Vento at the Four Seasons

Vento at the Four Seasons

There’s no shortage of Italian places in Bahrain. But there is a shortage of GOOD Italian food. Vento’s one of the newer Italian restaurants to open up. Located in the brand new Four Seasons hotel.

Driving up to The Four Seasons hotel always feels very ominous. Kind of isolated on its own little island. Yes, an island within an island. The building itself is huge, and eerily quiet. Once inside, the atmosphere feels very much the same, but what always puts us at ease are the staff. Every single one of them, from the valet staff to the restaurant hosts, are all so friendly and happy to help. Good thing too, considering everything is difficult to find.

First items ordered – two negronis. We’ve indulged in cocktails at the CUT Bar before where the bartenders there really know how to mix their drinks – these negronis were no exception.

The menu at Vento is split between appetisers, antipasto platters, pasta, pizza, main courses and desserts. While not overwhelmingly extensive, it still took a while to figure out what to order. Continue reading

Sumo – sushi that punches above its weight

Sumo Sushi and Bento

Sumo – Sushi & Bento is one of the Middle East’s most well-known sushi franchises providing sushi, bento and a few hot dishes. They have two outlets in Bahrain, one in Amwaj at The Lagoon and one in Juffair on Shabab Avenue.

Sumo has been our go-to sushi restaurant for a long while now. It’s convenient, for when you’ve got a craving for some sushi and something of the Japanese food variety. Sumo isn’t high end sushi, but what it is is a place where you can get some solid sushi, time and again, for a pretty decent price. Continue reading

Cafe La Ventana – the best of Block 338

Cafe La Ventana

Sometimes all you want for a meal is a plate of good honest food, served in a non-pretentious environment, and at a fair price. Too much to ask for? Maybe. We’ve only found one place that ticks all of those boxes – Cafe La Ventana.

We’re embarrassed that we hadn’t heard of or seen Cafe La Ventana before. Located in Adliya, just behind Gulf Hotel, Cafe La Ventana serves salads, soups, sandwiches, pies and cakes. All freshly prepared and cooked on the premises. Previously located in amongst the restaurants Block 338, but earlier last year moved to their current location. Continue reading

Sombrero Taco Shop – 3rd time lucky?

Tucked away in a tiny shop in Old Juffair, just past Juffair Dome (not to be confused with Dôme Cafe in Juffair) you’ll find a little taco shop.

I first heard about this place on Facebook and I immediately left the house to score some breakfast burritos. I picked up an egg/potato/cheese burrito for myself and a machaca burrito for Jaina. They took ages to make (30-40 min?), but they were worth the wait, and pretty good value.

The second time was around Christmas 2014. My brothers were in town and we decided to order delivery. This turned out to be a huge mistake. The food arrived after an hour and a half. I remembered I ordered chilaquiles, and what I got was essentially nachos. Cold nachos. In fact, out of the 5 dishes we ordered, one was hot and the rest varied from warmish to cold. On top of that, the food just wasn’t very good. Nevertheless, we chalked this up to ‘just don’t order delivery’ and ventured out recently for the third visit. Would this be the meal that turned things around? Or would it be our last? Continue reading

Non-Food Review: Eat App

Eat App

While this isn’t a food review it is indirectly related to food. Well, related to the eating of food – the Eat App.

Eat App is a brand new Bahrain-grown app to help make booking restaurants all the easier. Upon first hearing about the app I was interested but a little cynical. Wondering whether the app actually solved a problem that was worth solving. I didn’t think there was that much pain around booking tables for restaurants in Bahrain.

This is where Anish piped up. Booking a restaurant out of its operating hours is nigh on impossible. Over the phone, you can run into misunderstandings. Little things can go wrong. So maybe, the Eat App did solve a problem that needed solving. Continue reading

Margarita Mexicana – Mexican “Festival”

Margarita Mexicana

There aren’t many Mexican food places in Bahrain. You could count them all on one hand, and they’re almost exclusively in Manama. One of said Mexican restaurants is currently hosting a Mexican “Festival”Gulf Hotel’s Margarita Mexicana, where you can sample authentic Mexican food alongside enjoying some quality Mexican entertainment.

