Behnaz Sanjana returned from Reef Clubhouse’s Lagoon Moon Floating Restaurant with appetite fully satiated, hair windswept and heart buoyant.
One Saturday afternoon, we were braving the highway traffic on Manama’s main artery, then in the span of a few minutes, ferrying over tranquil waters to Lagoon Moon – our lunch destination at Reef Clubhouse, located on the pristine atoll that is Reef Island.
Waiting for our set meal, we appreciated the all-round view from the restaurant’s glass facades – the distant golden sands flanking the cove, beach umbrellas dotting the shore, the glitzy waterside structures developed around the capital, the beautiful azure above and aquamarine below.
The Quinoa Salad was an eye-full of colour. I don’t remember ever chomping on a salad with so many elements dancing in perfect tandem on the taste buds – avocado, quinoa, caramelised apple, mango, strawberry, pine nuts, chickpeas and frisée lettuce – all tied together with Italian balsamic dressing.
This set menu, that costs BD15, treats diners to three appetisers. The first was Shrimp Beetroot – butterflied shrimp perched atop quenelles of beet; orange and baby spinach adding to the melee of colour.
Next came the Lagoon Moon Fatteh, wherein roasted eggplant and tender prawns swirled around in creamy garlic yogurt. Hiding within the cloud-like textures, pita croutons and pine nuts shouted a crunchy “surprise”! The last leg of the starters sounded commonplace, but actually made my taste buds sit up and take notice. You’ve got to try the Hummus Pesto to believe how a well-made pesto can be a game changer for the humble chickpea-tahina staple.
This lovely Arabic-Mediterranean fusion served as a perfect introduction to the mains. The Mixed Barbecue Grill comprised well-marinated beef tenderloin and pistachio-spiked chicken kofta kebabs. The meat was juicy with each bite and done just right.
By now I was bursting at the seams, not only with the fabulous flavours that Head Chef, Gilbert Sakr, had fed us, but also a warm satiation that only a serene ambience can bring. I thought I had no space for dessert, but, looking at the snow-white cream sandwiched between crisp vermicelli discs of the Ousmaliyeh, my belly willingly complied. So, I doused the pastry in sugar syrup and my guilt with ‘you-only-live-once’ and dug right in. Oh, sweet heaven!
Lagoon Moon has an à la carte menu too, one that is oft requested by the club’s beachcombers who swim across the waters and treat themselves to food and drinks that, may I add, are extremely reasonably priced for a high-end restaurant built over water.
The restaurant is open over Friday and Saturday and welcomes everyone, as do all the dining venues at the otherwise members-only Reef Clubhouse.
A quick tour around the sprawling facility showed that members get great value for their money. They receive special privileges at various points of sale, like dining outlets, the spa and salon, depending on their membership type, and have the full-size indoor swimming pool, health club, fitness classes, games area (with a cute bowling alley for kids), Arabic Majlis and Society Lounge for their exclusive use.
The clubhouse has been planned and designed keeping in mind the requirements of discerning clientele who seek a quick escape to a peaceful paradise, cocooned right in the heart of Manama.
Call 77 900-700.