Best Brunch winner
Art Rotana’s beautifully designed all-day dining restaurant is home to the hotel’s epic Friday brunch. Our official Best Brunch this year, Choices has managed to maintain the quality in this stellar offering, attracting groups and families from all over the country. It manages to toe the line between fun and family well – there is a kids’ corner for children to eat and play (also featuring a PlayStation), as well as a roaming clown making balloon animals. But there’s also a mixture of beverage stations and a wide array of sophisticated cuisine, including live cooking stations for Indian curries, Italian pastas, British roasts (a juicy, succulent highlight), Mexican fajitas and even a selection of cheese and grape. The buffet dishes are along similar lines as other brunches, so we recommend sticking with the made-to-order dishes for a more unique experience. And certainly save room for the desserts, in particularly the outstanding Middle Eastern umm ali. Meanwhile, servers are very attentive and helpful, and the atmosphere has been taken up a notch since the team decided to swap the resident band with a more upbeat DJ set.
BD34 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Art Rotana, Amwaj Islands (16 000 111).
Bahrain Bay Kitchen
As the winner of the Time Out Bahrain Best Brunch accolade in 2015, and Highly Commended again this year, it’s hard not to have high expectations for this buffet-style brunch based at the prestigious Four Seasons Bahrain Bay. You’ll be pleased to know, however, that Bahrain Bay Kitchen meets these standards with abundance. From the live pani puri station to the fresh sushi, the tender lamb ouzi to the traditional carvery, the food is fresh, well-seasoned and delicious. This brunch also manages to play to many strengths, with its family-friendly, sophisticated yet fun atmosphere. A singer croons smooth versions of chart-toppers, while the friendly, switched-on staff mill about making sure your tables are cleared and glasses are always full. The vast, beautifully designed interiors mean that no matter how busy the brunch gets, you’re never overwhelmed, but you can always book a table on the terrace in the immaculately landscaped gardens in cooler weather, too. It’s elegant and adult, but also happens to be one of the best brunches in town for kids, as not only is there a cute, mini buffet station for the little ones, but the spacious Kids’ Club is located just down the hall.
BD27++ (soft beverages), BD37++ (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Four Seasons Bahrain Bay (17 115 000).
Seemingly trivial details show the quality of a restaurant. It’s the attention to detail – hard to fake or hide – that keep customers loyal and it’s in this way that Masso excels. There’s the genuine warmth and knowledge of the front-of-house servers; there’s the attention lavished on the delicious beef tagliata, grilled to perfection; the waiter who, an hour into your brunch, notices that you look a little down due to a lack of veal chorizo and brings you another portion unasked. This is what has made head chef Susy Massetti’s restaurants such a success, and the Masso brunch typifies her philosophy of substance over any flashiness. Many of the tasty ingredients are locally grown in the venue’s own organic garden in Budaiya and, though the food is well presented, it’s the flavours that linger in your memory. This is another à la carte brunch, so your elbows won’t need sharpening ahead of dining here. The breakfast and lunch dishes, the choice of which can change slightly each week, are brought to your table in generous portions, with the option to order more of whatever impresses. Dessert is a slight let-down after its sumptuous precursors – it’s buffet-style with nothing as mouthwatering and exciting as the main courses – but that’s just a minor blemish on what is an excellent brunch.
BD25 (soft beverages), BD33 (house beverages). Fri-Sat noon-4pm. Palace Boutique Hotel, Adliya (17 725 000).