Tag Archives: Manama

Bahrain International Design Week – GO NOW!!! #BAHRAIN

6 Dec

Celebrate . Connect . Grow.

Those are words that resonate with the all new Bahrain International Design Week (BIDW, 2013 ) that debuted on the 1st of December. The idea behind BIDW is to provide a platform for designers and creative people in the Middle East. It is also a platform that will be visited by buyers, investors, developers, collectors and the public. BIDW showcases three main areas covering design on the personal, architectural/interior and other creative services angle

I was given this opportunity to write about the event that spans over a week starting 1st of December to the 7th of December, 2013. It is exciting for me personally to be a part of this national event as I get to witness and document my observations of the creative best in the region.

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The event is being held at the  Bahrain International Exhibition Centre (between 10 am to 10 pm). I went last evening (Thursday, the 5th of Dec) and found myself amazed at the cutting edge innovation and creativity enclosed in one place. I tried to capture a few snapshots of the display that caught my eye.

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Some of the local talent is remarkable. I had a chance to chat with Noof  Alresaei (instagram : @noowood) whose coco cola bottle creations and the torso of man with a lampshade for a head were quite popular for the evening. Do follow her to see her other creations.

The other popular tents for the evening were the clothes and the jewellery display for obvious reasons. Many international designers and universities have also been invited to participate. This is an opportunity for the creative lot of Bahrain to connect with some of the international exhibitors.

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The event also hosted the fashion show showcasing jewelry and some speeches from the who’s who in the design field. For more information please do visit the website at www.bidw.com
Facebook: BahrainInternationalDesignWeek
Twitter: @BIDW2013
Instagram: @BIDW2013

We have 2 more days of BIDW to enjoy and I urge all of you to come and take a look at what BIDW has to offer.

In the end, I would like to commend the efforts made by A1 Services for organizing this event and  the PR agency TalentFreeFlow for promoting it so successfully. (@talentfreeflow on FB, twitter and instagram)

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Restaurant Review Project 19- Salad Boutique

31 Aug

It has been such a long time that I haven’t made an addition to my ongoing Restaurant Review Project. Not that I haven’t been eating out. I have been too lazy to take pictures and write about the food. I have had excellent opportunity to sample some extraordinary food and that is the reason why I had little patience to keep it waiting to take pictures. When there are no pictures to support the gastronomic crime committed, posts cannot be written, simply because a picture is worth a thousand words.

But my reviews have pictures and thousand words! 🙂

Anyways, on a day when I wasn’t extremely ravenous but wanted a nibble, I was reminded of a new place in town called, Salad Boutique. This quaint little place is located in the heart of the posh Block 338, Adliya.  As the name suggests, they specialize in serving Salads as the main course.

Salad Boutique sports a charming, candle lit opulent interior. It has a cream and purple decor with sparkling chandeliers that oozes indulgence and elegance in the same breath.

Upon entering, we were given a warm welcome by a smartly dressed server and were shown our seat. Since it was Ramadan, there weren’t many diners even on a weekend. That was perfect for us since it meant, Mimi could roam around the restaurant being friendly with the staff.

Soon, we were presented the menu and that I suppose is what has the potential to set this restaurant apart. We were handed the Apple iPad that functions as a menu card. This is such a novel idea and it was supremely exciting to peruse through a comprehensive menu. When the initial excitement was over, we made our order to the server. That is where I felt it had a failed a little. Having an iPad and not using it to its full potential is a waste, in my opinion. It is like having a cell phone only to scroll through the contacts and not actually being able to make a call!! It should have been possible to even place an order through the iPad instead of the server taking down notes. Anyhow, we did place our orders and it was surprising to note that they not only had a wide variety of salad, but also sandwiches, burgers, risotto, pastas and all kinds of sides.

We ordered a Falafel Salad – which consisted of Falafel, lettuce, Cucumber, Parsley and Rocca  and served with Tahina Dressing. Not exactly low-calorie food, I was hoping for. But when it arrived it looked like a sumptuous meal that I could eat at the restaurant and then later pack the leftovers back home. It tasted as good as it looked on the plate.

and a refreshing drink called Vanilla Rocca. I would recommend this restaurant for this drink alone. It has the power to change the world! Okay, I may be exaggerating a little bit, but you get the drift.

Some Grilled Chicken  Sandwich – which had a Grilled Chicken Breast, Lettuce, Rocca, Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese with Special Sauce. This sandwich wasn’t the best chicken sandwich but it was filling with a coleslaw side.

And Grilled Veggies Sandwich – Grilled Zucchini, Eggplant, Green Bell Pepper, and Rocca Leaves, Mixed with Light Mayonnaise-Tahina Sauce. This sandwich was really tasty and I would recommend this even if you are a meat lover. The eggplant and the tahina sauce combination gives this sandwich a meat-y  flavor.

Apparently, all the sandwiches are presented in similar manner so the photographs of the chicken and the vegetable sandwich look the same.

and a bottle of chilled water in a glass bottle designed by Paul Smith which I took home to plant my money plant.

Overall, the dinner was definitely not light as I had assumed it to be, but it was sure sumptuous. The total bill came to 20 BD for 3 adults.

