Where to go for lunch? It’s always a dilemma when you’ve got such a spectacular range of choices on the island’s culinary scene … and one major hotel in the kingdom makes it even harder by offering a tempting triple treat.
Decisions, decisions for the discerning businessman wanting to discuss deals over delightful dishes or simply to rendezvous with family and friends to break up a monotonous day in the office.
What’s more remarkable is the fact that dining at lunch time at the Crowne Plaza Bahrain comes at such divine prices and nothing like what you would expect from a five-star award-winning property, but we’ll come to that later.
As I’m terrible at making such difficult choices my good friends at the hotel allowed me to taste test all three lunch time menus at Waves, Spices and the majestic all-day dining destination, La Mosaique.
Now before the good lady wife, Kathryn, starts bouncing up and down with anger and suggesting I’ll be pulling all that weight back on that I so diligently lost by going running every morning, I hasten to add that I fixed it to have a starter, main course and dessert in alternative venues.
It sounded like the ideal solution and somehow I managed to convince marketing & communications manager, Priya Shankar, to play along so that I could best describe the offerings without bursting at the seams and she’d be saving my marriage at the same time.
Priya joined me at the table at Waves’ wonderful seafood restaurant to discuss my cheeky plan of action and I quickly tucked into a light and delicious deep-fried calamari with rocket salad and avocado.
In Italy, squid translates directly as calamari, which is how the popular appetiser gets its name and this was cooked to perfection. The business lunch at BD8net offers an alternative starter of seafood soup with vegetables and chili oil.
Main fillet dishes are pan-seared hammour with roasted potato, grilled eggplant and herb-buttered sauce, or grilled Sharray with vegetables in Thai green coconut served with Jasmine rice.
Fresh sliced seasonal fruits or a ginger cardamom crème brulee with orange zest were on the dessert menu.
I was very tempted to stay but I had the thoughts of Indian cuisine firmly fixed in my mind. Funnily enough, it worked on Priya who only moments earlier had said she would have to leave as she was ‘really busy’. I gave her my best sad dog impression hoping she wouldn’t leave me to dine on my own and as soon as I suggested skipping across to Spices for the main course the thought of piles of paperwork were quickly placed on the pending file. Even a busy hotel executive deserves a break … and this lady loves the taste of Thaali!
Thaali refers to a metal plate that the meal is served on. The idea behind it is to offer different flavours of sweet, salt, sour and spicy food on one single plate. Dishes are usually served in small bowls, called katori and include rice, dal, vegetables, roti, papad, yogurt, plus small amounts of pickle, and a sweet dish to top it off, which I gave a miss, knowing I had one more destination lined-up.
Rice occupies the central portion, while the side dishes like curries and other aforementioned delicacies are lined circularly along the round Thaali. And, all this, for BD5net. Incredible!
Two of my pots contained a Chicken Tikka and a Butter Chicken. I combined the two on my plate and later told my friend, senior sous chef Suseno Hadisutarno, to pass on the good news to his Indian kitchen colleagues that I had invented something special … Stan’s Chicken Tikka Masala (the latter is a word of Indian origin, meaning mixture of Spices, the same name as the restaurant) which I think could really catch on.
I might even try it back home in Blighty!
Next stop was La Mosaique which offers a triple choice too, BD13.300net for the lot, or a three course menu at BD8net, as well as two-courses at just BD6net.
The desserts on show were spectacular and included red velvet cake, carrot cake and they were slicing up more chocolate brownies as I walked in because there had been a rush on the delights from a large lunchtime gathering.
My eyes were set on a terrific, mouth-watering Tiramisu, with a sliver of white chocolate on top. This popular coffee-flavoured Italian dessert is made of sponge biscuits dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. Magnificent!
If you were to ask me which restaurant I’d choose I’d have to admit again, I’m rubbish at making decisions. I might have to try them one at a time!
For more details and to book a table call 800100610 or visit www.cp-bahrain.com.
Stanley Louis Szecowka
Editor/Journalist & Blogger, Restaurant & Motors Reviewer, FinTech Writer, Manager, Trainer.
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