AS a regular morning runner I like to set a weekend target of 5km on a Friday, particularly if I have an Eating Out review planned for later on in the day.
I like to call it my ‘fast before the feast’ … although looking at my times in recent weeks, it might be better to start renaming it the ‘slow trot to the table’.
Naughtily, I also look for any excuse to put it off and with the wind setting up a sandstorm 24 hours earlier there was almost a readymade reason to stay in bed. But, guilt and the thought of indulging in the Dilly Brunch made me step into my running shoes and tackle the elements and I’m so glad I did.
When we first moved to Bahrain 12 years ago we were regulars at the Dilmun Club and I really can’t remember the last time we booked a table for the brunch, although we have sampled and enjoyed numerous midweek promotions conjured up by Executive Chef Tej Bahadur Tamang.
The Friday Brunch in Candles Restaurant remains one of the most cost-effective offerings on the island at BD9 (BD19 for the all-inclusive beverage package) and I was mightily impressed with the superb buffet spread plus live cooking stations, the genuinely friendly and attentive service … and the sounds too.
Delightful soul singer Faith Murphy, accompanied by guitarist Rob Ortega, was an added bonus and her interpretation of Witney Houston’s Where Do Broken Hearts Go, for example, was memorable.
The food offering was not for the faint-hearted and I was determined to get stuck in with a vengeance … and worry about the guilt later. I decided to pace myself and tackle the full brunch experience with breakfast, lunch and dinner in one sitting, like the good ol’ days. It can be done between 11.30am and 3.30pm, honest!
It started off healthily enough with a raid on the mixed seafood platter alongside a helping of Waldorf salad made of fresh apples, celery, grapes and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise, and served on a bed of lettuce, regarded by many as the ultimate appetiser.
Then, the best of British, a full English. The plates were warm, a major plus in my book as you wouldn’t believe how many cafés (and even five star restaurants) attempt to offer hot food in a chilled, air conditioned environment on cold plates and wonder why diners complain about the food being lukewarm!
Hot mains on offer included Chicken Tikka Makhanwala, Vegetable Korma, Tortellini in Tomato Sauce and Fried Fish, but the race was on for the Meat Pie with guests queuing for a helping. The demand was clear to understand after the first bite – a combination of beautifully-seasoned beef in glorious gravy with a heavenly pastry crust. Outstanding.
I wasn’t ready to wave the white flag just yet and sat back to enjoy the music once again. Two songs later and I was ready to head to the live cooking stations. A young lady recommended the Seafood Pasta but I had my eyes set on the steak connoisseur’s favourite cut, a lovely piece of rump. There was chicken and squid too for those fancying a live grill mix-up.
The steak was taken away to the kitchen and perfectly grilled to a requested medium-rare by Chef Tej’s new right hand man, Sous Chef Julius ‘Jas’ Astorga, as he carried on slicing the joint of roast beef for the good lady wife, Kathryn, to enjoy with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and fresh vegetables.
Full to bursting, there was only one mountain left to conquer … dessert. The fresh fruit, collection of cakes and perfect profiteroles were tempting but the apple crumble and custard was calling. I answered. I ate. I enjoyed.
Later, sipping a coffee and biting into a biscuit with cheese, I thought … maybe a 6km run next time.
The entertainment continues next week with celebrated tribute artist Emily Wold arriving with her Amy Winehouse show. Brunch price for this special event is BD5 extra (BD14, BD24 all-inclusive and BD6 for children). Call 17690926 for more details.
Stanley Louis Szecowka
Editor/Journalist & Blogger, Restaurant & Motors Reviewer, FinTech Writer, Manager, Trainer.
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