee and tea selections. The aroma of coffee was so inviting that I was half tempted to ask for an espresso instead of the orange juice I had ordered.

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I also happened to have a quick chat the General Manager of the outlet who filled me in with all the details about the outlet.  The New York Coffee outlet at the Walk in Riffa is open 24 hours. I was also told that it is the only coffee outlet in Bahrain that roasts and grinds their own coffee locally. Armed with this interesting trivia, I went back to my seat as the server had brought our piping, hot breakfast.

My husband had the omelette (my way) with brown toast and a large glass of fresh orange juice. He was enjoying his breakfast so much that I did not feel like interrupting him to ask how he found the fare. My daughter tucked into her sugary crepe on which there was  a pool of melted butter. Light and mildly sweet, the crepe was just perfect.  As for my breakfast platter – two fried eggs (runny), chicken sausages, salad, brown toast and fresh orange juice – was sumptuous!  I have an aversion towards sausages but these were done so well that they seemed like a treat. Later when my husband finished his breakfast and was sipping his orange juice he mentioned that he wouldn’t mind coming in here for this very plate of omelette every weekend. My daughter enjoyed her slice of the carrot cake mumbling “mmmm, mmmm” in between. That itself was a good indicator of how much she was enjoying her treat.

 

 

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Finally, when we were patting our warm bellies the server asked us to try their special drink. We couldn’t fathom eating or drinking anything more but he insisted and we thought ‘why not! It’s the weekend!” . He brought in two icy-looking drinks called Honey dew and Mango -tango. While placing these drinks, the server informed that these drinks are special because they are ‘low cal. In my experience, I know of many drinks that are supposedly low cal but are full of sugar. So I challenged him, “ How low?”  ”

“Only 7 cals!!“, he replied

That was ridiculous. I couldn’t believe it. We went to the counter and he showed me his premix and described to me the method of preparation and I realized it was true. I enjoyed my drink with a greater gusto. The honey-dew was refreshing and I have a feeling its is going to be hugely popular this summer. 

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All in all, it was a wonderful morning spent savouring one gastronomic delight after the other. Bahrain!! Chuck your usual breakfast dos and go to New York Coffee. I dare say, you won’t regret it!

*This is a sponsored post but all the views and opinions expressed are my own.

My debut as a Web TV Presenter on MyBahrain.ME (RESTAURANT REVIEW : VILLA MAMAS)

8 Nov

Suzanne from MyBahrain.ME asked me if I would like to become a web tv anchor for their food channel. I took my time to evaluate if it was possible to do it with my hectic work schedule, chores and above all Mimi-time. But with support and encouragement from my husband, my parents and  my friends, I decided to give it a go. Never really faced a camera before except on my wedding day, it was nerve wrecking. But the super-cool Suzanne made it sound all smooth and chirpy.  The video was shot on an unhurried Friday at Villa Mamas – the restaurant that I was supposed to review. With little preparation and not knowing what to expect, I fumbled my way through zillion takes. Finally after 3 long hours, (hugely exasperated) Suzanne and the cameraman decided they had enough material to do a short restaurant review video.

I went back home, beaming with pleasure and excitement and eagerly waited for the edited version of the video to come out. When the video was uploaded on the MyBahrain.ME website, the first thing that crossed my mind while watching my video was it is really unnatural to see yourself from the outside. It is quite like an outer body experience  to hear and see myself talk to the camera like it was a real person.

I say this with confidence because I have had an outer body experience before but that is a story for another time.

Being in front of the camera, when you are not used to be the focal point can bring forth all the oddities that you have never known about yourself. For me, it was  like a 360 degree feedback session in the 2.57 minutes. But for a debut, I was told, I did well. That makes me happy. In  this post I share some behind the scene moments and the video of the restaurant –  Villa Mamas that I reviewed for MyBahrain.ME

All photos courtesy – Namit Bhatia

The food at Villa Mamas was top-notch. Villa Mamas takes pride in serving traditional Bahraini cuisine with a modern and contemporary twist. Here are some of the photographs from the shoot.

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The starter - eggplant explosion ( discs of egg plant cooked until tender, dressed with white sauce and flavoured with cumin and other spices)

The starter – eggplant explosion served with soft and freshly baked arabic bread( discs of egg plant cooked until tender, dressed with white sauce and flavoured with cumin and other spices)

Main course - Sayadia Hammour ( Lightly spiced rice with caramelized onions, tender hammour fillet with brown sauce)

Main course – Sayadia Hammour ( Lightly spiced rice with caramelized onions, tender hammour fillet with brown sauce)

The rainbow smoothie ( very tangy and super refreshing)

The rainbow smoothie ( very tangy and super refreshing)

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Suzanne helping me out with my lines. Truly admire her patience

Suzanne helping me out with my lines. Truly admire her patience

Delivering the last set of lines

Delivering the last set of lines

Loved the Villa Mamma's decor - a comfortable setting with a contemporary twist. Matches the food perfectly

Loved the Villa Mama’s decor – a comfortable setting with a contemporary twist. Matches the food perfectly

Can’t wait to hear your feedback about the video and my presentation! Do take time out and write down your thoughts in the comments section.

