THE goalposts have really moved with the stunning redesign and fabulous football-inspired fare on offer at one of the kingdom’s most popular venues which reopened just as the first whistle was blown to start the 2018 World Cup action.
The Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa’s newly-renovated Sherlock Holmes has managed to retain its time-honoured Old-English feel, notably the red telephone box, Baker Street sign, penny-farthing and striking image of the famous sleuth at the entrance.
The renovation took two months and, as reported in Gulf Weekly, the venue closed down on April 14. I called in to look at the worktaking place only a couple of weeks back and was visibly shaken by the dust and debris and never dreamt the construction team could get it finished in time.
What a stunning transformation! Step inside and visitors arewelcomed to a warm, stylish yet comfortable arena with a big screen, tables and chairs with their own unobscured views of more screens, plus cosy booth seatingareas, again each with their own viewing screens and match commentary language options for those wanting an alternative to English, plus charging docks for smart phones and USB ports.
They’ve really thought of everything to ensure the football action can be enjoyed to its fullest and the culinary fun during the tournament comes with a special selection of reasonably-priced bites.
Delivered to the table are choices such as Neymar SambaFries, Chicharito Peanuts, Pogba Popcorn, Messi Cheesy Chips, and CR7 ChickenPops, just BD2++, or the Harry Kane Battered Chippy and Salah Fiery Shrimps atBD3.500++.
In keeping with the night’s action I taste-tested the SalahFiery Shrimps and judging from the dismal performance of the Egyptian forward against hosts Russia there was much more bite in the food on this occasion than the player on the field.
This is no normal, timid prawn tempura.
Apparently the fast food-loving Portuguese introduced thedish to Japan and, today, it is better known as a Japanese dish. Perhaps the chefs at Sherlock Holmes know a bit more about football than they are letting on … and certainly more than most of the professional pundits, including our own Voice of Sport, Kristian Harrison.
I reckon they added an extra touch of Ronaldo magic to the Mo mix with a sprinkling of the spirit of Japan too. Japan had not only won aWorld Cup game on European soil for the first time hours earlier against Columbia but had also recorded their first victory over a South American country.
The combination was exquisite. Salah may be flying home alot earlier than expected but the Salah Fiery Shrimps deserve to remain foreveron the menu. The cornflakes crusted spicy batter used on this occasion was simply stunning with more bite than a tackle from Sergio Ramos.
With the tournament being held in Russia the timing isfantastic for fans in Bahrain, you couldn’t have asked for better with just an hour time difference with kick-offs at 3pm, 6pm and 9pm – perfect to catch a late lunch, an early dinner, or evening snack.
Things may have materially changed at this venue but one thing that remains a part of the fabric of this dining destination is the fish’n’ chips dish, arguably the best served on the island.
Now I know a thing or two about this great British tradition.
When I first started dating the good lady wife, Kathryn, she would also bringme the left-over scraps after she had finished her shift at her father’s fish’n’ chips restaurant.
Heaven, a beautiful blonde and fine food, what more could a man want?
And since moving to the kingdom 11 years ago, I would suggest local fish hammour is even tastier than British favourite haddock. Butagain, it’s all about the batter and Kevin Rowe, Sherlock Holmes manager, tellsme a ‘secret recipe’ is the reason this remains the venue’s best-selling dishand star attraction.
At BD6.900++ the fabulous fillet comes with home-cut potatoes, mushy peas and tartare sauce and it’s hard to dispute the outlet’s boast.
It was our wedding anniversary and I was missing Kathryn, who was in London visiting our youngest daughter, Imogen, so I decided to order her favourite dessert, crème brulleè (BD3++) and sent her an image of it by WhatsApp so that she would know I was thinking of her.
I think it’s those romantic touches that make her love me. It was very tasty and so is she.
For more details about Sherlock Holmes call 17713000 orvisit www.gulfhotelbahrain.com
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Stanley Louis Szecowka
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