For a true taste of Bahraini cuisine and culture visit Muharraq’s Souq Al Qaysariya
Time Out Bahrain staff
I think I’ve heard of this place. You will have done! Anyone looking for a true taste of Bahraini cuisine and culture should have come across this place by now.
Remind me... What is it again?
Well, around three years ago Muharraq’s Souq Al Qaysariya was being revamped and the Bahrain Authority of Culture and Antiquities asked popular Bahraini chef Narise Qambar, who had previously started the successful Jena Bakery, to open a place that serves proper Bahraini food in a cultural hotspot. Since then, Saffron by Jena Bakery has been a big hit. It’s even won three out of three of Time Out’s awards for Best Bahraini Restaurant.
There are a few Bahraini restaurants now, aren’t there?
Certainly. Saffron was one of the first few as well, starting off a new trend around the island for Bahraini breakfast spots.
So what exactly is served during a Bahraini breakfast? You’ll get dishes such as eggs with tomato, dhal, balaleet (sweet vermicelli noodles with an omelette), foul and small, Indian-inspired sandwiches, which we love.
Sounds delicious. So where is it? Oh, it is. And you can now find three Saffrons around the island. The first (and the one pictured) is in Muharraq and is housed in a renovated traditional Bahraini home. The floor, as you walk in, is made of glass and underneath it you can see an original date palm press.
And the other two? There’s a small one inside the Bab Al Bahrain Mall in Manama, while the other is based in the Riffa Fort, overlooking the Hunaniya Valley.
Which is your favourite? That’s tough. They’re all great and the quality of food is high in all of them, so it really depends where you’re going. The Muharraq branch can be hard to find, but it’s in such a lovely area it’s definitely a must-visit. Manama’s is best if you’re shopping around the souq. And for a leisurely afternoon out, especially if you’re with visitors, you can’t beat the views and vibes at Riffa Fort. Call 39 614 131.