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Bahraini Food Is Delectable

Good Restaurants in Bahrain

Every time, I think of Bahrain, I am reminded of its deliciousness. Age-old recipes, traditional methods, fresh ingredients, high-quality dry fruits and aromatic spices make the best of the Bahraini food. Despite the influence of fusion food and foreign influx, traditional eateries continue to rule the dining scene in this small but pretty island nation. Some of the passionate locals have safeguarded the authentic recipes, heritage food and the legacies of spices with all their heart and soul. I loved the food there and was thoroughly impressed with the way the locals enjoy their food. This post is about celebrating the culinary spirit of the country.

Where to eat in Manama in Bahrain?
Breakfast menu us delish!
What all to eat when you travelling to Bahrain?
Salads are an important part of Bahraini food.

Bahrainis love their food and this is how it should be!

Bahrain may have evolved as a progressive and cosmopolitan country but in some ways it is still traditional and old-school. One of the things that keeps it grounded and connected to roots is definitely its food. I truly admired the way the locals take out time to indulge in traditional cuisines and sumptuous Bahraini food.

Usually when we visit a new city in a new country, we look forward to the lavish breakfast buffet in the hotels. But in Bahrain, you will want to skip the variety. I bet you will eat your hotel breakfast for 1 or 2 days but after that you will head to the famous cafes which are known for their breakfast menus. Haji’s, Saffron, Raazji are some of the places that every one will tell you about. You just can’t miss the food there.

Delicacies of Bahrain.
#travel #manama #Bahrain #travelblogger
Bahrainis are very fond of grills!
You must go for breakfast at Saffron in Muhharaq.
Don’t miss the saffron drink at SAFFRON

This is what I wrote about Bahrain in GULF WEEKLY!

What is lamb goozi and where can I eat it?
#Manama #bahrain #travel
Lamb Goozi is a much-loved rice delicacy!
Bahraini food is truly amazing
Pilavs are of many varieties.

How Bahrain spoiled me?

I was literally spoiled for choices. There was always a lavish spread from mezze to variety of hummus, leafy salads, fritters or taboule, egg dishes, chicken curries, various grills, slow-cooked meats, pilaf, loads of khubz (flat breads) accompanied by tea, coffee, saffron and milk drink, labaan followed by sweet desserts, dates and fruits. After my first humongous meal, I knew that Bahraini meal has a special character of its own. And the takeaway is not just the flavors but much more.

There is no doubt that the locals take their grills and kebabs very seriously and rice dishes are about elaborate and slow-cooking. When it comes to spices, it isn’t hard to conclude that Bahrainis believe in generous use of cloves, peppercorns, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, cardamom and cumin, just like Indians.

While traditional flatbread, Khubz, baked in an oven, are popular with hummus, eggs, grills and curries, rice dishes make for a complete meal. While Qoozi (Ghoozi) is a traditional rice delicacy, there is another very popular combination of meat or fish served with rice called machboos. Then there is Gulf’s fresh and favorite fish, Hamour which is prepared in all forms steamed, grilled or in curry. Local coffee is called gahwa and is served in a coffee pot called finjan. The Bahrainis love tea and therefore kadak chai is becoming a favorite. Another popular beverage that is flavorful and appetizing is the salted buttermilk (served with or without mint) called laban. For your sweet tooth, there is baklava, kunafa, umm alli. For some more authentic treats, you must visit the Manama Souq for Halwa and Zalibi and get it packed from the local sweets shop. Dates and nuts are important ingredient of almost all recipes and are available in abundance in the suqs.

Vegetarian food in Bahrain.
Beans with eggs! You will love them with Khaboos.
Drink Labaan to stay cool.
Indian fusion in Bahrain
Too many lamb dishes to try!

In Bahrain, one must eat the local Bahraini breakfast!

The capital city, Manama may be home to many five star hotels and posh buildings but its narrow alleyways still boast of age-old cafes and eateries, which serve only traditional food. My breakfast trips to Haji’s café in Manama and Saffron Muharraq are as enjoyable and memorable to me as the trips to Bahrain International Circuit and A’ali Village.

In these local hideouts, you really don’t have to look at the menu to pick. Just by looking around, you would know what to order and if you are accompanied by a local, they would do the best for you. Every order must begin with some omelets, balaleet (sweet saffron vermicelli is topped with eggs), shakshuka (poached eggs are cooked in a tomato gravy), hummus and saffron drink (with or without milk). Fried Chicken liver or Chicken liver saute is a popular delicacy served at breakfast or you may also go for the cheese platter. The breads (khaboos) are an obsession in this part of the world and Bahraini food feels incomplete without it. They are served so fresh and soft that no one keeps a count of how many they eat in each meal.

How about this rose drink at Rasoi by Vineet?
Rose drink -Rasoi by Vineet!

If you are having second thoughts of not finding enough for the vegetarian in you, I must clear the doubts instantly. Bahraini cafes and restaurants offer a lot of plant based dishes. The best of saffron royal breakfast is vegetarian. The kebab rolls are delicious. For other meals of the day, there are enough salads, hummus, lentils, eggplant, spiced tomato, baked beans (luba) and chickpea dishes. The humble yellow dal is readily available with steamed white rice. Fried balls of chickpeas, falafel with hummus are also very popular here.

