It’s a refreshing moment when a new café and restaurant opens in the Seef area so when Casper & Gambini’s announced its launch at Seef Mall it caused quite a stir. This Lebanese all-day café-restaurant chain opened back in 1996, in Achrafieh, with a sandwich delivery service and has since grown to encompass standalone cafes across the Middle East and North Africa. And now it’s in Bahrain.
We go during lunchtime on a weekday and it’s relatively quiet yet our service is a little inconsistent throughout our visit – we have to wait until the manager prompts our server to take our order – but our growing appetites are certainly appeased.
For starters we try the crab and avocado salad which, on the ‘Low-Cal’ section of the menu, promises ‘marinated crab, avocado salsa, mesclun, cherry tomato, rocket and a saffron vinaigrette’.
Overall, this dish is tasty, with good flavours, but, for me, is let down by the appearance of processed crab sticks rather than fresh crab – a common disappointment in cafes of Bahrain. Next we turn our hungry attentions to some hearty mains (they have a decent selection of light and heftier bites to cater to all tastes).The Gambini’s Sliders and traditional fish and chips simply call out to us. The trio of ‘mini’ burgers (although we’d rather refer to them as ‘smaller than usual’ burgers due to their whopping size) are delicious – they come served with a fl avourful basil-pesto and sundried tomato, topped with mustard mayo, Swiss cheese, crisp lettuce and fresh tomato with a side of French fries.
Meanwhile, the crisp white battered fish is a little heavy on the batter for our liking. However the creamy tartar sauce certainly hits the spot, as do the chunky chips. We finish off our meal by sharing two delicious desserts – the warm molten tart and a caramel apple tart. These two dishes are the clear winners of the meal – the hot nutella chocolate oozes from a perfect pastry base and pairs well with a beautifully decorated vanilla sauce, alongside a cool vanilla bean ice cream. At the same time, the puff pastry for the apple tart is wonderfully crisp, smothered in a caramel sauce and topped with a scoop of the same tasty homemade ice cream.
Despite a couple of minor disappointments throughout the meal, we left happy with the quality of food at Casper & Gambini’s, not to mention the sheer volume of choice and the stylish décor, comfortable seating and great outdoor terrace.
The bill (for two) 11x crab and avocado salad BD4 1x Gambini’s sliders BD5 1x fish and chips BD6 1x molten tart BD3 1x apple tart BD3 2x small water BD2 Service charge 10% Total BD25.3
Casper & Gambini’s
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com