WHEN YOU’RE IN THE MOOD FOR FRESH FLAVOURS, BEAUTIFULLY-COOKED SEAFOOD OR A LIGHT BUT FILLING MEAL, LA MED AT THE RITZ-CARLTON BAHRAIN IS THE ANSWER TO ALL YOUR FOOD CRAVINGS. WITH A BRAND NEW INNOVATIVE AND TRUE-TO-INGREDIENTS MENU, THE HOMELY VENUE HAS SOMETHING TO PLEASE EVERY PALATE. FACT’S AANCHAL DUGGAL DINED AT THE TABLE OF CHEF DE CUISINE MOHAMED ABDOU WHO SHARED ALL THE SECRETS OF HIS APPROACH TO MEDITERANEAN COOKING.

When something is crafted out of real love and passion, it shows. This is exactly the vibe you get when you dine at the bright and airy La Med, located in The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. The sunshine seeping into the venue beautifully contrasts the incredible views of the hotel gardens and pool area. Not only do you feel like you’re in 5-star surroundings, this visual bliss transports you far away from the outside world. Word of advice: make sure you’re sitting comfortably, because the food is about to take your breath away. The restaurant provides an exotic blend of Mediterranean and Arabic cuisine, offering an array of choices in its a la carte menu. Handpicked from a range of over 40 to 50 dishes, the new menu is designed to ensure the excitement of your taste buds from appetiser all the way to dessert. Chef De Cuisine Mohamed Abdou introduced us to La Med’s casual dining experience.

Hailing from Alexandria, Egypt, Chef Mohamed credits his childhood roots for the fresh and light flavours in his cooking. “Taste is the most important part of the dish for me,” he says. “Second it’s the presentation, but the taste can never be compromised. You have to love everything you cook, but I mostly love cooking with vegetables and seafood, it’s what I do best,” he adds. The sea and its bounties are an important aspect of Chef Mohamed’s life, since his younger days were spent growing up by the ocean and enjoying all of its wonderful offerings. So, there’s little surprise that our culinary journey begins with the Crab Remoulade Tradition. Made up of, possibly, the freshest crab meat we’ve ever tasted in Bahrain, we’re left mmmhing with every bite of this sensory dish. The tender crab meat which sits on a bed of avocado with cucumber, saffron aioli and a traditional dressing was a fresh explosion of tastes that everyone at the table fell in love with, immediately.

Chef Mohamed’s love of seafood made an appearance in the second dish too; Grilled Tuna Babaganoush, made up of a perfectly-grilled tuna steak and chunky-charred eggplant – a spot-on example of blending Mediterranean and Lebanese flavours together as well as tuna done just right. The smokiness of the fish balances out the tanginess of the Babaganoush, beautifully. “Balance is the key,” Chef Mohamed says. “I believe in putting effort into the process of cooking as a whole rather than trying to perfect individual elements. Making sure that the guests are happy is my ultimate mission,” he smiles. Happy is what we were when the next dish was presented; Wagyu Short Ribs with truffle cauliflower, asparagus, baby carrot and black garlic sauce is the product of a long drawn cooking process (five hours to be precise!).

The meat is heavenly succulent; fall-offyour- fork yet incredibly light while the creamy truffle cauliflower is a star in its own right – highly recommended! The dessert is, at first sight, an artistic masterpiece; Chocolate Hazelnut Tart topped with saffron and date ice cream and fresh raspberries – MIND. BLOWN! Putting aside the stunning presentation, this dessert was literally a party in our mouths! Chef Mohamed tributes the success of La Med and its food to his entire team; “We support each other and work together as a family,” he tells us. “Helping my team achieve their goals is of utmost importance to me.” Chef Mohamed marries aesthetic appeal with incredible flavours in the most flawless dishes. Final verdict: a real gastronomy paradise!

GO: Visit La Med at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain. Call 1758 0000 for reservations and more information.