Behnaz Sanjana found customary crowd-pleasers on Furn Bistro’s special three-course set menu, but they provided solace to the soul with every bite.
There was a positive vibe eddying around at Furn Bistro at The Westin City Centre Bahrain. The snug ambience had families dining after a shopping spree at the mall, and couples sharing the evening over a quick, yet sophisticated, midweek meal. The three-course set menu that the outlet offers is a popular choice, and I couldn’t wait to get started.
From options in starters, main course and dessert, guests can choose one from each category.
I decided to begin with a hearty Potato and Leek soup, which was the ‘soup of the day’. The velvety smooth potage was a pleasant surprise, the humble potato being taken many notches up in flavour with the mild sharpness of leeks and a light garnish of paprika. Being the health-conscious eater that he is, my dining companion chose to whet his appetite with Fattoush. The quintessential Middle Eastern salad was a jumble of crisp greens, crunchy pita, cucumber, radish and pomegranate oozing juice with every bite. I liked that the dressing was the right balance, not too sour, yet not boringly flat.
For mains, my partner chose Pan-Seared Safi fish, sayadia rice and gravy. What struck me at first bite of the filleted fish was how well it was seasoned; a sign of a chef who knows his job well. It sat on a bed of expertly browned rice, each grain separate and bursting with a caramelised flavour.
I ordered the Chicken Tagine with white rice. To be honest, when the friendly stewardess opened up the colourful tagine, what met the eye was a homely stew of chicken and potatoes. But the aroma that wafted out belied its modest appearance. With the first morsel, my mind was transported to a Moroccan mama’s kitchen. Cooked in its own juices, the chicken on the bone was as tender as could be and bursting with flavour. Olives lent their tang, apricots and prunes their sweetness, coriander leaves a lemony freshness and potatoes a perfect thickness to the gravy. I could have polished off the tagine, if not for the aforementioned soup and a huge bite (or three) of my partner’s fish.
The last leg of the set menu was dessert and, from the four choices, we went for Um ali and Kunafa between us. Again, Furn took these Arabic staples and put its own distinctive twist to them. The Um ali had a generous garnish of crunchy almond flakes and crushed pistachios, through which one could just about see the golden speckled top of the dessert. The soft, yielding pastry in its creamy base was spiked with rose water and was an ideal finish to a delicious meal. We turned our attention to the kunafa, which was everything this sweet favourite should be. Light and slightly stretchy in the interior, with a coat of crackling golden vermicelli on the outside, basted with warm sugar syrup.
At just BD12 per person, or BD16, with a glass of grape added on, this three-course set menu is great value for money. I went home satiated enough to slip into sweet dreams of Furn Bistro’s Khaleeji delights.
Call 17 171-441 or follow @furnbahrain on Instagram