We put Bahrain’s top delivery outlets through their paces
Time Out Bahrain staff
The summer heat is strong and even stepping outside your front door in the evening can prove to be a trying event, so nothing beats curling up by the A/C and ordering an easy takeaway to enjoy while watching your favourite series. In our island culture of convenience, we are absolutely inundated with take-out options with everything ranging from Lebanese to Japanese, pizzas to burgers, healthy to the downright indulgent.
We at team Time Out Bahrain chose 26 outlets – ones we love and many we had never tried before – and put them to the test. We paid attention to ease of ordering, delivery time, service, food quality on arrival and flavour profiles, in order to rate them out of five. This is what we found…
Al Abraaj Cuisine: Arabic, Indian, Chinese, Italian Order: Hummus (900 fils); falafel (900 fils); lamb arayes (BD1.4); fattoush (BD1.4); chicken tikka (BD2.4); French fries (800 fils) Delivery time: 45 minutes 3.5/5 Al Abraaj has maintained a reputation for good, fast and reasonably priced options for many years. We order from the Arabic section of the menu – the dishes they’re most famous for – and are very happy. Everything arrives intact, on time and hot. Who can get enough of that hummus and special Al Abraaj bread anyway? Open daily noon-midnight. Seef Mall, Seef (1758 2266). Other locations: Adliya, Sehla, Riffa, Busaiteen, Bahrain Mall, Sitra Mall, Adhari Park, Juffair, City Centre Bahrain, Budaiya, Hamala, Hoora, Al A’ali Shopping Complex.
Cuisine: Desserts Order: Kanafany bite with cheese (BD6.5) Delivery time: 1 hour 20 minutes 3/5 Well known for serving up a mean kunafa, Al Kanafany is a go-to delivery service for indulgent desserts. They have a range of kunafa concoctions as cakes, in rolls, with cheese, with cream – and more. Due to the slow delivery time, ours unfortunately is on the cooler side so the cheese is a bit hard and not gooey as we’d hoped. It’s still tasty doused in sugar syrup though. Open daily 9am-midnight. Riffa (1723 1723).
Badawi Cuisine: Lebanese Order: Tabbouleh (BD1.450); shish tawouk plate (BD3.3); potato wedges (BD1.5); cheese rolls (350 fils); half dozen falafel (BD1.750); arayes meat (BD2.750); hummus Beiruti (BD1.4) Delivery time: 1 hour 4/5 Depending on where you live, the minimum order amount for popular Lebanese restaurant Badawi might be quite large but we believe it’s worth it. This cheap but cheerful eatery in Adliya offers all your favourite Levantine bites under one roof with friendly service and impressive kitchen skills. On this occasion, our order is delivered within the promised time and the food is still hot and fresh. The dishes are all tasty and the portions extremely generous. Open Sat-Thu 9am-midnight; Fri noon-midnight. Hoora (1729 7799).
Cuisine: Contemporary Middle Eastern Order: Five dish combo – feta cheese, foul medammes, baked beans, potato harra, egg and tomatoes (BD5); gourmet shawarma – signature (BD3.8); chocolate shawarma (BD2) Delivery time: 1 hour 10 minutes 4/5 In terms of food quality, we love contemporary Middle Eastern restaurant Bayti. Based by the Bahrain Financial Harbour, the outlet itself is funky and offers a daily lunch buffet and tasty a la carte options. Their home delivery service has a few drawbacks on this occasion – the delivery time is on the slow side and portions aren’t overwhelming. Having said that, we thoroughly enjoy our chosen dishes. The shawarmas – both savoury and sweet – are unique and deserve some serious accolades. We also love that we can order a traditional Bahraini breakfast from here. Top tip – make sure you order extra bread with any mezze. Open daily 7am-midnight. Bahrain Financial Harbour, Manama (1722 9778).
BeauBites Cuisine: Café Order: Tomato coriander soup (BD1.5); quinoa veggie burger (BD2.9); tuna melt (BD2) Delivery time: 45 minutes 4.5/5 We’re impressed with the quality of food and BeauBites’ mission to deliver healthy, diet food to your door. It all arrives on time and in good condition – the tomato coriander soup (which hasn’t spilled) tastes wholesome and homemade. As does the flavourful quinoa veggie burger and hearty tuna melt. All in all, when we’re looking for a reasonably priced, healthier delivery option, this would be our first choice. Open daily 11am-11pm. Saar Mall, Saar (1764 2344).
Bey Route Cuisine: Lebanese Order: Hummus (BD1.6); spicy potato (BD1.5); Akkawi cheese saj (BD1.1); labneh and zataar saj (BD1.1); mixed grill platter (BD4.8); chicken shawarma (900 fils); falafel plate (BD2.2) Delivery time: 45 minutes 4/5 Bey Route, which serves up classic dishes from Beirut, is easily one of the island’s top delivery outlets (and eat-in venues) when you’re looking for a taste of Lebanon. It arrives on time and we have no issue with the order process. The food is tasty, fresh, piping hot and top quality. We particularly recommend the array of interesting saj options, and the fluffy falafel is spot-on. Open daily 8am-midnight. Palm Square, Budaiya (1728 0111). Other location: Diplomatic Area (7702 8111).
