Tue, 13 February 2024
It’s not every day that you have the whole of Bahrain Bay Kitchen to yourselves, but that’s precisely what happened during this food review. This month, I was pleased to hear that Inti, the unique Peruvian pop-up restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, was making its return.
The experience is available from Wednesday to Saturday throughout February, and offers diners a unique insight into the delectable flavours, ingredients and textures of Peruvian food. In fact, Chef Yovana and the rest of the culinary team have sourced the finest of Peruvian ingredients, including their world-famous chillies, which are then flawlessly prepared and presented.
The terrace of the spectacular Bahrain Bay Kitchen serves as the setting for this fine experience. We were pleasantly surprised by the quaint décor – countless candles, the lush greenery of the Hotel’s garden, and twinkling lights all nestled under Bahrain’s beautiful night sky.
Ceviche – An Essential
Starting our experience on a high note, we were served a beautiful platter of ceviche featuring three variants of the South American staple – Ceviche Tradicional, El Carretellero and El Apasionado. The theatrics of dry ice coupled with the beautiful flowers and unique plating made this platter look like a dream inspired by a tropical rainforest.
Ceviche consists of the freshest of fish marinated with leche de tigre, a citrus-based marinade which translates to ‘tiger’s milk’. This was further elevated by Chef Yovana’s innovation making every bite a true delight. The Ceviche Tradicional, as the name suggests, followed the traditional recipe with a surprising balance of flavours – tangy citrus, sweet and spicy. The seabass just melts in your mouth while toasted corn adds texture.
Thinly-sliced, crisp plantain chips added an audible crunch to the El Apasionado which featured delicious shrimp, sweet potato puree and passion fruit. Finally, El Carretellero proved to be an apt selection for those that prefer cooked ceviche. The Peruvian white corn complemented the shrimp and seabass to create a sensational dish.
Just as we’d finished tucking into our final ceviche, it began to pour. So, the Bahrain This Month team quickly made its way into the Bahrain Bay Kitchen. This did not dampen our experience though (no pun intended), but rather made it quite exciting as we made our way to a table in the dark and watched as the team did everything to ensure our service remained top-notch – impeccable hospitality you can only expect at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay!
Tiraditos, Causas and Delicious Marinated Meats
As we settled into our new table, we were served two plates of tiraditos which were practically artistic! Chef Yovana cheerfully explains that Tiradito Peru was named after the country since the dish has the same colours as its flag. Red snapper, avocado and spirals of chilli match well with the two variants of leche de tigre: rocoto and coconut. It’s creamy with a hint of spice. For those who prefer salmon, the Salmon Tiradito combines cubes of toasted sweet potato with toasted corn and generous drizzles of Amarillo sauce.
Causas are a Peruvian favourite featuring an ingredient that is a crowd pleaser – potatoes! Chef Yovana explained that Peru has 3500 types of potatoes, a fact that shocked us all. The Maki Causa, a nod to Nikkei cuisine, consisted of delicious purple potato, crab meat and togaroshi mayo. Con Salmon, on the other hand, consisted of fresh salmon cubes, creamy mashed potatoes, salmon roe and black olive sauce.
Inti also serves up a selection of anticuchos which are Peruvian skewers grilled to perfection. We were served the Pollo and Carne skewers, each marinated in yellow and red chilli marinades respectively. We thoroughly enjoyed the delicious tenderloin Carne skewers.
Peruvian Classics for Mains
For an unparalleled experience, you can now enjoy Peruvian classics at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. The Lomo Saltado, as Chef Yovano explains, is a traditional Nikkei dish that is favoured across the dish. We enjoyed the tender beef which is perfectly cooked in a wok with soy sauce, potatoes and tomatoes. This was best enjoyed with the side of rice and white corn – truly comfort food.
What proved to be the crowning glory of our Inti experience was the delectable octopus dish, Pulpo a La Parrilla. Served with three unique sauces, this Anticuchera grilled octopus was just addictive. The well spiced octopus is like none I have ever eaten before, as it well spiced and tender, a refreshing change from dishes featuring octopus that I’d tried in the past which I’d found to be bland and chewy. The roasted potatoes on the side and flavourful chimichurri sauce were simply delicious.
A Sweet Finish
Before I mention the sensational selection of desserts at Inti, I have to mention the marvellous mixology. These beverages bring the best of mixology to the forefront with hints of familiar Peruvian ingredients including coriander, leche de tigre, lime and more. Be sure to try La Tropica!
We were having so much fun that we weren’t quite ready for the night to end. Perhaps the fact that it was going to end with three delicious desserts, each with a dollop of sorbet, softened the blow of having to end a night of marvellous food, good company and a sensational location.
The cherry on top for this carefully curated menu were Chef Yovana’s choices for dessert which are traditional with a creative twist. We tucked into the Picarones (Peruvian donuts) first as these are best enjoyed warm and crisp. A drizzle of blueberry syrup and spoonfuls of passionfruit sorbet made this truly memorable. Chef Yovana shared that the Cachanga followed a family recipe and had a generous spread of dulce de leche and fresh fruit. This was so beautifully plated that we couldn’t help but admire the colours – a mouth-watering treat for the eyes and palate. While these were both quite tasty, what grabbed our attention and will certainly inspire another visit was Inti’s take on the Tres Leches. We meticulously devoured the creamy goodness of this cake along with the tangy mango sorbet and fresh fruit. It’s impeccable!
The culinary team’s prowess, warm hospitality and unique experience is sure to have us revisiting this Inti in the near future.
For more information on Inti, call the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay on 17 115-000.