An all-day dining café at Elite Grande Hotel might not be your first choice for lunch, however, after sampling their day-time offering ourselves, we would definitely recommend giving it a try.
First off, we are impressed by the clean and inviting venue, which was recently revamped, decorated with bright pops of colour. The servers are also very friendly, immediately making you feel welcome. As you walk in to this hotel lobby venue, during a lunch hour, you’re immediately lured in by a buffet spread featuring a wide range of dishes, particularly focusing on Middle Eastern and Bahraini cuisine. The salad bar, for example, looks tempting. You’ll fi nd everything you’d expect from fattoush to tabbouleh, hummus to mutabel, homemade pickles to a raspberry salad dressing, and everything is tasty, well executed and, most importantly, still fresh.
As for the mains, there’s a good variety of dishes catering to different palates. On this occasion (we’re advised the dishes change regularly), for the meat eaters, we fi nd lamb tikka and beef shawarma meat sat alongside a chicken biryani, battered fish and vegetarian options like spring rolls, mozzarella sticks, yellow dahl and Mexican potatoes. There’s even a live cooking station for pasta dishes. Somehow, we manage to work our way through almost all of it and, for the most part, feel satisfied. The chicken biryani in particular steals the show as the meat is tender and juicy while the fragrant rice boasts all the right fl avours. The lamb tikka is very succulent too and goes well with the vibrant Mexican potatoes. The vegetarian spring rolls are wonderfully done – crispy on the outside with soft, well-cooked shredded vegetables within. The only dish we aren’t too happy with is the yellow dahl which is too thin and watery forour tastes.
Even after this feast, we still have room for dessert and so we opt for small portions of chocolate mousse and mango panna cotta, alongside a bowl of fresh fruit salad. We love the panna cotta which is of the perfect consistency and features lively fl avours of mango throughout. However the chocolate mousse, although very tasty with its rich dark chocolate overtones, does not hit the right textural notes as it’s far too dense. Overall, we’re pleased with the level of service, comfort and attention we receive at Julio’s and pleasantly surprised by the high quality of food. For a very reasonably priced business lunch in the heart of Seef, it should certainly not be overlooked.
The bill (for two) 2x business lunch buffet BD9.8 Service charge 15% Gov levy 5% Total BD11.834
Julio’s Restuaranté & Café
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com