Bushido Japanese Restaurant, Bahrain

Bushido Restaurant and Lounge Bahrain ticks every box in terms of décor. Part of the Buddha Bar Group that is famous for its glamorous restaurants and high end contemporary Asian food, Bushido is similarly sensuous, dark, mysterious, and chic. But the beauty of the inspired architecture of Bushido is further heightened by a wonderful landscaped garden and a small moat that surrounds the restaurant, accentuating the mysticism of the space. Crossing the moat creates the sense that you are walking into a different world, one that is indulgently classy and sophisticated. Bushido means ‘way of the warrior’, and this theme runs throughout the feudal Japanese décor that interestingly includes the use of Samurai-armoured motifs.

The upstairs bar area offers a wonderful selection of delectable cocktails and downstairs is the restaurant where the nouveau Japanese menu is served. In addition to the main dining room, Bushido also has a sushi bar, a teppanyaki room and a terrace area. The menu showcased great diversity ranging from sushi and sashimi to robata grills to the main courses, and the variety and choice made for a fantastic sharing and tasting experience.

From the ‘new-style sashimi’ section of the menu, a Japanese sea bream with white wine and truffle soy sauce (BD6.100 – about £10) was delectable. The fish was resoundingly fresh and the acidity was well judged although the use of truffle was difficult to detect.

Sea bream with white wine & truffle

Sea bream with white wine & truffle

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Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel and Saveur Restaurant, Bahrain

After Russia I headed to the warmer climes of the Middle East. My first stop was Bahrain, most famous for it’s hosting of the Formula 1. A small island country with a population of about 1.2m, Bahrain is nestled between Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Few Westerners head to Bahrain as a tourist stop – when they think Middle East, they think Dubai. But Bahrain shouldn’t necessarily be overlooked when on a tour of the Middle East for it is not without its charms. The country is easy to navigate and taxis are affordable. The architecture is modern, and sights include the likes of the ancient Bahrain Fort that dates back 5,000 years and Manama Souq. Attitudes are very liberal for a Middle Eastern country and prices are somewhat cheaper than Dubai.

Entrance to the Bahraini F1 track

Entrance to the Bahraini F1 track

In Bahrain I stayed at the Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel. It is linked with the City Centre Shopping Mall, the largest mall in Bahrain with hundreds of of outlets. It is also home to Wahoo, the Middle East’s first ever indoor-outdoor waterpark. Covering an area of 15,000 square-metres you can be assured of a plentiful number of fun rides and water slides.

The Kempinski is a city hotel with two buildings, the Grand and the Ixir which are each individually decorated in modern European and traditional Arabic styles. The hotel only opened about two years ago so the finishings are dazzlingly new. The hotel houses five restaurants, a bar and a nightclub, and facilities include a well-kitted fitness centre, an outdoor pool and a luxury spa. Nestled alongside the pool is Nasmat, a restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine. There is also a bar that offers an opportunity to tuck into some refreshing cocktails while you chill out in the hotel’s infinity pool.

The lovely pool

The lovely pool

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