Both the chef involved and entertainment (dancers and singers) have been flown in from Mexico for the “Festival”. There’s a specific menu for the “Festival” that’s been created by the specially flown in chef.

Sounds grand, right? Oh and why is the word festival in quotation marks? You’ll find out… Continue reading

Al Maisam – a hidden gem in Salmabad

Al Maisam in Salmabad

Ask any resident of our quaint little island where the best Indian food in town is and you’ll get the same few responses – Lanterns, Copper Chimney, Spices, Nirvana, and maybe a few shout-outs to Saravana Bhavan and Sangeetha. These restaurants are good. Very good. But are they the best? I’m not so sure.

Those familiar with Salmabad will immediately have an image pop into their heads. Intertwined dusty streets filled with car part stores, garages, industrial lots, and littered with cars seemingly left to rot in the unforgiving sun.

I ventured out to Salmabad with a friend to get some car work done one morning (Yep! Another breakfast post. Shocking.) and hunger hit us… hard. So we ventured out in hopes of finding something, anything, to eat. We made it about 80 metres before spotting a small shop with some Indian snacks in the window. Maybe they have something more substantial? Worth investigating at the very least. Continue reading

An Arabic Breakfast at Saffron by Jena

Saffron by Jena

Saffron by Jena could be considered an institution in terms of restaurants in Bahrain. Ask anyone who’s lived in Bahrain for a decent amount of time and they will tell you to go to Saffron, if you haven’t already.

Saffron by Jena serves breakfast and only breakfast. A traditional Bahraini breakfast of ful, eggs with tomato, balaleet, beans, bread and more. There’s no menu. There is just the breakfast plate.

Saffron by Jena have 3 locations in Bahrain – Muharraq souk, Manama souk and Riffa fort. You can’t really go wrong with any of them. Our personal favourite is the one in Muharraq. It’s not the easiest to find on your first trip, hidden in the side streets in Muharraq. Which is probably why I like this location so much. Not to mention the inside of the place – it feels like they’ve really made an effort to retain as much of the old Bahrain as possible. Continue reading

Breakfast at Cafe Amsterdam

Brunch – an almost exclusive weekend meal where you spend the entire day eating and drinking. Which is a valid choice of activity for any weekend. However, brunch in Bahrain isn’t the brunch we know and love. Seems brunch food is lost in Bahrain. It’s more of a Linner (Lunch-Dinner) than a brunch. So when a choice comes between breakfast or brunch, we tend to always choose breakfast.

Which is exactly what we did when we called Cafe Amsterdam, one Saturday morning, and were given this very choice. Cafe Amsterdam is one of the newer kids on the block. Opened in the middle of 2014, sharing outdoor venue space with the fantastic La Vinoteca Barcelona, Cafe Amsterdam is a slightly different beast. Same impeccable high standards, but things just feel a little bit lighter. More casual.

Well, we had plenty of stuff to get done that day, brunch could wait. Also, BD26++? A bit steep for us!

Right, onto the food. Continue reading

Welcome to BHBh

Hi there and welcome to Brutally Honest Bahrain. A very new and ever so slightly rough around the edges food review blog brought to you by your hosts, Anish and Jaina.

Whether it’s fine dining or just the local down the street, we’ll be bringing you some brutally honest reviews of all the places we eat at.

There’s a whole longer spiel about the site and the two of us over on the About page, so if you’re feeling nosy, feel free to have a read.

Follow us on Instagram, where you can see in ‘real-time’, what we’re eating and where!

Coming up soon

To whet your appetite on what’s coming up on Brutally Honest Bahrain, we’ve got a few reviews lined up of some well-known and popular Bahraini restaurants which we can’t wait to share with you.