Restaurant Review Project 24 – Noodle House

2 Feb

How does it feel when you finish a project? Especially the one which has been dragging for a long time. I feel a great sense of satisfaction that finally a long-dragging project has been brought to an end in a delicious manner. I am talking about my Restaurant Review Project that I started in November 2010 and the one in which I promised that I would complete reviews of 24 restaurants in 6 months! Talk about setting oneself up for failure! It is not that I didn’t eat out 24 times in those six months. As a matter of fact I must have eaten out more number of times than I can even count and also went to new restaurants. But somehow I never sat down at my plate thinking I want to review this one. Reviewing a place requires a different state of mind. It requires me to prepare beforehand with all the reviewing paraphernalia such as my camera and my little red note book in which I take many mental notes. Reviewing an eating joint or a restaurant requires planning such as how am I going to savour and enjoy my meal whilst keeping an eye on my hyperactive toddler. So you see it hasn’t been an easy ride and many times I have set out trying to review a restaurant and miserably failed to do so because either my toddler isn’t in the mood or the glaring eyes of the head server or the restaurant manager  make me queasy while I try to take the best shot of the food that I have ordered. Not all restaurants lend themselves to be ideal for reviewing. So I missed many good opportunities to review some very interesting restaurants that I have had a chance to visit. Keeping this in mind, I have decided to not stop reviewing and continue this exciting saga of tasting, experiencing and appreciating exhilarating bouquet of world cuisine that Bahrain has to offer.

For my 24th Restaurant, I have Noodle House to review. Noodle House is located in Seef Mall; one of my favourite malls in Bahrain and seems like the first of many Noodle House joints planned around Bahrain. The day Noodle House opened doors, I was very sure that this Pan Asian restaurant had to be reviewed. So finally, when the stars aligned favourably, we found ourselves at Noodle House on an unhurried weekend. We were greeted politely by the staff and were seated comfortably. For a weekend, the restaurant wasn’t crowded as we expected. The ambiance seemed none too extravagant yet modern and comfortable. We immediately felt at home. The head server introduced himself with a warm smile and guided us on how to order at Noodle House. A form was presented to us with a noodle -shaped pen and whatever we desired to order, we were to tick against the boxes in the menu. We went through the menu that seemed like any Pan Asian restaurant but I am not the one to judge instantly. I am back to being a vegetarian and it disappointing to see that there were very few vegetarian options on the menu.

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I ordered for a 4 seasons mocktail which was essentially a refreshing blend of 4 fruit juices and strawberry puree. This rejuvenating start raised my hopes for the rest of the evening.

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For starters we ordered vegetarian dimsums/vegetable Hacao which came very quickly to our delight. We attacked the piping hot dimsums with gusto only to find the pasty, sticky stuff constantly sticking to the roof of our mouths. Plus it was hot. So definitely quite annoying. So our hopes were dashed momentarily until our main courses arrived.

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I had ordered for Wok fried Vegetables with Tofu and black bean and Brown Rice. From the very first morsel it was simply divine. I haven’t tasted better tasting wok fried veggies and tofu in the longest time. Every spoonful was a sheer delight. It was light, full of flavour and paired with brown rice, it was such a satisfying meal. Even as I type this post, I can clearly recall the taste.

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My hubby had ordered a Crispy chicken in plum sauce which was fantastic too. My hubby who usually remains unimpressed and is known to leave his portions at restaurants, finished his chicken in no time.

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Our friend Namit had ordered a Thai Green curry with vegetables served with jasmine rice. He too couldn’t have enough of his portion and literally wiped his plate clean. It was only after we finished every bit on our plates in record time did we realize that we were too full to even move.

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In my greed, I had also ordered a salad called the Asian Chopped salad which largely remained untouched inspite of being fresh and so inviting.

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Noodle House served us well and though the dimsums were disastrous, the rest of the course more than made up for it. The portions look deceptively small but are more than sufficient.

I could easily find myself stepping out on any Saturday evening and heading towards Noodle House to eat the very same thing I had ordered before. The taste stays with you and that is what makes Noodle House so special. That quality only certain restaurants have and hence remain  firm favourites with all their patrons.

Now for the verdict;

Food – 4.5/5

Service – 4/5

Ambiance 4/5

Overall – 4/5

The total bill amount came to BHD 24.200. In my opinion it is value for money spent on Noodle House food.

I am extremely thrilled to announce that Noodle House has been sliced and is officially the last of the restaurant reviews for the Restaurant Review Project (RRP). Noodle House gets a huge thumbs up from all of us and they can easily assume that they have made loyal customers out of us in just one dinner experience.

