At a party held recently at a mutual friend’s house, we had been talking about the latest preferences for enjoying a good meal out in Bahrain. The name Klouds steakhouse in Juffair came up and was highly recommended by a well travelled, worldly Englishman and his wife. Given that this couple has lived in a breadth of countries ranging from West Africa (Nigeria, if I remember well) to Kuala Lumpur, they’re the sort of people you can rely on to give an honest opinion about many topics, including wining and dining options. Bearing in mind their positive comments about Klouds, we decided to head over to Juffair one Tuesday evening to try it out.
Klouds is one of five dining outlets housed in the K Hotel, managed and operated by the well-known Gulf Hotels group. It was quite apparent that the dining area was a multi-purpose room in a hotel, probably also used for serving breakfast and lunch, such was the way that the tables were arranged and the vastness of the room itself. It wasn’t clinical, though. The lighting was soft, and a slim vase with a few fresh chrysanthemums graced the table, creating a fairly pleasant atmosphere.
Rather strangely, there were no starters on the menu. None at all. Therefore we scrolled up and down the main dishes, which were of course predominantly steak-based given the nature of the eatery. A few fish dishes; Norwegian salmon and hammour, as well as chicken and Middle Eastern fare (kebabs) also featured. Vegetarian wraps were available for non-carnivores.
Most of the steaks were available in a 225g or 400g portion size, and the expected chateaubriand, fillet, rib-eye and sirloin were on offer. There was a good range of side dishes, ranging from chunky chips to mashed potatoes, and we were guided to choose two of these dishes to accompany our steak. Sauces including but not limited to hollandaise, Mexican and spicy barbecue were listed. Obligingly the waiter explained that there was a special deal on until the end of June, with either two free beers or two steaks for the price of one. Naturally we opted for the free steak.
After waiting neither a short time nor a long time, our meal arrived. I had chosen the smaller size helping of sirloin steak cooked medium well, served with cauliflower gratin and savoury rice. My friend had picked the 400g sirloin cooked medium rare, accompanied by mashed potatoes and ratatouille.
We tucked in, and both steaks were cooked as they should have been, which was positive. I asked my dining partner how he had enjoyed his meal, and bizarrely he replied that he had liked the side dishes more than the main element: the sirloin steak. Surprising because this guy is a hearty eater. It had been such a long time, however, since he’d enjoyed the simple taste of mashed potatoes, and the ratatouille was declared ‘amazing’. Moreover, if my friend had dared exercise his right to freedom of speech, he would have said that the ratatouille served in Klouds was better than what I prepare, yet he didn’t have the courage or rather wasn’t allowed to say this knowing how proud I am of my own concoction.
On a similar note, my cauliflower gratin and savoury rice were both excellent and the steak was good, if not a little bit too oily for my liking. Both of us had requested a side serving of peppercorn sauce, which the waiter confirmed he had brought. We could have sworn, though, that it was the barbecue variety with a few peppercorns thrown in.
Curiously, the dinner plates resembled large trays, with each item in its own separate dish on the plate. It was different, but not pleasingly so. Again, it was rather gloomy to see a restaurant with only a handful of diners present. It made me wonder, where do people go? Rather than being well supplied with dining establishments, is Bahrain in fact over-supplied in this regard?
Aside from us there was a party of five or six Englishmen, who appeared to be in Bahrain on business from the snatches of conversation that I could overhear. Another couple arrived as we were almost finished, and just before we left a trio of American customers entered. But it depends what you like, and visiting at a weekend is sure to mean a livelier, buzzy atmosphere, with more diners fussing over their steaks.
To round off our dinner, my friend opted for a strong black tea whilst I decided to indulge in a scrumptious piece of apple pie. Incidentally, my first choice was the pumpkin pie, but it wasn’t available. All in all, our meal was good, but we wondered if we had set our expectations too high. Still, it’s a good place to come for a slab of meat.
The bill (for two) 1x 1.5-litre Highland Spring water BD2.07 1x 400g sirloin BD14 1x apple tart BD1.8 1x tea BD1 Total (incl charges) BD 24.297
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com