Box It Cuisine: International (Italian, Asian, Mexican, Bahraini) Order: Chicken quesadilla (BD2); Greek salad (BD1.2); vegetable fried rice (BD2); meatball spaghetti (BD2.3) Delivery time: 35 minutes 3/5 This outlet has a strange combination of cuisines on its menu but what they cook up is pretty decent if a bit average. It’s delivered in record time and quaintly presented in their very own Box It branded takeout boxes (think of classic Chinese take-out). Overall we can’t complain but it’s nothing to write home about. Open daily 11.30am-11.30pm. Uptown Village, Budaiya Highway (7730 4050). Other locations: Sitra, University of Bahrain.
Cuisine: Mexican Order: Beef barbacoa burrito (BD5.6); chicken burrito (BD4.5); veggie burrito (BD2.9); peanut butter chocolate brownies (BD1); nacho chips with pico de gallo (BD1) Delivery time: 1 hour, 35 minutes 4.5/5 There are a couple of drawbacks to the Burrito Loco delivery experience – the minimum order amount is pretty big and, for us, on this occasion, the speed of service is very slow. But, in the end, it’s worth it. We just can’t get enough of those tasty (giant) burritos. You can choose from chicken, beef, shrimp or veggie and pile it high with what you want – rice, beans, salad, salsa etc. Those peanut butter chocolate brownies are equally as delicious. Open daily 11am-midnight. Hamala (1700 2947). Other location: The Mall, Shabab Avenue, Juffair (1700 2979).
Casper & Gambini’s
Cuisine: Café Order: Gambini’s sliders (BD5); tuna mayo sandwich (BD2); lemon quinoa salad (BD5) Delivery time: 1 hour 4.5/5 The choice at regional chain Casper & Gambini’s, which originally hails from Lebanon, is outstanding, from salads to soups, sandwiches to more substantial main meals including burgers, pasta and pizzas – to name a few. We’ve tried a fair few of their dishes in-store before and have been suitably impressed. This time, however, we find the sliders to be a bit greasy and the tuna sandwich far too overloaded with mayonnaise. The amount of quinoa in the salad is very generous and overall it’s a nice, healthy option, but if you don’t love mustard then we advise you to request an alternative dressing. Open Sat-Wed 10am-11pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Seef Mall, Seef (1728 0089). Darcha Tea House
Cuisine: South East Asian / Café Order: Asian quinoa salad (BD3.2); chicken gyoza (BD1.9); Thai beef salad (BD3.6); Vietnamese summer rolls (BD1.7) Delivery time: 50 minutes 4.5/5 Darcha Tea House is Saar’s little hidden gem. Their dishes boast fabulously fresh ingredients, moreish Asian flavours and light options for health conscious diners. The Asian quinoa salad is a great vegan dish that’s filling and flavourful, while the chicken gyozas are well cooked, as is the Thai beef salad. It’s all on time, presented well and fresh as fresh can be. Open Sun-Thu 7.30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-9pm. Nakheel Centre, Saar (1759 0036).
EZ Burger Cuisine: Burgers Order: EZ sliders (BD2.3); EZ crispy chicken sandwich (BD1.8) Delivery time: 45 minutes 3/5 What EZ Burger does might be basic but it’s done well – perfect to satisfy that burger itch. The food translates well from eat-in to take-away because, for us, it’s delivered quickly and the quality of the fresh ingredients hasn’t faded. It’s junk that doesn’t make you feel as guilty as others would. Open daily 11am-11pm (Saar Mall branch). Hotline (1724 1111). Other locations: Al Reem Centre, Riffa; Arad Bay.
Fatburger Cuisine: Burgers Order: Single Fatburger meal (BD3.6); veggie burger meal (BD4.4) Delivery time: 30 minutes 3.5/5 For a burger craving, we highly recommend Fatburger. This American chain is known for cooking up a lean beef patty to order with 100 percent cholesterol free fries. Our beef and veggie meals come with those ‘healthy’ fries (we opt for ‘skinny’) and a drink of your choosing. You can also pick from a bunch of complimentary toppings and sauces, as well as extras (for a charge). It’s tasty, definitely satisfies a junk food craving, and is delivered at top speed. Open daily 24 hours. Wadi Al Sail, Riffa (7733 7744). Other locations: Enma Mall, City Centre Bahrain.
