We round up our current faves and a few more for you to try
Time Out Bahrain staff
September kicks off the new social season with the return of the ever-popular brunch. We’ve rounded up our current faves and a few more for you to try…
Absolutly Fabulous Brunch An old favourite that went downhill for a little while but now seems to be back on track. The Crowne Plaza brunch includes live cooking stations, carvery and an amazing choice of fresh seafood. They’ve also just introduced the Mongolian Experience with the Mongolian buffet where you create your own stir-fry combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and sauces which is cooked in front of you.
There’s live music from the house band and a supervised kids’ activity corner. Fridays, noon-4pm, BD17.950++ with unlimited beverages or BD14.950++ with soft drinks. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Diplomatic Area (17 531 122).
Bollywood Brunch Only running a few months, the Bollywood Brunch at Spices Indian Restaurant at the the Crowne Plaza has quickly become popular with a tempting spread of starters and main courses including a chaat corner, fragrant curries, live cooking stations and plenty of vegetarian options.
We’re particularly fond of the vast array of fluffy Indian breads and the sweeter-than-sweet desserts.
There’s also a Bollywood DJ playing tunes from the sub-continent’s massive film industry so get ready for your Jai Ho moment. Last Friday of the month, noon-4pm, BD12.950++ including selected beverages. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Diplomatic Area (17 531 122).
Bushido The much-anticipated Bushido brunch launches on September 7 with a promise to be ‘special and unique’. With a selection of its best-selling items and some new creations, Bushido will offer a mix of Japanese and continental dishes with a la carte ordering and live cooking stations.
Taking inspiration from the likes of Zuma and Nobu in Dubai, chef Chong has developed a wide food selection to suit all tastes. He says: “We will not just offer raw fish, as some may think, but a wide range of cooked food that will make people change their understanding of Japanese food”. Price BD19 including water and soft drinks. Bushido, Seef (17 583 555).
Golden Tulip Food from all four corners of the earth including freshly-cut meats grilled on the island’s only brunch charcoal barbecue and a selection of beverages in the hotel’s recently renovated Al Wasmeyyah restaurant. There’s live music for a singalong, which makes for a great atmosphere, and face painting, balloon shaping and candy floss for the kids.
It’s very popular but be warned, it can get a bit wild. Noon-4.30pm, BD25, kids aged six-12 half price and under sixes go free. Golden Tulip Hotel, Diplomatic Area (17 535 000).
Gulf Hotel Al Waha off the Gulf’s lobby area stages the sort of impressive Friday buffet you would expect from a hotel with nine restaurants including specialities from Mexico, China, Italy and lots more. There’s a range of dishes from sushi to fresh meats and fish, freshly-baked croissants and pastries, live cooking stations including a crêperie and the ever-popular chocolate fountain.
This is a great one for families with lots for kids to see and do. 12.30pm-4pm, BD26 including selected beverages or BD22 with soft drinks and juices. Al Waha, Gulf Hotel, Adliya (17 713 000).
Kicks This seems to have taken over as the party brunch and it’s easy to see why, the food’s not the best but it’s plentiful and the music’s a mix of old school that gets everybody in the mood for dancing. The atmosphere is always good, the staff are friendly and quick and brunch is followed up by karaoke and ladies’ night so festivities tend to run on into the evening. Friday, noon-5pm, BD18 all you can eat and selected beverages, Kicks, Diva Hotel Juffair (17 810 555).
La Brasserie This one’s a real family affair with a great buffet in the 24-hour coffee shop overlooking the bay. The food, as always with the Elite Group, is excellent and great value and there’s a range of entertainment for the kids too. 12.30-3.30pm, BD9.900, BD4.900 for children. Elite Resort & Spa Muharraq (17 313 333).
