The daytime views from the 24th floor of Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa’s Japanese restaurant Ruka are spectacular. On one side you’ve got a sprawling city view that goes on for miles, while the other side of the venue overlooks the Arabian Gulf.
We arrive as soon as they open at 12.30pm, after a scenic trip up the glass elevator that looks out onto Seef (stand close to the doors if you’re afraid of heights!). The venue is quiet but the wait staff are friendly; we’re offered a table depending on our view preference and we choose to sit near the open kitchen so we can see exactly what’s going on.
Although we have to specifically ask for the business lunch menu, we’re impressed when we get it. You can choose the ‘business lunch’ which comes with miso soup and a choice between five dishes in three other courses, or the ‘express lunch’ with the soup and one main course.
The choices are varied, catering to all tastes from meat eaters to seafood lovers to vegetarians and vegans.
I go for the all-out lunch so I can get a real taste of what they’re offering, while my dining companion tests their speed of service with the lunch express.
Mere minutes after we order we’re presented with a steaming bowl of miso soup, which is spot-on flavour-wise. As soon as we’re done with that a beautifully presented plate of the ‘letasu to karikari konbu no salada’ is served. Squares of crispy iceberg lettuce come lined on a rectangular plate, covered in a delicious wafu dressing, crispy konbu and pickled cucumber – it’s very refreshing to pick at while we wait for the next courses.
At this point, my friend is really struggling with her chopsticks and it takes just one look to the waitress for her to know what’s going on. Without us having to ask, she rushes over with what I like to call ‘kiddy’ chopsticks (when they’re bound together) and then follows up with a knife and fork just in case. Definite points for service.
When we’re half way through the salad, my friend’s main course of spicy beef tenderloin with sesame, red chilli and sweet soy comes at the same time as my prawn and black cod gyoza. Both of these dishes are phenomenal – the gyoza is soft, the fish is beautifully cooked and the sauce has a kick. The beef, at the same time, is tender with hints of sweet and sour coming through in the garnishes.
Finally, my stir-fried ramen, mixed with seasonal vegetables, nori and dried chilli, comes out in a stone pot and I dig in immediately. It doesn’t take me long to fill up on the noodles but I carry on eating as it just tastes so good – nothing overwhelms the palate but it works.
By the time we’ve gotten through it all, a little less than an hour has passed and we’re back at the office before our break is over. It’s perfect for a business lunch and even better if you both do the express version.
In Bahrain, we’re not inundated with professional, worthy business lunch options so we are very happy to uncover Ruka’s excellent offering, particularly as with all the choices you’ll never get bored going back.
The full lunch (and water!) might be on the pricey side but we can assure you it would be a great way to impress a prospective client.
The bill (for two) 1 x Evian large BD3.500 1 x business lunch BD9.940 1 x express lunch BD6.625 15 percent service charge BD3.010 Government levy BD1.154 Total BD24.230
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com