Deep-fried Texan cornmeal, liquid nitrogen fruit, brie wedges and more fried faves
Crunchy Zone burger Over in the streets of Bukawarah, Riffa, you’ll find a bright pink sign advertising ‘Burger Zone’ where we found the craziest burger you ever will see. It’s a good quality beef patty in a soft bun, with plenty of sauce, and topped with a giant portion of seriously crispy fried beef bacon.
Belly busting rating: Deep fried beef bacon? Are you serious? At least a 4/5. BD2. Burger Zone, Bukawarah, West Riffa (1724 5417).
Brie wedges The menu at Jim’s, which shares its pages with Irish and Indian cuisine, might seem a little confused, but there’s nothing strange about this delicious concoction. Creamy brie cheese has been deep fried in hefty cubes and placed on top of a sweet yet tart blueberry coulis (that counts as one of your five-a-day, right?)
Belly busting rating: Salty and sweet, creamy and tangy, squidgy and crispy… A perfect 5/5. BD4. Jim’s Restaurant, Adliya (1771 0654).
Popcorn shrimp It’s not hard to see why this is one of the most popular dishes on the menu at buzzing Japanese restaurant Mirai. Perfectly cooked morsels of deep fried shrimp are smothered in a mayo-based sauce and topped with a healthy helping of shredded crabstick and chives. It’s pretty hard to stop yourself from devouring the whole plate.
Belly busting rating: A well-cooked and wonderful 3/5. BD4.2 (small) or BD6.5 (regular). Mirai, Adliya (1771 3113).
Fish and chips This dish from Café Amsterdam might not sound particularly unique but when you hear it’s Dutch hops-battered you might just change your mind. The batter is perfectly crispy and the fish is fantastically flaky, while the chips might be the best we’ve tried in Bahrain. Spot-on seasoning, too.
Belly busting rating: Take it from us Brits, you don’t get much better fish and chips than this. It’s a 5/5. BD7. Café Amsterdam, Adliya (1700 7404).
Sam Houston’s Hush Puppys What on earth is this, we hear you ask? It’s pure, unadulterated Texan genius, that’s what. These are golden balls of deep fried cornmeal which are a little sweet and a lot mouth-watering when dipped into the side of creamy Ranch dressing. With one portion you get seven heavenly spheres at brand new joint Big Texas Barbecue & Waffle House. (Oh yes, there are plenty of deep fried delights on this menu).
Belly busting rating: Perhaps they’re common over in the south, but for us they’re a revelation. It’s a 3/5 without the sauce but a whopping 5/5 if you’re a liberal dipper. BD4.6. Big Texas Barbecue & Waffle House, Best Western Plus – The Olive, Juffair (1736 0063).
Tempura short rib rolls Nino’s menu is incredibly tempting for a deep fried-aholic, as it features numerous unique dishes, but these have to be most inventive. It’s oh-so-tender braised beef short ribs with potato, celery and cheddar cheese, fried tempura-style, and then topped with a smoked barbecue aioli.
Belly busting rating: There’s four per portion and each one is mahoosive so it’s a fair 4/5. BD4.8. Nino, A’Ali Shopping Complex (1756 6555). Other location: Opposite Riffa Views (1361 3666).
Patatas bravas Another seemingly innocuous nomination but La Vinoteca Barcelona’s version of the perennial Spanish tapas dish is out of this world. Bite-sized crispy fried potatoes are stuffed with a homemade chilli sauce, as well as a creamy aioli, so you get a crispy, oozing mouthful that’s both piping hot and cooling at the same time.
Belly busting rating: We cannot get enough so it has to be a 5/5. BD3.2. La Vinoteca Barcelona, Adliya (1700 7808).
Chicken crispers Any regular of Chili’s will have tried these classic chicken crispers and for good reason - they really are a true deep fried delight for kids and adults alike. When liberally dunked into the sweet but savoury honey mustard dressing Chili’s are famous for, it’s a winning combo. Belly busting rating: A classic 4/5. BD4.7. Chili’s, various locations including Seef Mall, Juffair and Amwaj Islands (Hungerline: 1750 6070).
Deep fried ice cream In many Asian restaurants you’ll find some form of this dish whether it’s a battered scoop of ice cream or deep fried bananas topped with the frozen dessert. At Soie, however, where they’ve just launched a brand new menu, their version is uniquely served with a refreshing mango-cinnamon coulis. Belly busting rating: Who can get enough of deep fried ice cream? The coulis is just the kicker. 4/5. BD2.9. Soie, Sheraton Bahrain, Manama (1753 3533).
Japanese beignets The eclectic fusion menu at Meisei is filled with incredible ‘crisp fried’ creations (they don’t like the term ‘deep fried’ as they use fresh high quality soy oil) but if you’re on the look-out for something sweet we recommend these delightful Japanese style beignets (fried doughnut balls). These are served with great caramel, and green tea and vanilla sauces.
Belly busting rating: A decent and droolworthy 3.5/5. BD6. Meisei, Adliya (1700 7770).
‘Chocomosa’ – chocolate samosas Oh yes, you read that right, it’s a deep fried samosa parcel stuffed with chocolate from two Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia’s restaurant at the Gulf Hotel. It’s not just a dish on its own either, as the two ‘chocomosas’ come with a platter of other original choc delights including a chocolate-cumin fondant, white chocolate kheer and chocolate-chikki delice.
Belly busting rating: One delicious platter serves two people quite indulgently. Overall it’s a rather respectable 4/5. BD8. Rasoi by Vineet, Gulf Hotel Bahrain, Adliya (1771 3000).
Interstellar Fruit This has to be the most unique dish on this list. It’s launching at Plums steakhouse at The Ritz-Carlton in the last week of September and it is deep fried not once, but twice!
A meringue is ‘deep fried’ with liquid nitrogen, then slowly cooked plums are stuffed with coriander cream, glazed in syrup, and then battered in Japanese tempura. It’s finally topped with biscuit, white chocolate pearls and raspberry sauce.
Belly busting rating: We haven’t had the chance to try it yet but it certainly looks epic. BD20 (serves two). Plums, The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain (1758 6499).