Gusto Cuisine: Italian Order: Bruschetta (BD2.8); vegetable salad (BD2.9); margharita doc (BD5.6); spaghetti alla gamberi (BD6.2) Delivery time: 40 minutes 5/5 This independent Italian restaurant is one of the island’s favourites for its contemporary but basic interiors, rustic dishes and friendly service. Their home delivery service is no exception – it arrives on time, well presented and tasting as great as it would at the venue. We highly recommend the wood-fired pizzas and the wholesome spaghetti alla gamberi. Open daily noon-11pm. Palm Square, Budaiya Highway (1769 5556). Other location: Riffa Views (1734 4456).
Healthy Calorie Cuisine: Café Order: Green juice (BD1.4); spicy chicken quesadilla (BD2.4); chicken spinach burger (BD2); grilled potato (700 fils); Moroccan chickpeas sandwich (BD1.6) Delivery time: 27 minutes 3.5/5 We have to admit that we did enjoy our dishes from Healthy Calorie, and were particularly impressed by the speedy delivery time (the fastest in this feature!). We’re not overly convinced by how healthy it is – especially as the Moroccan chickpeas sandwich, which is essentially a baked falafel wrap, comes smothered in a cheese spread and thousand island-like dressing that definitely didn’t come from nature. But everything else tastes great and the green juice is a very welcome healthy addition. Open Sun-Thu 7.30am-2.30pm; Fri-Sat closed. Almoayyed Tower, Seef (1736 9366). Other locations: Bahrain Financial Harbour (7733 3111); Juffair (1736 9399).
Lava Burger Cuisine: Burgers Order: Spicy chicken burger (BD2.8); cheese burger (BD2); Lava fries (BD1.2); onion rings (BD1.2) Delivery time: 1 hour, 20 minutes 2/5 It took a while to process our order and then it took so long to deliver from Lava Burger that by the time it does arrive everything is cold. The Lava fries, which could have been the most impressive fries in all the world beforehand, are soggy and inedible, as are the onion rings. Both burgers don’t fall short on flavour but, because they are cold, it’s hard to enjoy. Perhaps we should make the trip to the store next time. Open daily 10am-midnight. Tala Plaza, Seqaya (7730 6666).
Leila Cuisine: Lebanese Order: Tabbouleh (BD1.950); hummus (BD1.750); warak enab (BD2.250); bamiah bel zeit (BD1.850); spicy potato (BD1.550); white rice (BD1.5) Delivery time: 45 minutes 5/5 The Lebanese food fans in our offices cannot get enough of Leila. Their hot and cold mezzes are beautifully put together, with plenty of flavour and fresh ingredients. The menu has plenty of interesting items on it and we love trying something new each time we order. On this occasion we try the bamiah – a tomato and okra dish – which is a big hit. They also happen to have some of the best tabbouleh and warak enab (vine leaves) in town. Open Sun-Thu 9am-11pm; Fri-Sat 9am-midnight. Al A’ali Shopping Complex, Seef (1756 6556).
Little Caeser’s Cuisine: Pizza Order: Medium pepperoni pizza (BD4); medium margarita pizza (BD4); potato wedges (900 fils) Delivery time: 1 hour, 40 minutes 2/5 We wait ages for Little Caeser’s to deliver and it’s pretty disappointing when it arrives. The pizzas are average and the potato wedges are too soggy for us to enjoy by this point. On the plus side, their service is thorough (we got a second call to double check) and everything comes as we ordered it (extra pineapple toppings and all). Open daily 11am-1am. City Centre Bahrain, Seef (1717 9400). Other locations: Riffa, Zinj, Hidd.
Magic Wok Cuisine: Chinese Order: Vegetables in Szechwan sauce (BD2.4); chilli fish (BD2.4); chicken corn soup (BD1); steamed rice (600 fils); exotic vegetable dumplings (BD1) Delivery time: 36 minutes 4/5 For reliable, reasonably priced and tasty fast food takeaway that’s bound to hit the spot each and every time, look no further than Magic Wok. The wide range of Chinese dishes on offer are mostly spot-on and delivered quickly and intact. This was no exception and we enjoy our choices – particularly the flavourful chilli fish and vegetables in Szechwan sauce. That chicken corn soup also goes down a treat. Open daily noon-10.30pm. Jawad Dome, Barbar (Hungerline: 1750 6070). Other location: Juffair.
