Tag Archives: cuisine

{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. 

A Guest post about the top 5 things to do in Bahrain for Amelia – Chai : A cup of Life

17 Mar

When Amelia  of Chai: A cup of life asked me to do a guest post for her, I agreed immediately without really thinking what I was going to write about. I know and appreciate the fact that Amelia wrote about her life as an expat in India and now Dubai. She gave such profound cultural insights about the Indian way of living that it sometimes shocked and surprised me how these escaped me when I lived there. Anyways, coming to the point.. I decided I’d do a TOP 5 Things to do in Bahrain post for her.

An excerpt from my post on Amelia’s blog.

“Living an expat’s life in Bahrain for the last four years has been the most enchanting one. Every single day, I get a new cultural insight that leaves me enriched with life lessons. Initially, I had reservations about adjusting to the Middle Eastern culture but I was proved wrong in no time by the openness and the warmth of the people of Bahrain. It has been four years now and I can confidently call Bahrain my home because even when I am on my annual vacation to India, I miss the comfort of my routine in Bahrain.

Bahrain, also known as the Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island-country on the western shores of the Persian Gulf. In four years, I have had a chance to enjoy most of the sights that the country has to offer. It cannot be compared to the touristy offerings of Oman or Dubai but it is quite special in its own way for its inhabitants and tourists alike. For the longest time, Bahrain was the financial hub of the Middle East and it still is in my opinion (though many would contest that because the 2008 financial downturn was hard on the Bahrain economy). Yet, the charm of Bahrain has to be lived to be experienced, which we as expats do every single day of our life.” 

For more head over to Chai: A cup of life

Meanwhile Happy Holi to everybody!!!

I share with you some instagram pictures of Holi Celebrations in Bahrain

Holi celebrations at the Temple in Manama - the capital of Bahrain

Holi celebrations at the Temple in Manama – the capital of Bahrain

"Gheear" A Sindhi Specialty like a Jalebi for Holi

“Gheear” A Sindhi Specialty like a Jalebi for Holi

 

Restaurant Review Project 16- Memories

15 Mar

This one’s a special review because it was birthday celebration dinner. Our dear friend, Namit who had had his birthday on the 9th of March, asked us out for dinner on the 10th of March, at Memories. This beautiful restaurant is located at the Bahrain City Center. Original plan was to go to Memories of China but somehow it all got mixed up and we ended up at Memories where they serve all kinds of South East Asian Cuisine.

The situation in Bahrain is still extremely tensed and you can feel the stress in the air. The restaurant was uncharacteristically desolate with just a few families dining at disparate corners. When you see such a sight, it makes you queasy. Heart is tormented by guilt and brazenness – half and half. Guilt because, we are having a good time while things aren’t their best in the city and brazenness because we chose to come out  when majority people chose to stay indoors. Shaking that feeling off, we took our places at this stylish restaurant. No sooner, we picked the menu card, did we realize our mix up. This wasn’t the intended restaurant but we decided to order anyways.

For starters, we ordered

Edamame

– which are immature soyabeans boiled in their pods and salted. This was the first time I dug into the succelent beans and enjoyed it.

Vegetable Tempura

– The tempura wasn’t as light and crispy as I would have liked. The vegetable pieces weren’t thinly sliced and that made all the difference.

For the maincourse we ordered

Sweet and Sour Chicken and Rice

– It is customary to order sweet and sour chicken/vegetables at a south east asian restaurant. It is a safe choice, if you ask me. There is very little that can go wrong. This was an average version of Sweet and Sour with chicken. Not good. Not bad. As for the rice, we had ordered for steam rice but it turned out more towards the sticky side. I am not a big fan of sticky rice and steered clear for the evening.

Singaporean Prawns

– Loved the prawns which were cooked to perfection. The gravy had a some yogurt or bean curd- I am not sure about this. But it tasted lovely.

Bakmi Goreng

– These Indonesian egg noddles were splendid. They are fried noodles with a generous helping of vegetables such as carrots, cabbage and shrimp, chicken and egg. I love this version of wheat noodles which were so refreshingly different from the regular hakka.

Braised Tofu for the Vegetarian Birthday Boy

-This was Tofu braised with vegetables and what looked like soy sauce. It was horridly bland and nothing ( neither salt nor pepper) could salvage this case. Quite an unfortunate choice by the birthday boy.

So Memories leaves me with no memories of anything spectacular. I find this a common problem with restaurants that seem to offer myriad of cuisines in one platter. They just do not do justice and seem like trying too hard. This I have to admit, that Memories did not have the run-of-the-mill menu. They had tried to incorporate varied flavours but weren’t able to come out with flying colours in all of them. I feel bad for Namit- Birthday Boy as he seemed to go hungry that night. We did not feel like trying any desserts so we just asked for the check.

A meal for 3 cost us 21.780 BD to be precise. Just about average for the average food.
But as custom dictates, I shall announce that Memories ( Bahrain City Center) has been SLICED!!
The verdict goes like this

Food- 3/5
Ambience 4/5
Service – 3/5
Overall – 3/5

It remains to be seen, whether I would be able to go and review another restaurant in Bahrain. Stepping out has become a problem with the sectarian clash here in Bahrain. I hope I am able to otherwise it would make me very sad. So fingers crossed.

Restaurant Review Project 7- Castello

11 Jan

Remember what I said about following your instincts in my previous review .  Well it doesn’t always work.

But my family and friends had to bear the brunt of my instinctive decision to visit Anatolia- A Turkish restaurant in Budaiya, Bahrain. I was clearly fascinated by the name  to the extent that I almost decided that if I were to have another daughter, I would call her Anatolia!

So we did go to Anatolia which is quite some way from where we lived. The place was the most uninspiring dining area, I have ever seen. Even my government college canteen had a better decor. There was absolutely nothing Turkish about the place and the menu was prosaic. Not wanting to waste anytime, we quickly made our way out.  Now Anatolia is located in a quaint little garden that everybody knows as Cypress Garden. So we decided to scout for some other decent restaurant to have dinner as we were really ravenous. Of the lot, Castello- an Italian restaurant seemed decent. So, this restaurant review is about Castello now instead of Anatolia. Continue reading

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