Mon, 03 July 2023
Maki Bahrain, located at the Bahrain World Trade Centre, has long been known for its phenomenal fusion Japanese cuisine. Farah Baig revisits Maki following the exciting unveiling of its new Wabi-sabi concept which comes with fresh interiors and exciting new culinary additions.
One can say with ease that Maki is one of the very best restaurants in the Kingdom making it a much-loved dining venue for visitors and residents alike. Over the years, this culinary destination has perfected and reinvigorated its menu to make every experience truly memorable. So, when I heard of Maki’s reopening following an extensive renovation, I was beyond enthused to revisit what is one of my favourite restaurants, whether night or day. In my eyes, Maki had already achieved perfection when it comes to its ambiance, menu and service; was it possible to raise the bar even higher?
Walking into Maki early one evening I was thrilled to explore its new interiors inspired by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi. To explain, Wabi-sabi is the view or thought of finding beauty in every aspect of imperfection in nature. It is about the aesthetic of things in existence, that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. With the concept in mind, the restaurant has taken on a new, refreshing identity that is bright and airy reflecting an authentic and organic feel. These elements are seen across both floors with light wooden details, warm lighting and even a stunning bronze ceiling upstairs. The interiors are undeniably welcoming.
The restaurant offers several seating options which are ideal whether you’re popping in for a quick business lunch or intend to savour each bite at leisure over dinner with family and friends.
AND NOW WE FEAST
We opted for a table close to the main entrance with our palates ready for a treat.
To begin the experience, we were served the Chaine Haze Forest Salad which is artistically assembled. A careful balance of ingredients is meticulously assembled in a glass bowl, smoked and then topped with a delicate, yet flavourful Ooba dressing made in-house. Red quinoa, carrots, coriander, carrots, avocado, truffle and cherry tomato come together to create a balance of flavours that is absolutely sensational: sweet, tangy and smoky with some light earthiness from the mushrooms. What a delight.
Next, we were presented with the Omakase Sushi – a platter of seven distinct sushis that is truly a treat for the eyes. This platter is distinct for the fact that it allows the sushi chef to be as playful with the ingredients as possible. The very best of seafood was presented and paired with fine shavings of vegetables and herbs. These were then topped with flavourful dollops of sauce, sesame seeds, spice powders and even delicate edible flowers – a culinary kaleidoscope that takes you on a journey of textures and flavours.
As the name suggests, Maki is also known for its wide range of maki that is playful, creative and - simply put – delicious. Hend Magic Maki is a new menu item which follows the Wabi-sabi concept. Crabsticks and avocado are wrapped in a unique olive wrap before being topped with prawn tempura bites and being drizzled with maki maki and spicy sauce. The olive wrap, which features the regional favourite zaatar, gives this maki a rich and sharp flavour that makes you want to have much more!
The delectable Tsurai Shake Sashimi was next and was divine. The salmon and avocado are thinly sliced and practically melts in your mouth. Showcasing the chefs’ ability to combine culinary techniques, the platter is dotted with carefully crafted black truffle pearls, spicy togaroshi powder and a fresh squeeze of lime which add a burst of flavour that is hot, citrusy and creamy all at once. It’s a truly addictive Maki-style sashimi!
Moving on to a hot dish, we enjoyed a classic Japanese favourite – Prawn Teppan. What makes Maki’s take on it special is its attention to serving only the very best of ingredients. This dish in particular had crisp, buttery vegetables and very large prawns that were perfectly grilled for the right texture.
Finishing on a sweet note we enjoyed the silky-smooth goodness of the Donostia Cheesecake. This wasn’t before they poured a thick chocolate sauce over it though. With the sliced fresh strawberries, it was far superior to any cheesecake I have ever had.
Taking in Maki’s new look while savouring creative additions and Maki classics made it a night to remember. The experience, as always was memorable, and proved that Maki is always able to raise the bar higher with its inspired and imaginative flavours and vision.