Mini Delights Cuisine: Desserts Order: Mini cheesecakes – 2 dozen (BD6) Delivery time: 2 hours 4/5 We have to order from Mini Delights in advance but it’s worth the wait for those creamy, delectable cheesecakes they offer. You get to choose from all their selections – fruity, chocolately, nutty, unique – and make up a box of a dozen(s). Each dozen is just BD3 so it’s totally worth it on every level. Open daily 10am-10pm. Uptown Village, Budaiya Highway (1759 5254). Nino
Cuisine: Italian / international Order: Routini sliders (BD4.8); gamberoni risotto (BD8.7); light pasta (BD5.2); broccoli with chilli and garlic (BD2.7) Delivery time: 1 hour 4.5/5 It’s hard to go wrong with a meal at one of the Nino branches and luckily that experience translates to at-home eating too. We’ve had a couple of issues with service in the past, however, this time, the food arrives within the estimated delivery time, it’s fresh, yummy, and the portions are humungous. We love the risotto in particular but also appreciate the option to choose from the lighter and healthier ‘spa menu’. Open daily 11am-midnight. Al A’ali Shopping Complex, Seef (1756 6555). Other location: Riffa, opposite Riffa Views (1361 3666).
Cuisine: Pan-Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai) Order: Green chicken curry (BD3.2); pad thai with prawns (BD3.1); vegetable spring rolls (BD1.8); steamed jasmine rice (BD1); California roll (BD4.1) Delivery time: 1 hour 3/5 Fancy an Asian spread for dinner? Then Nu Asia is a great choice with classic options from across the continent. Our chosen dishes arrive steaming, within good time, and deliver all their flavour promises. Everything is cooked well and the sushi is fresh (as you would hope!). It’s no five-star gourmet outlet but it hits the spot. Open Sat-Wed 11.30am-midnight; Thu-Fri 11.30am-12.30am. Palm Square, Budaiya (1758 7171). Other locations: A’Ali Shopping Complex, Juffair, Isa Town.
Round Table Pizza Cuisine: Pizza Order: Garlic parmesan twists (900 fils); potato wedges (900 fils); large pizza – half Guinevere’s Garden Delight and half Italian Garlic Supreme (BD5.5); cinnamon twists (900 fils) Delivery time: 45 minutes 4/5 We’re happy that Round Table is back and already they’ve opened three locations around Bahrain. We order from the newest Budaiya branch and everything arrives steaming, exactly how we want it and on time. The pizzas are great – the rich tomato sauce is full of flavour and the toppings are well cooked. The sweet, icing-crusted cinnamon twists steal though show though. Open daily 9am-1am. Gardens Plaza, Budaiya Highway (1616 1717). Other locations: Sultan Mall, Isa Town; Al Raya Mall, Juffair.
The Great American Bagel
Cuisine: Café Order: Smoked salmon bagel (BD3); tuna salad bagel (BD2.650); latte (BD1.6) Delivery time: 45 minutes 4/5 We particularly recommend The Great American Bagel for a breakfast order but it’s also great for lunch. Pick your bagel – they do everything from four grain to sundried tomato – and your topping from a wide selection. On this occasion, it’s delivered in good time, in good condition and tasting – you guessed it – very good. Open daily 5am-8pm. Bahrain Financial Harbour, Manama (1721 1164).
The Original Cuisine: International Order: Spicy shrimp pasta (BD3.7); organic rice with salmon (BD5); chicken burger (BD2.7); nasi goreng (BD1.8); halloumi salad (BD2.7) Delivery time: 1 hour 4.5/5 The Original is the perfect take-out choice for a group of friends with wildly varying taste buds. The international selection is well spread – across Asia and Europe and The Americas – offering a little something for everyone, whether it's indulgent or on the healthier side. The food arrives within the promised time and it’s presented well, tastes great and will definitely have us calling back for more. Open Sat-Wed 1pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Thu-Fri 1pm-3pm, 6pm-midnight. Uptown Village, Budaiya (1760 0951).
The Yellow Chilli Cuisine: Indian Order: Subz panchmel (BD3.4); dahl mizaz (BD2.9); lazeez murgh tikka masala (BD3.9); Pudina paratha (500 fils); Lachcha paratha (500 fils); tandoori roti (300 fils); naan (400 fils) Delivery time: 50 minutes 3.5/5 From the globally celebrated Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor is this vibrant brand. Located in Seef Mall, The Yellow Chilli offers simple Indian dishes, cooked well. Our food is delivered on time and almost intact (there’s a bit of curry leakage but they’ve pre-emptively wrapped it in cling film). We’re happy with the flavours although a bit disappointed by the oil overload. Open daily noon-11pm. Seef Mall, Seef (1758 0480).
Upper Crust Cuisine: Café Order: Avocado Caesar salad (BD3.4); vegetable pasta (BD3.5); veggie wrap (BD3.4) Delivery time: 1 hour 15 minutes 3.5 Although Upper Crust were slow to deliver, we enjoy the avocado Caesar salad topped with salty beef bacon bits (a surprise to us, as this isn’t mentioned on the menu), as well as the flavourful veggie wrap that comes with avocado and a rich tomato salsa. The only drawback is the vegetable pasta, as the red sauce tastes metallic and the rest is quite bland. Overall, however, it’s not a bad choice for a lighter, non-junk food option. Open daily 9am-midnight. Zinj (1740 1870). Other location: Hamala (1761 0454).