An Out-of-This-World Food Crawl

by BTM

Thu, 04 April 2024

An Out-of-This-World Food Crawl

Nestled within the bustling streets of Bahrain Souq lies a culinary treasure trove awaiting discovery. Led by their friendly guide, Yusuf Bukhammas of the Pinkalien company, Kristian Harrison and other members of the Bahrain This Month team embarked on a gastronomic journey through the heart of Manama, immersing themselves in the rich flavours and aromas of Bahraini cuisine. 

As soon as we arrived at Bab Al Bahrain and saw Yusuf in his bright pink jumper with a hearty smile and an eagerness to take us on a hidden trail, we knew this would be a dining experience to remember. From savoury delights to delectable sweets, each stop along the tour promised a tantalising experience that left an indelible mark on my palate.

Our first destination, Baba Taher, welcomed us with open arms and a spread that promised to awaken our taste buds. As we settled into the cosy ambience upstairs, we were presented with a delightful array of traditional Bahraini fare. The Chickpeas spiced to perfection offered a wholesome and flavourful start, setting the stage for what was to come. The Special Omelette, generously stuffed with cream cheese, melted in my mouth with each bite. Accompanied by the rich flavours of Foul, an enticing blend of fava beans, tomato and sesame sauce, and Bahraini bread adorned with sesame seeds, this was a culinary symphony. The pairing of cheese and bread provided a comforting contrast of textures, while the aromatic Karak Tea, one of my favourite local staples, served as the perfect accompaniment, warming both body and soul. 

Next on our itinerary was Showaiter Sweets, a veritable haven for those with a sweet tooth. Here, we indulged in the pleasures of Bahraini Halwa, the traditional dish popular during Eid and other celebrations. We tried two types, the more traditional red one with pistachio sprinkled on top, and the golden Halwa with syrup which somehow was even sweeter. Paired with Arabic coffee (Gahwa), its rich and robust flavour profile complemented the sweetness of the halwa perfectly. 

Our culinary odyssey continued, winding past clothing stores, jewellery outlets and souvenir shops, with a visit to Manama Sweets. Here, we were introduced to the vibrant and colourful world of Indian cuisine. More specifically, the Dahi Puri, a beloved Indian street food delicacy originating from Mumbai, which dazzled with its explosive combination of flavour and unique texture. Each bite was a tangible crunch filled with tangy yogurt, savoury chutneys and aromatic spices, creating a sensory experience like no other. 

Our final stop at Heritage Village Restaurant was a fitting finale. Here, amidst the rustic charm of traditional Bahraini decor, we sampled an exquisite selection of dishes including cheese and bread drizzled with golden honey, offering a delightful balance of sweet and savoury notes. The rose milk Sharbat, affectionately dubbed the ‘Pinkalien Drink,’ was a refreshing revelation, while finally, the Bahraini dessert Balaleet, was an interesting mix of flavours with sweet noodles topped with an omlette. 

This was certainly a dining experience like no other I’d done before, and we were extremely grateful to Yusuf for his expert knowledge and guiding hand. Pinkalien offers numerous tours, not just in the Souq, but all around Bahrain, so if you’re interested in your own gastronomic adventure then check out www.pinkalien.me
or Instagram @pafoodtours.