Head to an old part of town to check out this brand-new, top-notch brunch
Time Out Bahrain Staff
Let us be the first to debunk a myth about downtown Manama – it’s not too old-school and there’s more to do than just buy gold and kitschy souvenirs. In fact, with the opening of Downtown Rotana, the area just got a welcome five-star boost.
While most brunches in Bahrain aren’t in the immediate Bab Al Bahrain vicinity, it’s worth heading to the hotel’s all-day dining spot, Flavours on 2, which is host to a relatively new Friday brunch.
The venue is airy and open, but also intimate. The furniture is bright and cheery, with fluorescent lime greens and whites. In fact, the décor throughout is boldly coloured, adding to the vibrant vibe.
On weekends, the crowds flock in, giving the place a buzz, but it’s nothing too overwhelming. It’s still fairly laidback.
As for the food selection, at first glance it seems small, but there’s more packed in than meets the eye. You’ve got the usual spread of Arabian appetisers, such as tabbouleh, hummus and vine leaves, as well as a sushi bar (which is fast becoming a rather predictable and unadventurous addition to the island’s buffet brunches – we skip that part).
What is unique is the über-healthy option of kimchee, a traditional South Korean side dish of spicy fermented cabbage, which is great as a precursor to the feast, as it revs up your digestive system. With fire in our belly, we head next to the Indian section, where we scoop up some traditional paneer doused in a thick, flavourful and creamy curry.
Then we focus our attentions on the roasts, which would make even the most ardent Brit proud. We sample the juicy roast garlic chicken that’s perfectly seasoned and dripping with flavour.
And we still have room for a medium-rare steak and plate of hot potato salad with roasted vegetables interspersed with surprise chunks of brie.
We easily cut through the steak and reveal a blush pink core (just as it should be). This is a prime cut, as good as any from any revered island steakhouse.
After the highs of the starters and mains, desserts are slightly disappointing – the usual gamut of brownies and chocolate ganache – although we are tempted by the tantalisingly smelly wafts coming from a hefty cheese counter.
Overall, for the quality of food, friendly service and value for money (you get access to the hotel’s pool with the package, too), Flavours on 2 has a winning formula for brunch, and we’ll certainly be back. The Bottom Line A great addition to the brunch circuit.