So I am proud to announce that Salad Boutique has been SLICED and the verdict is as follows,

Food – 3/5

Ambiance – 4/5

Service – 3/5

Overall – 3/5

Salad Boutique has other outlets in Kuwait and Jeddah.

 

Restaurant Review Project 18- Traders Vic’s

6 Jun

I have been to Trader Vic’s before and absolutely loved the place. This a Polynesian themed restaurant that promises to give you the true Hawaiian experience. At Traders Vic, which is located at Ritz Carlton, Manama, it feels you have entered a different era altogether. You will find waitresses sashaying in Suzie Wong like dresses  like  the one I have pasted below

Sizzling right?

Trader Vic’s  sports an easy , idyllic atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable at once. It gives you the 1970’s kind of a feel for some reason though everything that they offer and the music that they play keeps with today’s times.  A live band belts out jazz numbers and enthusiastic guests can shake a leg to get the mood going. There is outdoor seating that is very tempting to take but only when the weather is a tad clement. We opted to be seated indoors. Guests were streaming in on a lively friday and it was easy to be bedazzled by the blitz of decked up women and swashbuckling men. I could have spent all my time just looking at this lot, dressed in their designer best and looking like million bucks.

All of this and the beautiful decor of the place put me in a party mood.

My company for the evening were my husband and our friend Namit.

The server came over to take our order and we had a tough time choosing from the wide array of food choices. Trader Vic’s boasts of the best of the world cuisine on their menu – from the finest of caviar to the best of seafood cocktail platter. We settled for platter which offered us cheese balls, crab meat fritters, prawns cocktail and fried/seasoned chicken pieces. I fail to recall their precise names but it was wonderfully tasty.

I loved their  sea shell printed plates.

They offer a complimentary basket of breads and dips such as a mustard dip, chinese mustard dip (which is extremely tart , spicy and strange), a soy concoction and butter.

The appetisers looked so great that I felt coerced to order one more and  ordered the very delectable Calamari ( deep fried squid)

After the sumptuous appetiser treat, I was absolutely sure about skipping the main course because I had to sample some desserts. Oops!I totally forgot about the special part of the whole dinner. The DRINKS!!! Trader Vic’s specialize in shaking up some mind blowing cocktails. We ordered for a shared Rum Kegel. Though am not a habitual rum drinker neither was our friend Namit, who is a teetotaler. For once, Namit decided that he would want to give the spirit a try. The rum kegel was beautifully presented in a conch shell with 3 straws and adorning purple orchid. Sigh!

This rum concoction put us is a jaunty mood and I was quite surprised that  Namit was quite enjoying himself  after a few sips of the spirited confection.

My cohorts were up for some asian and continental cuisine so they ordered the main course.

Amit ordered for the Chicken 9 spice which looked brilliant and from all the mmmm sounds that Amit made by devouring it, meant it was really divine

Namit ordered the Udon Vegetarian noodles which were spicy and colorful.

Finally the best bit came when we ordered the dessert. … erm when I ordered the dessert.  It was the Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee. It looked elegant and tasted so light and fresh. The burnt caramel on the top gave a crunch to the otherwise delicate dessert.

And last but not the least, I was awfully excited about the fortune cookie that was offered along with the bill. I love the fortune cookie for the cookie bit and not for the fortune bit. Anyways, the fortune cookie predicted some kind of imminent doom in the near future. So all I did was to gobble up the cookie and toss the fortune chit away!

A meal for 3 with drinks landed us a fat check of 47 BD but worth every buck.

So Trader Vic’s has been SLICED and verdict is

Food – 4/5

Service 4/5

Ambience – 4.5/5

Overall – 4/5

You can be certain about having a great time, if you are at Trader Vic’s and I would highly recommend it, if you have  a birthday to celebrate or a promotion with a small set of friends. It is not the most ideal place for children but Mimi has already been there inspite of it and she had a good time.

I particularly liked the little knick-knack on our table. Presenting – Mr. Salt and Mr. Pepper

Restaurant Review 2- Gujarati Vegetarian Restaurant

13 Nov

Don’t be surprised, that’s the name of the restaurant- Gujarati Vegetarian Restaurant. Very little imagination made use of here. To the point and exact like Gujaratis themselves. “Seedhi Seedhi vaat karwani!!” Straight forward and simple in their talk and action.

I felt that the word ‘vegetarian’ wasn’t needed at all. Gujarat, Gujarati food, Gujarati food makers will always remain vegetarian. Yes, I am stereotyping but isn’t that what makes them so special. I have met two kinds of people who hold absolutely opposite views about Gujarati food. Either they are bonkers about it ( like me) or they hate the sight of meethi dal ( sweet dal)!! Being brought up in Gujarat my taste buds are well acquainted to Gujarati gastronomical offerings. So my enthusiasm could hardly be kept in bounds when we planned this trip to Manama’s Gujarati Vegetarian Restaurant. It is very close to the Manama Temple and the Yateem Center. Namit, again gave us a ride to the bustling heart of the city but to our surprise it was quite desolate. Friday isn’t the best of times to visit this part of the city, since all the shops and establishments are closed. I had skipped breakfast ( which is a terrible thing to do) in order to binge on the Gujju delights. We reached there by 1:30 pm and found it pretty crowded. Continue reading

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