It’s the most important meal of the day, so do it right ...
Time Out Bahrain staff
It’s the most important meal of the day, it gets your metabolism going and sets you up till lunchtime and beyond. But many of us skip breakfast, whether through lack of time, a desire to lose weight (which has the opposite effect) or just ‘not feeling like it’. So we’ve come up with our pick of the island’s best brekkies in an a bid to tempt you back to the breakfast table…
The all American Personally, we find the idea of eating pancakes along with bacon and sausages a bit odd but the American breakfast does seem to be popular and Ric’s Kountry Kitchen, in Juffair, has one of the biggest breakfast menus we’ve come across and it’s open really, really early (or late depending on your way of looking at things).
Traditional offerings include grits, a kind of corn based porridge, Texas toast, eggy bread with cinamon, and biscuits with gravy – and no we’re not thinking of Hob Nobs here, these biscuits are smilar to scones and come with gravy made from fat drippings from the sausages.
If you’ve got a really big appetite, try the Lumberjack – three eggs, breakfast steak, two sausage patties (careful these are a bit spicey), home fries, Texas toast and pancakes.
Having a bad day, we’re sure you can find a healthy option on the menu, but where’s the fun in that? Served daily 5.30am-2am. Lumberjack price BD9.5+. Call (17 725 550).
The Arabic fa Tuur Not surprisingly, there are countless places to sample good Arabic breakfasts across the island but our very favourite is Saffron in the recently refurbished Quaisariya Souq in old Muharraq. And we’re not the only ones to appreciate this unique venue, there’s only seating for around 25 so it’s cosy and you’ll frequently find people queueing outside so get there early.
Breakfast consists of pakora rolls and jinjabari bread, a kind of fried bread with cheese and onions, with a selection of dips including egg and tomato, foul, made with crushed kidney beans and delicate spices, and baked beans.
You’ll also get a small portion of balaleet, the traditional Bahraini dish of vermicelli topped with an omelette. There’s a second much bigger Saffron among the houses in the Pearling Trail, the menu’s exactly the same but we really love the atmosphere of the smaller sister. Breakfast daily, 9am-noon, Muharraq near the NBB strip. Breakfast BD5.600. Call (17 613 141/13 623 191).
The classic fry-up There are lots of variations but we reckon you can’t beat sausage, egg, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and the oh-so-fattening, but utterly delicious, fried slice. Of late there’s been a tendency, courtesy of our American cousins, to add a couple of hash browns – it’s a bit more stodge, but we’re not complaining.
The fry-up goes by many names. There’s full English, for which we love Upstairs Downstairs where you can choose to have your eggs scrambled super-fluffy and even accompanied by a glass of bubbles should you be indulging in a hair of the dog. Available 7am-noon, Thu, Fri and Sat. Price BD6.9 . Call (17 713 093).
At JJ’s you’ll find the full Irish – just like the full English but with the addition of a delicious hunk of soda bread, the best ever for dipping in your runny egg yolk, and also, occasionally, a couple of slices of black pudding, a kind of blood sausage which, trust us, tastes a lot better than it sounds.
Bear in mind though, the atmosphere at JJ’s is so relaxed that breakfast can quite easily turn into a late lunch, which in turn rolls into an all-day session and before you know it you’re back the next morning for recovery rations. Available all day every day. Price BD3.8++. Call (39 329 083).
The Indian nashta Don’t panic, we’re not recommending you tuck into a plate of tikka masala with garlic naan for your brekkie (though, now we come to think of it, that’s not such a bad idea). Though Sangeetha does serve some pretty fab curries, we’re actually thinking more in terms of the tasty dosas or crêpes stuffed with potato bajis, mushrooms and more.
It’ll be accompanied by medhu vadai, which looks and tastes not unlike a slightly less sweet donut, mini iglee, the dipping patties of rice and black lentils, and various dips including sheera, a sweet concoction of semoline, ghee, sugar and cashew nuts, and various savoury options.
Though it sounds like a mega-plateful the Indian breakfast option is actually quite light and is easy on the digestion so it’s a popular weekday option. Served daily 7-11am. Price BD1. Call (17 272 768).
If you really would prefer the curry option, call into Bin Al Shaikh coffee shop at the Central Fruit Market where you can tuck into a seriously tasty mutton sukka with lots of warm fresh bread. Get there really early and soak up the atmosphere. Open daily 4am-4pm. Price BD1.
The internationals Café Lilou This Adliya and Seef favourite gets countless mentions on sites such as Trip Advisor for serving the island’s best breakfast and we will admit the menu is certainly mouthwatering. From freshly-baked croissants filled with scrambled eggs and served with your choice of smoked turkey or mushroom and cheese to a simple sandwich combining mozzarella, goat feta and kashkaval cheese with cherry tomato and basil accompanied with crisp green salad, there’s something to please every palate. Our favourite’s the letit degeuner Lilou, a light, buttery brioche, topped with your choice of poached or fried eggs and veal bacon, laced with a hot creamy cheese sauce. Served with hash brown and grilled tomatoes. Served daily 8-11.30am and all day Fri. Letit degeuner BD2.800. Call Adliya (17 714 440), Seef (17 583 939).
Cucina Italiana True, when we think of this Juffair eatery, pizzas and the gorgeous Godfather mural are the first things that come to mind but Cucina Italiana also boasts a rather splendid breakfast menu. The classic Italian twist means proper home-baked croissants and Danish pastries plus seriously delicious bread straight from the wood oven which is seasoned differently each day.
Try the gourmand farmer for focaccia bread, a selection of three Italian cheeses, homemade beef sausages in tomato sauce and a glass of Italian grape.
And for the health conscious there’s organic yoghurt with seasonal fresh fruits. Open daily 6am-1am, breakfast available all day. Gourmand farmer BD4.9. Call (17 001 317).
Links The Royal Golf Club’s restaurant and the tea shop are quite rightly famed for their fabulous bacon butties. But with a new breakfast menu about to be launched, this has become our current favourite morning haunt. Not only do you get to look out over the fabulous greens but you can also sample the likes of egg white omelette with a choice of fillings, make sure you ask for chilli as it saves the dish from potential blandness. The waffles, in the new ‘something sweet’ section, are sinfulness personified. Sweet pancake batter, rather than potatoes, they’re swimming in caramel sauce and pecans all topped with vanilla ice cream. As a breakfast, this should be completely wrong but, trust us, it’s really, really not.
And then there’s our latest obsession the hollandaise style egg royale – homemade bread layered with smoked salmon and a poached egg smothered in hollandaise sauce. So good we want to learn to make it at home, but perhaps that’s not the best idea ever for our wastelines. Served weekdays 10-11.30am and Thu, Fri and Sat 8-11.30am. Prices are still being confirmed but the royale is around BD5. Call (17 750 777).
Bizarre breakfast facts In 2009 the world’s most expensive breakfast was created to promote London’s West End production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The meal, of croissant, coffee and a glass of bubbly ,cost a staggering BD12,850! But this was no ordinary croissant. The French fancy was covered with edible gold and diamonds and served with the world’s most costly Kopi Luwak coffee.
Kopi Luwak coffee sells for around BD60 per pound. The beans have been excreted by the palm civet, a mammal found in South-East Asia. Officianados claim the slow passage of the beans through the animal’s digestive tract greatly improves the taste and aroma.
Mr Kellog, he of Cornflakes fame, actually discovered his best-selling cereal by accident. His brother, a doctor working in a local hospital, was attempting to improve patients’ nutrition by coming up with a bread substitute. When Kellog found the forgotten pot of boiled wheat, he marvelled at its flaky texture and golden colour. And the rest, as they say, is history!