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The Crowne Plaza’s Waves has an excellent choice of food from the deep putting you in an exquisite atmosphere. Other restaurants with fruits de mer are Seafood Market down the road or Al Bander Hotel and Resort’s Fish Market at seaside. An unfussy option is the upstairs Jabreez in Jidhafs. For those who want to get away from it all, a trip to Trader Vic’s has no equal.

Feed the hungry carp in the lagoon at Trader Vic’s, watch the ducks slithering across the pond and the flamingoes standing at water’s edge with a nearby waterfall splashing. You’ll get a mai tai and lots of other exotic island cocktails as well as the conventional G&Ts, manhattans et al.

The food is wonderfully Polynesian or similar island fare, some cooked ancient style in a Chinese oven. The views, the great high-ceilinged dining room, reminiscent of an imposing rural home, the Cuban ensemble – it all adds up to a memorable lunch or dinner that gives you the feeling of being elsewhere.

The Mai Tai Lounge, without walls, is a private club on an islet just steps away from Trader Vic’s.

Bahrain is home to a dozen internationally branded restaurants which underscore fast food or casual dining, from Bennigan’s, Chili’s and Ponderosa, Tumbleweed to McDonald’s and Dairy Queen (with its new Chill and Grill concept) along with a made-in-Bahrain Jasmi’s.

The new cuisine to appear on the culinary horizon is Brazil with its own Brazilian chef and maitre d’. It’s a wonderful party spot, with soft décor, cha-cha-cha music, attractive waitresses and really fresh food; one price for all you can eat and drink.

The cafe society is burgeoning with dozens of coffee shops across the country, a lot of them offering hubbly-bubbly, called shisha locally. You’ll certainly get espresso, cappuccino and a wide choice of coffee creations as well as lots of teas and infusions.

These cafes are usually noted for their unusual salads, well-filled sandwiches and gooey desserts. Three cafes located one next to the other are Ventana (a Soho-type spot), Lilou (right out of Gay Paree) and Coco’s (like a living room with lots of books and magazines as well as an outdoor garden. Their cake using local dates is a favourite but Coco’s may be the only restaurant serving Welsh rarebit.