Reviews, pictures, contact and booking details for the best romantic restaurants in Bahrain, part of the Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards.
There’s a fine line between attentive service and being obtrusive. The latter is the last thing you want when looking for a romantic night out so it’s important to know the ideal location for that special experience. Time Out has visited each and every restaurant on this list, putting them through their paces and assess factors including quality of food, ambience and service. We’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
With an amazing vista and top-class chefs, La Mer is a refined seafood restaurant at the stunning five-star Sofitel hotel. The restaurant is tastefully decorated; simple white walls and dark wood floors allow the sea views to take centre stage. Staff are friendly, professional and, importantly, they know the menu, and come armed with suggestions for a great meal. The typical French dishes are creative, stunningly-presented and well-prepared. With each mouthful the chefs’ skills and understanding of seafood are demonstrated. For a special, romantic evening, La Mer is always top on our list and it’s won the Best Romantic award for a number of years. It might be expensive, but it’s well-worth the treat, especially if you’re looking to impress your loved one.
Wind your way through enclosed courtyards and tiny corridors and find La Fontaine’s intimate European restaurant, which is hidden in this renovated traditional Bahraini home. It has often been awarded with our Best Romantic Restaurant accolade in the past. The atmosphere is tranquil, with candlelight and soft background music to enhance the date-night vibe, in the dining areas both inside and out. The food focuses on specialties from Italy and the Mediterranean, but you’ll find influences from all over. Try prawns wrapped in kunafa pastry and served with green mango-chilli salsa, alongside grilled duck breast and tasty risottos and pasta dishes. It’s all tasty, beautifully presented and satisfying. And while it might be somewhat understaffed, the service is still pleasant enough to guarantee you’ll return.
This Far Eastern fusion restaurant is worth the drive out to Al Areen Palace & Spa because of its stunning setting and romantic surroundings, which offer exceptional views from the garden terrace. A dramatic, canopied ceiling is overhead, while the considerate staff take care of you, while you enjoy a meal of delightful Asian fusion cuisine. Head there in cooler weather and make sure you book a seat on the terrace, which looks over the resort’s lush, neatly landscaped grounds. Service is outstanding, with friendly yet unobtrusive staff who are able to navigate the extensive menu and offer customised, spot-on suggestions. The eclectic food selection combines Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisines and desserts are a highlight.
While Fusions is a quiet venue, because of its petite size and low ceilings it feels cosy not lonely. Service is excellent, with that equal mix of professionalism and friendliness that is rare to find. The menu is concise, with just a small selection in each section, but it also includes an eclectic choice and aims to suit meat eaters and vegetarians alike. The food, which is prepared in an open kitchen, is delicious. For starters, try the jalapeño prawns with mixed leaves and beetroot in a zingy dressing. The succulent tandoori salmon also impresses, and we highly recommend it. Among the many high points of a dining experience at Fusions, it’s the beautiful views of the hotel’s lush gardens and twinkling lights of Juffair beyond from this top-floor restaurant that steals the show. And, thanks to the reasonable prices, it’s the kind of place you come back to time- and-time again.
Sweeping sea views of Manama through floor-to-ceiling windows add a sense of drama and romance to any meal at Imari. Although the menu is decidedly authentic Japanese, the venue is trendy and split into a chic lounge, casual bar and intimate main dining area. The selection is fairly small in comparison to most other Japanese restaurants in Bahrain, but dishes are delicate and delicious. It’s all very affordable, too. This year, the restaurant also debuted on our Best Romantic Restaurant shortlist. The trendy blue and white interiors are ideal for a fun night out, while the stunning vista from the 31st floor is memorable, and the authentic, tasty food completes a great experience.
It’s difficult to categorise this restaurant, as it offers an eclectic, international menu highlighted by the chefs’ serious skills and European cooking techniques. Despite its name, My Café is far more than a casual eatery, but it’s not so upscale that you need to don your finest suit. The setting inside is sophisticated, while the outdoor garden area is romantic and intimate. Meanwhile, the menu is full of creative, gourmet dishes, combining a medley of international flavours and Arabian edge. Think wagyu beef carpaccio with fresh figs and feta cheese spheres; homemade ravioli with wild mushrooms and yoghurt foam; roasted crayfish with linguini and braised artichokes. And it’s always prettily presented and impressively created. So much effort has clearly gone into every aspect of this place and yet none of it feels pretentious, overdone or unwelcoming. Instead, the team takes this wonderful food and then adds a family-style wholesomeness to it which, in turn, plucks at the heartstrings as well as the taste buds on each visit here.
Victorian mediums knew the value of smoke and mirrors. And as you step into Plums, past the gothic empty black picture frames on black walls, through the low lights that obscure its little nooks and corners, it’s clear such showmanship endures into the 21st century. Plums is shot through with ceremony and drama. After your meal, you’re presented with a dry-ice confectionary rigged with chocolates and mini ice-cream cones. It’s a sensory maze designed to delight and confuse. However, unlike the conjurers of the past who were all style and no substance, Plums delivers where it really matters. The trickery doesn’t mask deficiencies, rather enhances quality. Scallops are seared to the quick, layered with fragrant truffle. Sides are well-judged and unfussy. The carefully sourced steaks are charred with precision and swell with flavour. The Ritz-Carlton service doesn’t let you down either, as the staff are knowledgeable, efficient and, most importantly, unobtrusive. The theatre of dining – in some places a lost art due the propensity for earthy simplicity – is alive and well at Plums. Take your seats and enjoy the show.
Every staff member at The Ritz-Carlton’s upscale, fine-dining Italian spot, from the waiter to the manager and the chef, is Italian, and they are rightly proud of this. It certainly adds to the authentic trattoria-style experience. The bright, airy venue is stylish and contemporary, with quirky design elements and lovely views over the hotel’s gardens. As for the menu, it’s filled with tempting, original dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Oliver Glowig and each perfectly-portioned, beautifully presented dish is as tasty as the last. Sit inside, surrounded by the contemporary, tasteful décor, or outside on the intimate terrace area; either way you’ll have a great experience, as this place is consistently brilliant.
Roma is timelessly romantic. The live singer croons smooth melodies, as you enjoy an evening of well created and authentic Italian cuisine. Fresh flavours and a wide variety of seasonal and simply presented dishes are what you can expect to find here. Bright red décor and intimate seating emphasise the cosy atmosphere, and the staff, who are friendly and knowledgeable, will never intrude on your meal.
Wok was once an excellent pan-Asian restaurant but since revamping itself as a 100 percent Vietnamese spot, it’s even better. Thanks to the Vietnamese chef, the food is beautifully presented, fine-dining fare, but entirely authentic and true to its roots. Everything from the salads to the pho is perfectly seasoned, boasting subtle yet spot-on flavours. Dim lighting, soft music and intimate table seating, either in the beautiful Asian-inspired main dining area or on the stunning garden terrace – this is why Wok is one of our favourites year after year. Meanwhile, staff are always eager to enhance the occasion – just let them know if you’re celebrating, and they’ll find a way to make your experience more special.