Restaurant Review Project 23 – Beyroute

20 Aug

 

We are nearing the end of our 5 day Eid holidays bonanza and my view has had a 360 degree flip. At the start of the holidays, I was feeling underwhelmed about not going for a mini-vacation outside this hot country. I gave many a hints to my hubby who adamantly refused to take any. Well, there’s a reason why he didn’t. It is because we are going on our annual leave towards the end of October. Disappointed, that all the people I know were making the most of this 5 day break by visiting the nearby countries, I didn’t feel there was much to look forward to. Anyone who has lived in Bahrain would know that entertainment options are very limited. Eating out and visiting friends (if any) are the only two options given the weather at this time of the year.

So for one of the dinners we went to one of the restaurants that we always meant to visit but never got around doing it. Beyroute – which is a Lebanese restaurant on Budaiya highway has been one such joint. Budaiya has been an area where some unrest has been reported time and again and for that reason we had missed visiting Beyroute. But being legendary ‘foodies’ we decided to brave all the unrest and finally ended up visiting Beyroute. Was it a food journey worth risking our lives for , if you would ask; perhaps not. But having said that it would be only fair to admit that some of the traditional dishes were exceptional.

olives, fava beans, hummous

Beyroute is beautiful to say the least. When you enter the vicinity, you would be struck by how beautifully it has been done. There is something deja-vu-ish about its interiors but not it in the cliched sort of way. It is has a calming effect on the mood which in my opinion is because of the right kind of lighting and colors. The walls are adorned by classic black and white photographs of old Beirut. The seating is wooden chairs and tables which were slightly uncomfortable after sometime. For any fine dining, in my view, requires comfortable seating because people who come to dine aren’t in to grab a meal on the go but to enjoy the full length of the meal, savoring the flavours, making conversations and essentially enjoying the whole dining experience. And comfortable seating is definitely one of the main factors that ensures that people remain seated rather than shift uncomfortably after 15 minutes of being seated. So that was definitely one glitch in the whole dining experience.

Now for the food.

Beyroute diners are given steamed/boiled fava beans  and brined olives on the house. This was my first time tasting fava beans and I loved them. Somewhere they reminded me of green peas but their texture and taste is milder and more filling.

For starters we ordered the customary hummous with bread which was devoured soon. The silken hummous was excellent being the finest I have tasted in recent times. Bread was fresh from the oven. We also ordered for watermelon juice which wasn’t fresh and was laden with sugar inspite of having told the server that sugar was a strict no-no. For the main course, we ordered our individual dishes.

The first being the Spinach Manakeesh  which was sumptuous and belly filling to say the least with the generous stuffing of spinach and cheese stuffed inside the flat bread.     For my vegetarian friend, Falafel is staple at all Arabic joints and Beyroute was no exception. We were served crispy and crunchy falafel with a not so charming dip and pickled, radish, turnips and carrots.

Lentil soup with crispy, fried bread, Crunchy falafel

Our hearts were warmed with a hearty lentil soup served with wedges of lime and crispy, chips-like deep fried pita bread on the side. Our appetites were more or less satiated after this and a batch of fresh fries with ketchup.

While ordering, we didn’t consider the portions and soon realized that we had over-ordered because we had Grilled hammour platter, Fattet Djei ( a chicken dish in a deep bowl) and Fried eggs in olive oil to finish.

Grilled hammour was delightful with the flesh grilled to perfection with soft and crumbly fish meat spiced just right served with a salad on the side and a lip smacking dip.

The Fattet Djei (chicken in a deep bowl) and spinach manakeesh (down)

The Fattet Djei was a let down or maybe our palette wasn’t used to such  bland Lebanese dish. It just felt like some warm yogurt with cooked chicken, crispy, deep fried pita bread and fava beans with absolutely zero seasoning. After a few spoonfuls it was left on the side, ignored and untouched.

The fried eggs were comfort food at its best and I had ordered that for my daughter who showed very little interest unfortunately. She was content munching on the steamed fava beans and sipping on the sugary watermelon juice.

hammour and fried eggs in olive oil (lebanese style)

It was a lot of food of which the fish and falafel had to be doggy bagged.  The total bill came to 20 BD for 3 people, which is moderate considering the amount of food we had ordered along with a watermelon juice and a large bottle of water.

The staff was polite and most considerate except in the case of the watermelon juice. For some reason, I felt reluctant about sending it back because somewhere I knew they would probably bring the same glass back ( just a hunch from extensive experience of eating out at numerous restaurants)

Happy to announce that Beyroute has been SLICED!!!

Our experience has been above average in all the departments concerning the ‘ Eating out” process at Beyroute. Would we come out of our way to dine here; well that remains to be seen. Right now, when I ask the dinner attendees if they would visit Beyroute again, the answers vary from a strict NO to maybe ( if someone else is paying).

Now for the verdict;

Food – 3/5

Service – 3/5

Ambience 3.5/5

Overall – 3/5

Beyroute would see better days if they changed their seating to something more comfortable, probably serve liquor and deliver more value by revamping their cuisine to do justice to all the money they’ve spent on their splendid decor.

This is my penultimate Restaurant Review and with the 24th review, I would conclude my Restaurant Review Project. It has been such an exciting and long ( long , long long ) food journey that has over shot all the expected timelines. Nevertheless, it has been the most amazing one.

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