Eat healthy and eat well with our pick of Bahrain's best salads
Time Out Bahrain staff
Forgo heavy meals and deep fried temptations for a fresh and light salad this summer to keep you feeling cool all season. We introduce you to some of our favourite options on the island
Salads these days are far more than just a side to a heavier, more gluttonous dish. Gone are the times when the house variety (which constituted of nothing more than a bit of lettuce, tomato and cucumber if you’re lucky) is served alongside a more interesting plate of carbs or protein and only devoured as a way to contribute to your five-a-day quota. Chefs are getting far more creative, using a range of superfoods and interesting ingredients, in their bid to tempt you onto healthier pastures and we’re grateful. Nowadays, you can pop by any local cafe for a slew of chicken caesar and Greek varieties but here are eight more unique options available in Bahrain that always has us going back for more. Market Salad @ Block 338
Fusion restaurant Block 338 has always had this little gem on their menu and it’s always been one of our favourites. The signature Market Salad is perfect for vegetarians, coming with the obligatory greens, asparagus spears, tofu croutons and a rainbow of other grated vegetables, topped off with a miso-based dressing that has you lapping it all up in no time. Don’t be deterred if you’ve always seen yourself as a hater of tofu – its unobtrusive flavours soak up all the others and becomes a welcome textural addition to the salad. BD3.4. Block 338, Adliya (1771 0338).
Coco’s Salad @ Coco’s
Pieces of grilled chicken lay atop a fresh salad of varying green leaves, juicy slices of tomato and fruity pomegranate seeds, beside a small pot of optional but recommended balsamic vinegar-based dressing to slather over. This dish is arguably one that Coco’s is most famous for but they have a range of other great salads on their menu too. We also recommend the chicken Mediterranean and the Palma. BD3.7. Block 338, Adliya (1771 6512).
Grilled Salmon Salad @ La Ventana
The salads and indeed everything else on the menu at La Ventana are epic. With almost every salad vegetable known to man laying in wait in a giant bowl, the grilled salmon option is not to be missed. It has a variety of leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, nuts, sultanas, pomegranate seeds and then those hulking great salmon fillets that are cooked beautifully with a crispy skin. The La Ventana signature dressing with its lemon base also adds some tang. But the true beauty of this venue is you can chop and change the ingredients as you like. BD4.5. Adliya, at the end of the road past Gulf Hotel (6637 1616).
L’Exotique @ Café Lilou
A mound of the delicious superfood and nutty grain, quinoa, comes served on a bed of crispy iceberg lettuce, sprinkled with edamame, cherry tomatoes and slices of avocado, then covered in shredded crab sticks. The dressing is lemony and tart, with a hint of parmesan cheese, adding that extra flavour dimension to the ideal summer dish. If you’re not a fan of the crab stick, it’s also a solid dish without making it a suitable meal for vegetarians too. BD4.5. Block 338, Adliya (1771 4440). Other location: A’ali Mall, Seef District (1758 3939).
Strawberry Spinach Salad @ Vapiano This salad is simple but it works so well on its own or as an accompaniment to one of Vapiano’s tasty pizzas or pastas. The dish features baby leaf spinach with ripe strawberries, pine nuts and creamy feta cheese, and topped off with raw onion rings to create a nutritious and mouthwatering combination. Vapiano have an extensive salad offering at their bar as well, so options abound here. BD4. Bahrain City Centre, Seef District (1749 1391).
Turkey Salad @ Sage & Sirloin
The Hamala-based delicatessen Sage & Sirloin has become wildly popular for their high quality food products, in particular the meat, since opening in 2008. Other than prime cuts, gourmet products and juicy burgers, however, Sage & Sirloin also do great salads. We recommend trying the turkey salad for some tasty lean meat, fresh vegetables and yummy cheese that’s sprinkled on top. Smother it all in their balsamic vinegar based dressing for a real winner. They also do home delivery! BD2.9. Hamala, shop 2237 (1761 1949).
Goat’s Cheese and Walnut @ Café Italia Popular contemporary Italian restaurant Café Italia might not be particularly famed for their salads but we think they should be. On the menu is an array of delicious sounding options for refreshing and light salads including this clear winner. It’s served with creamy French goat’s cheese, assorted greens, sundried tomatoes, mango and walnuts. The combination is lip-smackingly heavenly. BD5.8. Block 338, Adliya (1774 4774). Raspberry and Spinach @ Noor Lounge
Raspberries are at their peak so Chef David Bell has created a new salad based around this tarty ingredient for this month only. The berries, which are a great source of vitamin C and high in fibre, have been paired with spinach which is said to help fight inflammation in the joints, maintain a healthy nervous system and stimulate good brain function thanks to all the vitamin K. The dish is topped off with walnuts and sunflower seeds to provide that extra nutritional boost. BD5. InterContinental Regency Bahrain, Manama (1722 7777).
In brief: others to try
Nino’s We have a soft spot for the chicken and avocado salad here as it comes with thinly sliced grilled chicken, chunks of avocado, mixed leaves, pomegranate and pine nuts all dressed in a white vinaigrette. BD4.250. A’Ali Shopping Complex, Seef District (1756 6555).
Salad Boutique This café’s main focus is on salads so there’s a huge range to choose from including green, pasta, chicken, beef, seafood and exclusive varieties. It’s too hard to narrow it down to just one (and it would take at least a year’s worth of visits to try them all!) so we just recommend a trip here. They also do home delivery. Average price BD5. Block 338, Adliya (3666 4427).
Mojo Juice Bar Al Moayyed Tower holds the answer to healthy eating in Bahrain – Mojo Juice Bar. Alongside juices, smoothies, sandwiches and pasta there’s a range of salads including our favourite vegetarian chickpea salad with parsley and diced veg. They do free delivery too. BD2 (small) or BD2.3 (large). Al Moayyed Tower, Seef (1756 4077).
Honey Thai Restaurant A fresh and crispy papaya salad is served at this popular budget Thai eatery that’s based in the Manama Souq. Eat it alongside the other wholesome Thai delicacies they serve up here and you won’t be disappointed. BD1.5. Near Gold City, Manama (3923 8507).
Capuccino Café Down Saar Road you’ll find this old favourite café. The menu offers a variety of great dishes but we’re constantly drawn to the ‘special salad’ which comes with lettuce, carrot, tomato, avocado (plenty of), peppers, cucumber, apple, pomegranate, walnuts and a lemon-olive oil dressing. BD3. Saar Road, Saar (1779 0404).