When we think of far-eastern cuisine, what comes to mind is a colossal mix of tastes, textures and ingredients. From delicately delicious dim sums and spicy fried rice to tangy orange chicken and some oh-so delicious Pad Thai; Asian food is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant cuisines the world has to offer. FACT’s Aanchal Duggal went to discover the array of dishes that Monsoon restaurant has to offer…

Taking authentic far-eastern cuisine to a whole new level, Monsoon has been serving Bahrain’s discerning diners with decadently delicious food for almost two decades now. Entrenched in tradition and innovation, the restaurant is a tribute to the palaces of Bali and temples of The Orient. FACT’s go-to destination for bona fide cuisine from the Far East, Monsoon serves Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese food in a traditional Asian setting. As their ever-so friendly staff ushered us in, the majestic doors and breathtaking interiors enticed us for what was to come. We started our culinary expedition with a scrumptious platter featuring some of the best Thai delicacies; Wang Ruam. A mouth-watering medley of Kanom Pang Na Kung (crunchy shrimp toasts), Toon Tong (golden prawn money bags), Gai Hor Bai Teur (pandan chicken bites) and Poh Pia Tod (crispy spring rolls) all made up this beautifull-presented platter and each component tasted just as delicious as it sounds. The shrimp toasts are perfectly golden and packed with flavour, while the pandan chicken bites are like little nuggets of heaven. So good! If you’re a poke enthusiast, our next dish will be right up your alley.

A bowl of freshly diced tuna akami with tangy chukka wakame, spicy mayo, pickled cucumber, fried shallot and edamame beans; the refreshing and tantalising blend of textures and flavours had us oohing and aahing from the very first bite. The fish was super fresh and flawlessly seasoned, while the spicy mayo provided just the right amount of kick. Definitely one of our favourites of the meal! As we (not so) patiently waited for our next dish of Edo (mixed sushi and sashimi platter), we were informed that Monsoon imports ingredients from all over the globe to serve up the freshest, flavourful and most authentic dishes. Our next plate was a true testament to their philosophy.

A treat for our senses, the gorgeously decked sushi and sashimi platter had our cameras and chopsticks at the ready. Featuring everything from Sashimi (maguro, shake, samachi, suzuki) and Makisushi (California) to Nigiri (hamachi, ebi, shake, unagi, suzuki, hotate, tako, tuna), we were in sushi heaven! Bringing our love for this Japanese gem to the very fore, the decadent Makirolls, to-die-for Tuna Nigiri as well as the luscious Hamachi Sashimi, all transported us to the streets of Japan itself. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we were introduced to our first main of the day – Soy Braised Short Rib. This was no ordinary short rib; it came with truffle dashi foam and pickled shiitake mushrooms for an added oomph! The ribs arejuicy and tender, and richly flavoured, while the creamy truffle foam and mushrooms truly bring the earthy nature of the dish together.

Apart from the serene ambiance and some of the most amazing staff we’ve had the pleasure of being served by, what makes Monsoon one of our favourite restaurants in Bahrain is its immense attention to detail and quality. As our next dish of Khao Pad Sapparod was presented to us in an actual pineapple shell, we knew that the culinary team at Monsoon takes their food and its presentation seriously. Pineapple rice with prawns, calamari, sea bass and aromatic curry powder and onion, this dish is unlike anything we have ever had before. Oozing with delicate flavour, the rice is sweet without being too overwhelming, while the onion and curry powder add a spicy twist to the mix.

Satiating all our curry cravings, Gaeng Kiew Waan is a must-try for all curry lovers out there. It’s a light, vibrant Thai green curry of fresh green chillies, garlic and sweet basil. Juicy tender chicken swims in creamy, flavourful curry – we had to go back for seconds! As we were on the verge of diving deep into a very fulfilling food coma, our dessert of Khao Niew Mamoung was brought out. Needless to say, we did not say no! Thai sweet mango sticky rice served with coconut ice cream, the dessert is an explosion of tastes and textures. From the rich and creamy ice cream to the super fresh mango slices, this is what dessert dreams are made of! Apart from some tasty culinary masterpieces, Monsoon also serves some really unique and refreshing beverages. We highly recommend the Coco Lychee Slush as well as the Tropical Delight. Mastering the art of preparing, presenting and pioneering authentic far-eastern cuisine, Monsoon does the cuisines of Asia complete justice. We already know where we’ll be headed when our next exotic food craving strikes!