Some of the restaurants which you can visit for lunch and dinner are Rasoi by Vineet, Villa Mamas, Naseef, Tabreej. There are many old and small places which serve Bahraini food only.

Tea and coffee are readily available in Manama
Bahraini coffee
You will not miss your Samosas. Ask for Samboosa.

You got to eat these when indulging in Bahraini food.

Some of the dishes that I absolutely loved were lamb goozi (lamb cooked in rice), samboosa (samosa ), zinjibari (small bun stuffed with cheese), luba (spiced baked beans), balaleet (sweet vermicelli eaten with omelette), mihyawa, (bread coated with fish dressing), machboos (rice with meat), mahalabia (milk flavored with dates or cardamom).
Tabbouleh, hummus , khubz, saffron drink, Karak tea are a must on every table. 

Samboosa – This is a very popular snack which is a cheesy version of samosas. They are smaller in size though.

Zinzibari – It is yet another very unique, sweet and salty snack. It made with both cheese and jam or sugar powder.

Muhammar- Sweet rice cooked elaborately and then served in combination with fried Safi (rabbit fish) or Chanad (mackerel fish).

Mahyawa – It is a tangy, fermented sauce made from fish.

Gaimat – Fried doughs covered with honey, sesame and dates. These are sweet dumplings, a favorite in Ramadan too.

Goozi – Slow cooked lamb (or chicken) in rice.

Grills – The meat grills in Bahrain are laced with spices and nicely cooked over coal. They are simply amazing. I would highly recommend them.

Fresh sea food – At some of the best restaurants, you have the option of picking from the fresh catch display and asking the chef to prepare it in the Bahraini style or the way you like it. Machboos- rice with sea food can easily be called the national dish of Bahrain.

Bahrain also flourishes with trendy restaurants but I am sure you will not get enough of its local food. When you do, you can always check out the neighborhood of ‘Block 338’ for some of the coolest eateries.

Keep coming back for more updates on travel and food.

10 thoughts on “Bahraini Food Is Delectable

  1. I know nothing about Bahrain or its food culture there, but it looks delicious! It’s so colourful, loving that rose drink by the way, and pretty healthy too. Is it spicy? I’m a big wimp with spice! I do however like salads and I tried shakshuka when I was in Israel and loved that! I’d like to visit one day.

  2. I haven’t tried Bahraini food yet in my entire life. I have always wanted to see if it is different with Emirati and Egyptian food. I am really fond of saffron in meals but not in drinks as I haven’t tried it yet. I hope I get a chance to try the saffron drink! It looks so refreshing! I love samosas! I actually just had chicken and vegetable samosas last night. I really hope I can try the Bahrain version of it.

  3. How had I never heard of Bahraini food before?! It looks and sounds amazing! The eggs and beans sound divine (two of my favorite foods)! It all seems so fresh too! I’m officially going to have to keep an eye out for Gaimat in NYC- that sounds amazing!

  4. I love to try the local cuisine. It brings out the essence of the place you are visiting. The grills and pilavs sure look delectable. Would love to try Bahraini Food some day. Samosas however are an all time favourite.

  5. What I truly love about eating around the world is comparing how different cultures and countries adapt ingredients and dishes with their own unique twist. For instance, hummus in the U.S. tastes different than hummus in Bahrain. I love Middle Eastern food, so all this is somewhat familiar to me. (Yes, I’m drooling over my keyboard now!) I’m looking forward to eating Mahyawa and Goozi again! I love how different ingredients are celebrated as well such as roses and other unique spices. Beautiful pics. Now I’m ready for lunch!

  6. I love that the traditional recipes and techniques are preserved and guarded! You’ve described so many delicious-sounding dishes, I am certain I would love Bahraini food. I am already a big fan of curries, dried fruits, and breads, and especially adore complex layers of spice. Machboos, the rice with fish or meat, would definitely be one of my favorite choices. But, I must admit, I am most intrigued by the drinks: the Safron and Rose drinks sound so exotic and refreshing. I hope I have an opportunity to dry Bahraini Food some day.

  7. I had no idea about Bahraini food. I enjoyed reading your post while you walked me through all different types of dishes popular in Bahrain. What I loved the most is the breakfast tradition, and also their love for salads. I can see they love grilled meat and meat is mostly their main dish. Can you recommend few vegan dish as well? Will it be difficult to travel there as a vegan?

  8. This is such a great post because I usually skip breakfast. Bahraini breakfasts hit the spots in so ways. While I’m not a vegetarian, I appreciate all the options. I like that you included drinks as well as foods. The samboosa sound delicious!

  9. This post had me drooling and although I don’t know Bahrain , I am already in love with the food. They also look healthy. I am reminded of home when reading this as I can understand the love and care going into this delicious recipes and safeguarding them. I would love Khubz with hummus and chicken curry with rice sounds really good right now. And gahwa or kadak chai to round off the fulfilling meal. Now I have to go cook.

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