Reviews, pictures, contact and booking details for the best Indian restaurants in Bahrain, part of the Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards.
In the mood for a creamy curry, spicy biriyani or fancy filling up on tandoori-grilled meats, you’re in luck, because there’s a staggering range of Indian outlets in around. But it could also make choosing where to go a tough job. Worry not, Time Out has visited each and every restaurant to put them through their paces, assessing factors including quality of food, ambience and service. Popular or relatively unknown, we’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
The winner of last year’s Best Indian accolade, Rasoi by Vineet has an excellent tiffin lunch on weekdays. The traditional presentation adds to the appeal, but the food, while authentic, is elevated to new levels of fine dining, thanks to the chefs’ skills and top quality ingredients.
For something really special and lavish, take someone to Nirvana, where they will dine like the Indian Maharajas. This opulent, richly decorated restaurant provides a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, and on offer every lunchtime is an extravagant thali, with a selection of moreish, authentic Indian dishes.
From its brightly coloured, wildly-popular original branch in Budaiya, Lanterns has taken over Bahrain. It now has branches in Adliya, Riffa, Durrat Al Bahrain and Juffair. Synonymous with flavourful Indian food in general, we advise a trip to any of its branches but, in particular, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Adliya venue, with its bazaar-style interiors, indoor lounge area and outdoor garden section. It also boasts an excellent atmosphere and consistently great food. We highly recommend most dishes, but whatever you order always make sure you get a side of rich, creamy dahl makhani – it’s one of the specialties.
Designed to reflect the royal court of the Mughal emperor, Akbar offers an opulent setting in which to enjoy a lavish, traditional Indian dining experience. The quality of food and service is always spot on, and the atmosphere is consistently buzzing. This is not only thanks to its popularity, but also live musicians playing ghazals and fun Bollywood numbers. It’s a top choice for an affordable, authentic meal and great night out.
Asha’s has built up quite a reputation, both in the Middle East and beyond. Set up by Bollywood singer Asha Bhosle, there are now several restaurants in the UAE and globally the chain has won several awards. Despite its unprepossessing setting in City Centre Bahrain, this is a quality restaurant that strives for the best. Fighting against the impersonal food-court vibe that takes over most malls, Asha’s takes care to distinguish itself. Cosy booths are situated at back of the sleek and modern restaurant. Attentive staff recommend interesting dishes and anticipate requests with practised ease. As for the food, it’s authentic, complex and flavourful. Any dining experience here is very enjoyable indeed.
For years Copper Chimney has been an island favourite thanks to its down-to-earth vibes, friendly service and complex flavours. The venue is basically decorated, but features thoughtful touches, such as the ornate copper pots in which your food is served. Overall, it’s the authenticity that we love and the food is consistently excellent. For a casual dining experience and excellent meal, look no further.
You don’t have to follow the special Sattvic diet to appreciate the amazing vegetarian Indian food at this one-of-a-kind restaurant. Govinda’s might be popular with the plant-eaters, but the complex, rich flavours and down-to-earth vibes would be a hit with any kind of food lover.
Diners can expect an enjoyable experience at Juffair restaurant Mantraa, which offers a traditional setting and authentic Indian cuisine. Regular live tabla and sitar performances bring the atmosphere to life, and the quality of food is undoubtedly good every time. Add to that reasonable prices and it's worth a trip.
The backwaters of Kerala are brought to life at this lovely little restaurant in Hoora. Meaning a mini village in Indian, Nattinpuram depicts everything from small grocery shops on the sub-continent to a life-sized house boat on its prettily-painted walls. The decidedly south Indian menu is reasonably priced and offers a vast variety of dishes. There are great starters such as the beef chilli and chicken lollipops, and flavoursome mains like the Goan prawn curry and chicken Chettinad, all served with piping-hot appams (the famous Keralan bread). Meanwhile, the servers and chefs are friendly.
Noted for its traditional south Indian snacks and breakfast, Sangeetha is a must-try. The cuisine is derived from the traditional Udupi and Chettinad cooking styles and while it’s busy in the mornings, it’s also a great lunch spot thanks to its sizeable thali meals.
The Crowne Plaza’s Indian restaurant has been satisfying happy customers for years with its fine-dining approach to traditional cuisine. Dishes such as the dum aloo and paneer tikka, the mutton biryani and murg Chettinad always impress, and the staff are always helpful.The venue is rather basic, but pleasant and clean, and the open kitchen is a great addition, allowing you to watch as your food is expertly prepared by the Indian chefs.
Swagat, hidden in the back alleys of Manama Souq, is very basic, but the menu of South Indian vegetarian cuisine is authentic and extensive. From the lunchtime thali to the breakfast dosas, the food is great, and it costs little over BD1 per person for a feast.
The new Indian restaurant at Al Areen Palace & Spa might not have the same opulent interiors of its sister restaurants, but the food is just as commendable. This is thanks to its unique selection of menu options and the traditional balanced flavours, with the misti dol dessert and the hearty mutton biryani being special highlights. Staff are hospitable and the prices are fairly reasonable, making a trip out to Roti Boti currently worthy of your time and your hard-earned.
Rasoi is a simply decorated spot in the five-star Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa, offering good value for money and appetising Indina feasts from across the sub-continent. The intricate flavours and deep aromas are tempting and everything is authentically presented. Service is often slow here, however, and a meals do not tend to be without mistakes. Despite this, there are celebratory dinners and special offers held at Rasoi throughout the year, making everything more affordable and adding a sense of special occasion.