Maybe it's pride, or maybe you're as big a spice junkie as us, but there’s a certain pleasure that comes with the pain of housing a plate of extremely spicy chow. We put our tastebuds to the test and scoured Bahrain in search for our very own spice dragon and found the restaurants where you can indulge in the most volcanic, tongue-numbing, sinus-cleansing, but still-totally-delicious dishes.
Whether it's tacos, burritos, tamales and guacamole or a plate of India's spiciest kozi kari, you can be sure that it's packed full of funky, spicy, complex and challenging flavors if you get it at these restaurants. From opulent fine-dining to tucked-away Adliya joints, here's our Top Picks Spice Edition.
Rasoi by Vineet
If you're looking for a bit of Michelin-level spice, then Vaneet Bhatia's offering at the Gulf Hotel is the spot for you! The island's foodies have been lining up out the door of this swanky joint ever since it opened earlier last year, and rightly so; the sublime menu is peppered with delicious contemporary takes on classical Indian dishes, all served in a venue that sits between intimate and upmarket - Vaneet is renowned for pushing Indian cuisine into brand new territory. The food offering consists of Vineet's personal take on modern Indian cuisine, a concept he's been able to test and refine over many years of kitchen experimentation. Expect dishes such as Raan Lucknow, a 48-hour marinated lamb dish; Uttapam Lasagne, a rice pancake and aubergines combination accompanied by chutney and a crisp Iddiyappam; toasted sesame ginger cod with spring onion khichdi; fennel pollen ice cream and Goan-style braised lamb shank. All very fancy!
Bahrain Bay Kitchen
In celebration of their first anniversary Bahrain Bay Kitchen is launching their Fiesta Mexicana, which will be showcasing the rich, exotic and spicy flavors of Mexico right at the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay. Mexican-born Chef Christian Bueonrostro is leading the show, making sure the authentically Mexican menu showcases the best his country has to offer, with an abundance of prawns, calamari, guacamole, tacos, fajitas and quesadilla all on offer. Keep an eye out for the dessert menu that features some sweet and spicy twists on classical options, including crispy churros and Mexican ice-cream flavors such as avocado, pina colada and hibiscus. The Fiesta Mexicana is priced at BHD 18++ per person excluding beverages, and available every Monday from 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm, from March until June 2016. Viva la fiesta!
Casa Mexicana has been serving up Tex Mex food in Bahrain for quite some time now and is a contender for one of the very first Mexican restaurants on the island! The cuisine at this place is some of the most hearty and down to earth that you can find on the island. Chef Romaldo, hailing from Acapulco, makes sure that the cuisine remains authentic and true to his home country, making this the number one spot for Mexican food on the island. The menu covers all the bases and then some, with some great fish and vegetarian options. Bring your karaoke A-game, cause you'll probably need it.
While we're definitely a fan of the latest batch of restaurants promoting the spice factor in Bahrain, we also have a serious attachment to the island's long timers. Lanterns has been around for some time, and not too long ago opened a new branch in Adliya. In typical Lanterns style, the decor is done in vibrant colours and features an abundance of Indian pop culture artefacts and a scattering of kiosks. The seating arrangement means there are some great little nooks to tuck yourself away in with friends, and also some larger party options. Unlike the Budaiya branch, Lanterns Adliya has some great outdoor seating options. The garden area is bright and airy, and far away from the road to maintain a serene atmosphere.
The award-winning Margarita Mexicana, located at the opulent Gulf Hotel in the trendy Adliya area, serves both traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine; importing ingredients directly from South America, the food tastes as good as it looks! The spice factor is also high at this eatery, so prepare your tastebuds! If you're looking for the fine-dining version of your favourite Mexican dish, then you'll most probably find it here. Besides the delicious food offering, the restaurant also has a stellar reputation for the island's best selection of Mexican beverages!