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.
Cafe La Ventana’s menu is huge. And all handwritten. That sort of charming, handwritten menu that you don’t see these days. On the menu you’ll find sandwiches, salads, quiche, pies, jacket potatoes and baguettes. The sandwiches, salads and jacket potatoes come in either a pick your own topping sort of deal or what’s on the menu.
Pies are served with your choice of two side salads or one side salad and some mashed potato and gravy. Mashed potato and gravy all the way!
Since our first visit to Cafe La Ventana it’s become regular, weekend haunt. And that was about four months ago. You’d think we’ve gone through a fair bit of the menu by now then, but nope. We have sampled the pies, sandwiches, baguettes, quiche, salads and cakes. Let’s talk you through some of them.
The chicken & mushroom and steak & kidney pies are winners. Especially with the gravy and mash. Proper pies. Generously filled and packed with flavour. Do you know what else is packed with flavour – the gravy. You only get given a small gravy boat of it, but kindly ask for more, and they will deliver.
Every single one of the multitude of sandwiches we’ve had have been excellent. Fresh bread, either brown or white, toasted or not. The sandwich fillings are generous to the point where all you’ll really need is the sandwich and not an accompanying side salad to go with. The other thing about the sandwich filling is that it’s not just slathered with mayonnaise to bulk it up. Just great fresh food.
Talking of fresh food – the green salad. It may be just a side salad, but every time this salad is so perfect it doesn’t need dressing. The greens are the freshest we’ve had, as are the rest of the vegetables in the salad. Though if you want something a bit bulkier, we recommend the potato salad, which isn’t made with mayonnaise interestingly enough. While still being a hearty potato salad, it loses that overly cloying and heavy feeling a regular potato salad may leave you feeling.
Almost forgot to mention their cakes and sweet pies. All freshly made, and the few that we’ve tasted are just as great as their mains. Favourites so far are the steamed apple cake and banana cream pie. Taking a bite out of the banana cream pie and getting actual banana in that bite was kind of awesome. And this coming from someone who’s not a big fan of banana in their deserts. Neither of these two cakes are too sweet. You’ll be begging for another slice to take home with you.
Now let’s come to the price. A meal for two, coffee, water and sandwiches or salads at some of Block 338’s well known cafes and restaurants, you’re looking at at least BHD 15 in total, right? Cafe La Ventana you’re looking at around BHD 8 for that.
Cafe La Ventana is the most charming, character filled restaurant we’ve been to in Bahrain. It just feels right. From the food to the decor there’s nothing we can really find fault about this place. Items on the menu can run out. But the menu is so vast, you’ll find something else that takes your fancy. Cafe La Ventana, you’re our new regular.
Cafe La Ventana’s Vital Statistics
- Phone: +973 6637 1616
- Hours: Every day, 9am – 11pm
- Credit cards accepted: Yes