Forget the Chinese takeout - Bahrain has a hip and happening Asian restaurant scene that is so much better when you can indulge the rest of your senses too! We've rounded up some of the island's best eateries to visit when on the hunt for a taste of the far east. If Japanese is your flavour of the week then keep on reading, and if you still don't find the inspiration you're looking for then check out our blogpost on our top picks for Japanese restaurants in Bahrain.
It's hard to miss Akiko in the block 338 area - this swanky building exudes good vibes thanks to its modern architecture and stunning design. The interior is all clean lines and contemporary Asian-inspired decor, giving it a spacious and airy feeling. The seating options are many; if the weather is fine you can recline in the Japanese-style garden, the loft space is great for a more intimate setting, and there's always the teppanyaki or sushi bars for a taste of live food prep. Akiko also boasts an exquisite menu! We've tried almost everything and it all tastes fabulous; the ‘Maguro no Tataki’ (seared tuna with chilli daikon and ponzu sauce) and ‘Gyuhire Sumibiyaki Karami Sauce Zuke' (spicy Angus beef tenderloin with sesame, red chilli and sweet soy) is sublime. Simple and elegant, this place is an all round winner.
Located at the iconic World Trade Centre in Bahrain, Maki opened its doors a few years ago and has had a regular following ever since. Known throughout the Middle East as a provider of some seriously good grub, it also carried the reputation as having the best sushi in the Middle East! The interior is industrial minimalism meets glitz and glam, but it works surprisingly well; the blend of cozy and austere help to project an edgy Rappongi hangout. Put some time aside to read the massive menu as it could take you a while, but in our experience it all tastes delicious!
While the decor at Imari is as far away from traditional Japanese as you can get with its blue and white maritime theme, this 35th floor establishment gives a nice view of the Bahrain skyline while giving off a cool, cosmopolitan and funky vibe. Most of the food is served Izakaya-style, also known as Japanese tapas, and it's perfect for one of those extended dinners with lots of good times and great friends. Throw in some fresh robatayaki, sushi and sashimi and we're in far eastern heaven. If you have the inclination, make sure to check out their range of Japanese inspired beverages, including some interesting cocktails, sake, malt whiskies and beers.
Embracing the Samurai concept of the 'way of the warrior,' Bushido is Bahrain's trendiest Asian haunt. The pagoda-style exterior speaks of something exotic, and this is confirmed when you step inside, past the hulking Samurai warrior statues that guard the entrance. The decor is a unique contemporary take on traditional Japanese design, with lots of rich colours, dark woods, patterned fabrics and traditional ceiling lanterns. As one of Bahrain's largest restaurants, there's plenty of seating choices. The upstairs area is all about the Buddha Bar vibe, with a long mahogany bar, a series of frescoes portraying full body tattooed women and a mishmash of comfortable sofa seating.
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A recent addition to Bahrain's dining scene, Ruka is perched on the 24th floor at the Ramee Grand Hotel in the Seef area. Trendy decor that's not overtly Asian combines with soft lighting and some unique views of Bahrain. The menu has something for everyone, including some delicious sounding sushi and maki rolls, robata seafood, meat, poultry and vegetables, plus plenty of appetisers such as soups, salads and various tempura offerings. Our personal favourite? The deconstructed yuzu tart! This revelatory experience of chocolate, lemon curd, orange segments and soya milk ice cream changed our world view.