Time Out's expert gourmets search the malls and back streets of Bahrain to find the best specialist food stores
Paul French residents were the first to rejoice when Paul came to town, for at last they could get their hands on the type of bread they were raised on. Free from preservatives and made entirely with natural ingredients imported from France, the wide range of breads are baked daily on site for a Parisian-boulangerie-like taste. We love the ‘pain aux six cereales’, made of rye, barley, oats, corn, durum wheat, soft wheat, hulled millet, flax and sesame seeds. Leave space for the cloud-like macaroons. Ground floor, Seef Mall extension (17 580 073). Open 9am-11pm daily
Wafi Gourmet No lover of polyphenol-packed olives can fail to be excited by the array spilling out of large barrels here: stuffed with pimento or mixed with walnuts, feta, fresh oregano, pomegranate seeds… You’ll also find aubergines and cabbage leaves stuffed with labneh, oils, vinegars, pomegranate molasses, sweets, nuts, fresh vegetables, plus a large selection of what the Lebanese do best – mezze. If you don’t want to cart it all back home, pick up some bread to go with your moutabal or have a kofta cooked to your liking at the grill to enjoy on the sunny terrace. Second floor, Bahrain City Centre, Seef (17 179 999). Open 8am-11pm daily
Sage & Sirloin Delicatessen Turn on the grill or stoke up the barbie, because there’s some seriously good meat to cook up here. And the best news is the hard slog has been taken out of prepping it: ribs have been French trimmed, chicken deboned and stuffed, and steak, such as supreme Wagyu beef, marinated overnight. There are also meat pies, homemade sausages such as spicy-hot Merguez and deli items like special cheeses, truffles and sea salt. The cool blonde-wood and ‘sage’ interiors are conducive to lingering and downloading cooking advice from the resident butcher. Wali Al Ahd Highway, Al Hamala (17 611 949, www.sageandsirloin.com). Open Wed-Mon 8am-8pm.
Della Terra Arborio rice, pasta, sauces, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, antipasti… it’s all on offer at Della Terra, tucked away in Seef Mall extension. Born of the owner’s yearning for good-quality ingredients to create dishes like her Italian mother-in-law makes, it’s not surprising perhaps that the shop resembles a well stocked wood-panelled Tuscan kitchen. If you’re in any doubt about how to make your risotto creamy but not porridge-like or add a bit of zing to your pasta sauce, you can join the shop’s mailing list to receive newsletters with tasty Italian recipes. Ground floor, Seef Mall extension (17 564 331). Open 10am-10pm daily
Rachanee Supermarket Rachanee looks like a basic cold store from the outside, but inside you’ll find every ingredient you need to replicate that fragrant Thai curry you fell in love with in Koh Samui, or to add a bit of fusion to your cooking. There are Filipino and Thai ingredients downstairs (rice noodles, wonton cases, sweet chilli sauce, shrimp paste) and Indonesian delights upstairs. The best time to visit is on Sunday or Thursday when a supply of fresh Asian-style herbs, fruit and vegetables arrive in the store. Road 2719, around corner from Al Jazira (17 749 162). Open 8.30am-10pm daily
Jena Bakery Joanne Harris’s mouthwatering novel Chocolat comes to life at this bijou bakery/patisserie decked out in dark wood and flocked wallpaper, where the main focus is on all things sweet. The range goes from chocolate truffles with a grain of fleur de sel in the middle, to cakes and magical desserts. Wali Al-Ahd Highway, Al Hamala (17 613 191, www.jenabakery.com). Open 10am-7.30pm daily
Hussain Mohammed Showaiter Sweets There’s no shortage of sweet shops in Bahrain and everyone has a favourite, but Hussain Mohammed Showaiter Sweets deserves a place on this list as one of the oldest, and the inventor of the island’s own version of halwa. This sweet jelly-like saffron-flavoured delicacy is on offer alongside pistachio-filled pastries flavoured with rose water, and Arabic coffee. The best part is sampling all of the above before buying. Hussain Shaikh Hamad Avenue, Muharraq (17 345 550).
it was such good news to know that there are some asian foodstores here in bahrain now i can cook the foods i like!!!you really did a nice job on posting it .
Home cook Feb 25, 2009 07:47 am
What?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I didn't even know there was a deli in Bahrain and you say there are this many. You have done good research here for all cooks and chefs like me. Of the home variety of course but we can all love this food of love in our tummies!!