Mon, 01 October 2018
I’d always heard great things about the themed nights at Le Méridien’s Baharat restaurant, and was looking forward to going to town on an apparently extensive buffet on Seafood Night that is staged every Thursday from 7pm to 11pm.
As my dining companion and I walked into Baharat, we could instantly tell we were going to spend quite a while at this buffet. Choosing to sit in a cosy corner of the well-illuminated restaurant, we ordered our drinks and headed for the soups. I opted for the Tom Yum Goong, Thai lemongrass and prawn soup. Seasoned perfectly, it was both tangy and spicy, with bits of ginger flawlessly complementing the other ingredients.
As a student in the UK, a staple part of my diet is a quick box of fresh salmon and tuna nigiri from the local supermarket. Therefore, I was understandably ecstatic to graduate to a selection of some of the quality sushi options available here – California rolls, maki and nigiri. I sat happily dousing my delicious sushi in soya sauce, forgetting even, for a while, to make conversation with my companion.
The warm finger food options were calling, and I certainly wasn’t going to ignore the call. The Crab Croquettes were perfect – crisp on the outside, with light and flavourful meat on the inside. The Prawn Kunafa, juicy prawns elegantly wrapped in string pastry, was equally appetising. The salads came in different forms and flavours, some sweet, some spicy, some tangy, all yummy! With the salads were placed two mounds of clams and mussels, both of which tasted mildly like the sea.
We gave our stomachs some rest as we chatted, enjoying the ambience of the restaurant, then made our way to the mains. I was glad I’d given myself time to breathe because from an inviting seafood paella to a crumbly, golden pastry-covered Salmon Wellington, the chefs had gone all out in preparing an enticing plethora of dishes, and I was going to try bits of them all. There was even some flavoursome roast beef, which I thought was one of the best I’ve had to date.
The highlight of my evening was choosing from a selection of fresh seafood made to my liking. The chefs and attendants were very helpful throughout the night, especially in assisting me in choosing a sea bass fillet, which was grilled to perfection and brought out hints of coriander, garlic and cumin that played together to ensure the consumer could sing nothing but high praises. Likewise, the grilled fresh prawns were succulent and prepared to a T.
By then, to say I felt like a balloon personified would be accurate. But there were still the desserts, and convincing myself that they go to a different compartment of the tummy, I resigned myself to the inevitable truth. Dessert was going to be had. We went for the kunafa, which wasn’t part of the buffet, but was recommended to us – for good reason. My first time having this dish, I was extremely confused as to how something can taste sweet, salty, crunchy and soft, all at the same time! It almost made me not want any more sweets. Almost. The dessert area was a colourful display of cakes, panna cottas, puddings, cheeses, all of which looked too good to eat. Additionally, there was an Instagram-worthy chocolate fondue with accompaniments.
Let me just say, if you’re planning to check out Seafood Night, do not make the mistake of making plans for after (like I had), because for one, you will be too full of seafoody goodness to move and, for another, you will want to sit in your little bubble of contentment for the remainder of the night — also wondering why food doesn’t taste like that when you cook it.
The buffet is priced at BD24 including soft drinks and water, or BD29 including selected free-flow beverages.