Masso Launching on September 21, Masso is offering ‘Brunch a la Provençale’ The menu’s a la carte playing a bit with southern European cuisine, using a touch of French, a little Spanish and a lot of Italian. The menu is very varied and based on the dinner offering with some old-time brunch favourites added such as classic eggs benedict alongside eggs en cocotte with black truffles or a foie gras omelette or a perfect pain perdue using homemade pain brioche!
All the breakfast meats will be available too then move on to wonderful pastas and risottos, or pizza, steaks and seafood and desserts such as tarte tatin or homemade ice creams. Friday & Saturday, noon-4pm, BD25++ with selected beverages or BD19++ without. Masso by Chef Susy Massetti, Adliya (17 721 061).
Saveur The Friday feast at the Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre is an up-market, yet still family-friendly affair in the gorgeous surroundings of Saveur which includes two private dining rooms.
There’s a huge, international buffet including various live cooking stations from chef Holger Jackisch, winner of the ‘Best Brunch in Dubai’ in 2007, and his culinary team and brunchers also have access to the hotel’s outdoor infinity pool.
During September, to coincide with the hotel’s first birthday, book brunch and, if you’re birthday’s also in September, the first ten bookings eat free plus there are prizes to be won of stays at European sister hotels. Noon-4pm, BD19, including selected juices and soft drinks, under 12s half price and under fives eat free. Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre (17 171 000).
Sofitel One of the island’s most extensive buffets with a variety of live cooking stations from Asian and French to Italian and Arabic from the hotel’s various restaurants. Seating is in the spacious and bright downstairs area looking out onto the pool and, when the weather’s right, there’s the option to take your brunch outside onto the large terrace.
There’s live music from the Cuban duo who usually play in the Tapas bar and lots of activities for kids.
All the way down at Zallaq Beach, the Sofitel may seem a bit of a trek for brunch but it’s definitely worth it as the food’s excellent and you can extend the afternoon into Tapas which sits right on the water. 12.30pm-4pm, BD26 including drinks. Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa (17 636 363).
Upstairs Downstairs An incredibly civilised affair in an almost English manor house setting with live jazz as you choose from a set four-course menu which always includes the traditional roast dinner. Portions are generous and the staff are friendly and this is one of our favourites. Noon-3pm, BD14++ including house beverages. Upstairs Downstairs, Adliya (17 713 093).
Warbler Not brunch but ‘frunch’ at this popular watering hole. Free-flowing beverages, an impressive international buffet, including fresh seafood and live cooking stations, free pool tables, free use of the swimming pool, kids’ menu, henna, popcorn counter and kids’ corner.
There’s also a live band and, at BD15 per person, it’s one of the best value brunches around which is gathering a loyal following with a really lively, fun vibe. Friday, noon-4pm, BD15 all you can eat and selected beverages, kids six to 12 years BD5, Warbler, Baisan Hotel, Hoora (38 381 631/36 710 754).
More to try Diplomat Once known as the party brunch and trying hard to reclaim the title but it’s got a fight on its hands unless the powers that be manage to get a great band. Noon-3pm, BD27 including beverages. Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, (39 945 208).
Mövenpick A particular favourite with seafood fans with a great cheese selection. 12.30-4pm, BD23.2++ including selected beverages. Mövenpick Hotel, Muharraq (17 460 000).
Muju Average food in a great location with live jazz music. Noon-5pm, BD25 including beverages. Muju, Dragon Hotel, Amwaj (16 039 800).
Rayes Serves up a popular and value-for-money Friday offering which includes an Arabic and international buffet, shawarmas and live cooking stations. 12.30-4.30pm, BD12++ food only. Rayes, Coral Bay (39 777 701).
Rics A favourite with personnel from the US Naval base offering a lively atmosphere and a good selection of Anglo-American food. 11am-3pm, BD16.5 including beverages. Ric’s Kountry Kitchen, Juffair (17 725 550).
Tian Unlimited full-course Chinese menu and free-flowing beverages. Noon-4pm, BD15++. Tian, Block 338 Adliya (17 717 080).