The legendary Gulf Night Out is back on the calendar and it’s clear that the ultimate Arabic knees-up has lost none of its potency, pulling power or pizzazz.
The Gulf Hotel Bahrain, Convention & Spa bi-annual Tuesday night poolside sizzler comes round at this time of year like clockwork ... literally! I jest not, it always coincides with the clocks going back in the UK.
It’s the start of spring and unlike chilly Blighty the weather in Bahrain is wonderful. The Gulf Night Out means mid-week outside party fun with the cool QBA house band, followed by a swirling, shimmying and shaking belly dancer and a live performance from Al Rayash, one of Bahrain’s top local acts, blasting out a blend of Arabic tunes.
And, best of all, the fare is so fine it’s even good enough for this weekend’s Formula One stars who will be tucking into Gulf Hotel-inspired cuisine at the Bahrain International Circuit – but more about that later.
The night starts in welcoming style as guests are greeted by the hotel reception team and offered a traditional coffee by a cheerful host before being shown to their table.
The Gulf Hotel boasts some of the finest award-winning food and beverage outlets in the kingdom, often reviewed on this page, and the chefs appear to be trying their hardest to out-dazzle each other with their tempting cuisine and take centre stage on the Gulf Night Out.
The food is simply sensational and it’s like taking a culinary journey around the world with sizzling displays of hot dishes alongside cool, fresh salads and seafood temptations, with a delightful selection of desserts too. Add an astonishing choice of delicious delights from a comprehensive range of Arabic, Asian and European cuisines and it’s hard to know where to start.
There really is something for everyone. The Indian corner contains dishes delivered by the chefs of last year’s restaurant of the year Rasoi By Vineet and it’s a clever concept because one mouthful and you’re bound to be enticed to visit the restaurant itself to sample more of its fare!
The same goes for the Fusions corner with delicious lamb chops and the majestic Mexican sampling dishes created by one of my favourite dining destinations in the kingdom, Margarita Mexicana.
Added to the mix last Tuesday night was fluffy Iranian rice (the saffron one in particular was superb), a wide selection of sushi, a tempting Tempura corner, tantalising Thai tastes, perfect Italian pasta and the busiest spot was the Bahraini and Arabic live cooking stations offering an impressive range of suitably marinated chicken, lamb and beef pieces.
I also look forward to a helping of Mongolian dishes which is a regular and longed-for feature of this event. A pair of magnificent cooking drums are used to create stir-fry sensations with slices of beef, lamb, chicken or seafood with added fresh vegetables, spices and chili for those who like it hot.
There are tempting cakes and pastries but try and leave room for the freshly-cooked pancakes featuring a choice of fruity, chocolate and nutty fillings which go down a treat with a scooped helping of home-made ice-cream in a variety of flavours.
I had a chat with my old friend, Egyptian Chef Ebrahim, and he was extremely proud about the method of marinating which he believes makes the cuts of meat so popular.
Food & beverage manager Sunuj S. ‘Dean’ was conducting the show in style and during the evening I bumped into Charbel Hanna, executive assistant manager, who was recently presented with the inaugural CEO’s Award at the Gulf Hotels Group annual staff party, as reported in GulfWeekly.
He’s been busy behind the scenes helping to coordinate the culinary offers at the weekend’s grand prix party where more than 500 culinary staff will be stationed.
It is anticipated that more than 17,000 meals will be served during the three-day F1 extravaganza at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir. The catering team, made up of food production, logistics, managers and service personnel, will be from the Gulf Hotel Bahrain, Convention & Spa for the first time and contracted from local suppliers, as well as two specialty chefs brought in from a UK-based company.
Charbel said visitors can look forward to an array of international cuisine during the motor sport event with at least one local dish on every menu. “It’s good to taste local delicacies,” he added.
If it’s as tasty as it was at the Gulf Night Out racing fans
are in for a treat.
This popular Tuesday poolside event is priced at BD19++ for an unlimited food and selected beverages package, starting at 8pm.
l For more information visit https://www.gulfhotelbahrain.com/gulf-night-out-1st-season
Stanley Louis Szecowka
Editor/Journalist & Blogger, Restaurant & Motors Reviewer, FinTech Writer, Manager, Trainer.
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