Not so long ago, I took a short weekend trip to Bahrain and had two evenings to sample some of the nightlife. Prior to the trip I did no research at all, I went as a favour to a friend rather than a planned trip, and so arrived in Bahrain somewhat unprepared with no plans on what to do or where to go. This is unusual for me as I love to research where I’m going before I book so that I can plan my trip accordingly.
Just a short flight away from Dubai Bahrain feels completely different to Dubai, the skyline is not so tall or glittery, but none the less the island has a nice feel to it and it’s certainly somewhere I plan on visiting again when it’s cooler and when I get a chance to do some exploration. Staying at the hotel, which was a beach type resort, there seemed to be two main types of occupants, those who had driven across the bridge from KSA and were ready to Party or should I say P.A.R.T.Y and local families who were there enjoying time with the children hanging out at the pool and having a relaxing yet social time.
To be honest it was too hot to do much during the daytime except hangout at the pool and cool down with regular dips in the chilled pool.
The first evening took myself and friend to The Meat Company, who had kindly offered me the chance to do a review when I had tweeted about places to eat and things to see in Bahrain. I’ve eaten at the Meat Company in Dubai and was keen to see how it fared in a different location.
First impressions were good, the restaurant is situated in a lane full of eateries but which seemed quite quiet for a weekend evening, looks outside can be deceptive though as the restaurant was probably about 80% full when we were shown our table inside. As this was a review, we were greeted and seated by the General Manager and also introduced to Head Chef Rajesh Nair who made some recommendations about best selling starters for us. Not being able to decide what to select, Chef said he would send a selection to the table and then promptly sent full portions of the starters to our table, drawing not only gasps of appreciation, but also some mutterings about how we would manage to eat so much. Fear not, we managed to taste everything. The Burrata was exceptionally creamy and whilst it was displayed simply, it tasted divine. The squid was tasty and although presented differently than the dish my companion had eaten in Dubai early in the week, was a success. The thai prawns were exceptionally tasty and cooked perfectly whilst the spare ribs, which were huge for a starter portion, were juicy, succulent and oh so tender. We were not disappointed by our starters and having loosened our belts and chatted for a while we moved onto the main course with joy.
Main courses followed after a nice long break which we had asked for and did not disappoint. My steak was beautifully cooked and rare in the middle which is often difficult to do and few chefs manage to produce a rare steak when requested. My steak was Grain Fed Black Certified Angus Beef with a pepper crust, i can’t fault the beef, it was so tender, it could easily have been cut with a butter knife and was juicy and packed full of flavour. My companion declared his Grilled Gulf Giant prawns succulent and tasty and I assume they were as I didn’t get to try them !
Too full to do justice to the dessert menu, we asked for lemon sorbet and paired this with a cocktail. When I order sorbet I want it to be tart and to clean the palate, unfortunately the lemon sorbet presented was too sweet for me and was a slightly disappointing end to the meal, perhaps I should have loosened my belt one more notch and sampled something from the dessert menu after all and squeezed in a portion of Malva pudding, which is usually a firm favourite.
The cocktails however, made up for the sorbet and I was treated to a cocktail in lieu of dessert which was perfectly blended and hit the palate with just the right amount of alcohol without being over the top.
Ambiance at The Meat Company was lovely. The lighting whilst dark provided an intimate setting, and the restaurant was full of a mix of locals and expats. One of the highlights of the evening was watching the staff ‘seranade’ or should I say belt out Happy Birthday wishes to tables celebrating Birthdays, complete with hearty singing, candles and cakes, drum banging and plenty of smiles – their songs took me back to campfire days in Africa when I was on Safari and more recently to my Mount Kilimanjaro trek.
Visit The Meat Company often enough to get your own personalised Steak Knife which the staff proudly showed me as we left the restaurant, more than stuffed but very pleasantly happy after a fun evening of great food and unexpected entertainment.
In contrast to the first night, the second night in Bahrain took us to a small street close to the Meat Company which was full of bustling Shawarma shops. We’d walked past this after leaving the Meat company and wanting a lighter dinner than the previous night we settled for a fold up table, and plastic chairs in the front of a small shawarma shop. Dinner was tasty and plentiful, surrounded by a group of Bahraini teenagers who ordered plenty and had a lively discussion, the evening showed what a contrasted dining experience you have have in Bahrain and to be honest Dubai too. I’m not too sure where we were, but the main landmark was the Love Market supermarket, and the road reminded me of lots of streets in Deira where those wanting food can sit in their car and peep their horn until they get served at their car – so maybe Bahrain is not that different after all LOL
Following our somewhat sweaty experience in the shawarma shop, we took a ten minute walk or so a very quiet area with a fantastic garden where we partook in a few vodka based cocktails before retiring back to the hotel for an early morning flight home.
We stayed at the Novotel Al Dana Resort in Bahrain where we used an Entertainer Voucher to get 2 nights for the price of 1. The hotel is close to the airport and main areas of the island. Facilities are adequate and the rooms are adequate for a stay of a few days or so. It’s one of the few hotels offering a resort like feel with access to the beach which was convenient. There is a small beach with a good view of the coast line behind it and a large pool which serves food and drinks. Service was not particularly attentive at the pool, but the food and drinks served were good as were the cocktails served by the beach at sunset. Breakfast was a buffet, there was ample choice of food items given the size of the hotel and even a cheeky little section for pork items. Coffee was great especially the Espressos and Latte’s 🙂
We flew to Bahrain with FlyDubai who offer very reasonably priced flights, just make sure you pay for your checked in luggage ahead of your flight to get the best deal. Personally I wouldn’t recommend dining on the flight as there are plenty of options before and after landing, but if you do want to eat on board, they serve a few snack items.
Disclaimer : I was a guest of The Meat Company however all opinions are my own.