Joined: Jun 03, 2009
From: Italy, but not by choice
|Posted: 2012-09-01 08:45 am  Permalink|
Trader Vic's Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
I visited the local Trader Vic's to celebrate my birthday with some style. I called early in the day to book a reservation and was told it was booked solid all night, but since it was just me they could get me a seat in the smoking section, provided I'm done by 9 PM. It seemed odd, especially since the dining room, outside of the bar area, was empty all night.
Exotic times two: A faux Polynesian watering hole with tapa walls and overhead dugout canoes, Japanese sake barrels and glass float being patronized by a whole lot o of Arabs in white thawbs and headdresses. Far East meets Middle East. Around the lobby and bar the pretty Filipina waitresses all wore red silk qipao type dresses with high necks, short-sleeves and with high side slits running up to the thigh. In the main dining area I was tended to by a white jacketed waiter who's origin I couldn't discern.
On the downside, for music they played some mellow pop type stuff. Not distracting, but didn't add a thing to the atmosphere.
Started the night properly with a Mai Tai. It was comparable with the one I had in Trader Vic's Tokyo. I don't know which brand rums were used. Before dinner I also had the Honi Honi which was like bourbon with edge taken off so it went down smoothly. I'll have to go back over my copy of Trader Vic's Food & Drink so I can make it for myself. The drinks were strong and I had to pace myself with them, which given that this is the Middle East I wasn't expecting. A pleasant surprise.
I had the Crab Rangoons in Tokyo, and to this day my best friend won't stop talking about them, so when a waitresses came for my empty drink I asked politely, "Pahingi po ng Crab Rangoons." (Since coming to Bahrain I've had a lot more opportunities to practice Tagalog than I did on Guam.) The Rangoons were as sweet and flavorful as they were in Tokyo and kept at the right temperature from the first bite to last since it's served on a little dish warmed by a candle.
While choosing dinner I was brought a basket of warm, fresh bread sticks and assorted roles. That tasted good enough to have been a meal in itself.
Besides the usual Trader Vic's menu items this one also has a local delicacy called hammour. It's a somewhat-endangered fish. In other words- eat 'em while supplies last!
Still, I did have the Reef and Beef- teriyaki beef and lobster tail with rice. The teriyaki was delicious, the beef was kind of dry but now that I've had it this way, I can't imagine not eating lobster in teriyaki sauce. The mushrooms were especially tasty. It's like the two were made for each other. I got a few bites in before realizing just how unnatural eating teriyaki with a fork is and asked for chopsticks, which they quickly provided.
For dessert I had Tahitian vanilla creme brulle and Tahitian coffee because at Trader Vic's Tahitian seems to be a codeword for 'rum'. The coffee especially was great, the hot coffee and rum was topped by chilled cream poured on over the back of a spoon They went great together and I recommend them as a nice way to end a meal.
Services was very quick and attentive. Though the main room, despite it's 'full' booking was actually empty save for me and a woman a few tables over. I got my appetizers within five minutes of ordering and the main course came in under 15 minutes. Tokyo took far more time, but it was also packed so I can't fairly compare service.
OTHER RANDOM STUFF:
Noticeably cheaper than the Trader Vic's in Tokyo.
[ This Message was edited by: Wayfarer 2012-09-01 10:13 ]
[ This Message was edited by: Wayfarer 2012-09-02 10:59 ]