Fusion food has taken the world by storm in recent years.
We have everything from Tex-Mex to Peruvian-Japanese and plenty in between. Right here in Bahrain, the best place to experience such intriguing concoctions is at the Asian-inspired Adliya-based restaurant Meisei.
This restaurant has a touch of fine dining in every corner from the elegant table settings to the stunning décor. The servers are attentive and professional, able to answer any of your probing questions with ease.
Meanwhile, the kitchen is headed by master chef Michael Kyu-Lee who has garnered a reputation for his creative, culinary delights since Meisei opened in 2013. His menu, which chops and changes fairly frequently, is undoubtedly overwhelming with fascinating choices which highlight a range of worldly cuisines from Mexican to Korean, Japanese to Italian.
We arrive during a weekend lunch hour and the restaurant is quiet, lending to an intimate ambience punctuated by funky, electronic background music that puts you in the mood for a unique and contemporary experience.
After much deliberation over the menu, we decide to order a good selection of sharing dishes for the table – crispy Harumaki Alaskan dim sum, jerk chicken yuzu quesadillas and scallop ceviche to start with.
First comes the ceviche – the scallop is marinated in a tangy aji panca chilli and then topped with a tart yuzu lime-lemon herb vinaigrette. The seafood falls apart in our mouths and the combination of flavours is outstanding.
The only negative is the sweetness of the scallop doesn’t do enough to cut through the tart sourness of the citrus dressing.
As we’re diving in, we see the chef prepare our homemade vanilla chestnut crust for the quesadillas. This encases soft and spicy grilled chicken, roasted pepper and mozzarella, and comes alongside a wonderful creamy yuzu dipping sauce. This is fusion at its best.
The dim sum which, on the menu, promised crisp fried Alaskan shisho and kanboko crab spring rolls with sautéed vegetables, sweet plum shiso and a spicy vinaigrette, was the only disappointing dish of the bunch due to the appearance of processed crab sticks as opposed to the real deal.
As for the mains, first we try a fabulous vegetarian dol sot, which is served in a traditional sizzling donabe clay pot, and comes with black wild rice, shitake, spring onions, courgette, carrots and egg, topped with a flavourful spicy gochijang sauce (which is mixed in by your server at the table).
Then out comes the miso braised beef short ribs – black angus short ribs topped with miso, on a bed of chunky tomato, caper and chipotle sauce and served with black and green olives. The meat is so tender and fantastic in flavour that it could have done without the watery sauce and olives, but overall this is a five star dish.
Finally, never backing down from the promise of a wonderful dessert, we finish the meal with the soft but crunchy Japanese beignets (crisp fried donuts) dipped in a sweet caramel sauce and melted white chocolate with vanilla. We also try the cherry bomb, which is easily one of our favourite dishes of the day. It’s a ‘bomb’ of velvety chocolate mousse, tart cherry compote and rich, dark chocolate sauce.
Even though the menu is a little overwhelming and prices are steep, Meisei delivers what it promises to – a unique and memorable dining experience in Bahrain which will have us coming back regularly. If you’re looking for the wow factor when it comes to flavour combinations, then look no further.
The bill (for two) 1 x still water BD2.5 1 x Sencha green tea BD3 1 x short ribs BD25 1 x vegetarian dol sot BD8 1 x scallop ceviche BD10 1 x dim sum BD7 1 x quesadilla BD7 1 x Japanese beignets BD6 1 x cherry bomb BD6 Service charge 12% Gov levy 5% Total BD87.165
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com