|Yum's the word!|
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Inns next door to each other are Krumz and Jim’s which serve up specialities of the British Isles and Ireland. Bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and fish and chips are naturally part of the Krumz menu but continental favourites are there, too.
Bohemia has a cosy atmosphere, continental selections and the warm welcome of Dennis Smolett. The genial Janet is the hostess at Jim’s with both pub grub and gourmet dines on the menu.
Diners at Mezzaluna sit in the clear fibreglass-covered courtyard of an old villa where you can see the daylight sky or stars at night. The menu largely reflects Mediterranean specialities in a truly unique setting. The country’s widest selection of vintages by the glass is available.
Upstairs Downstairs, started in the early 1970s, is the oldest independent restaurant. Though rebuilt on the same site, the signature dish created in 1981, smoked hamour pâté, is still on the menu.
It’s definitely a jazz and blues spot where Jojo’s piano plays endearing melodies and golden oldies, and local musicians and entertainers from abroad make appearances. Even Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern slipped in for dinner during an official visit to the kingdom. George Cherian is the affable gentleman host.
Around the corner is Vins which has a cellar and mezzanine lounge for pre- or postprandial beverages, a snack or a full meal. The dining room itself is charmingly rustic with a classic continental menu. The finest restaurant for French cuisine is certainly the Regency’s Versailles which has a ringside seat to the construction of Bahrain Financial Harbour but Mono, in the Diplomat SAS Radisson Hotel, is an exquisite hideaway with an excellent menu.
Zoe’s has a menu of international specialities with a New York loft-style dining room and chillout area. For succulent steaks, however, Plums – in an arty setting straight out of New York – can’t be beat.
For a country surrounded by water, fish and seafood are important fixtures on menus with hamour (grouper) the most commonly found fish on menus. The Mövenpick Hotel’s Silks is a cool dining room serving international cuisine. Though we’ve had Geschnelzeltes many times in its native Switzerland, the Silks version is a welcome, updated gourmet preparation called more simply veal, Zurich style.
The beef tartar is another option, also prepared the Swiss way. Those with a hankering for barbecued ribs, cornbread and hashed-brown spuds will certainly like Ric’s Kountry Kitchen with its down-home foods, particularly from down Texas way. They’ve got Tex-Mex foods, of course, but the real favourite in the Tex-Mex category is Sénor Paco’s though Casa Mexicana claims its own Mexican chef. Both have been visited by Michael Jackson in search of enchilladas and quesadillas.