Not sure where to head next Friday? Fernanda Langhammer and her family enjoyed a sumptuous brunch at Sofitel Bahrain and she thinks it’s a must-try.

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you have the following mix: Friday + Food + Bahrain? Brunch, of course! With this lovely weather, there is nothing better than going for one of the island’s most popular Friday brunches, the Grand Friday Brunch at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa. The grand bit on its name kind of summarises the whole experience, but I will give you more details below, so you truly understand its meaning.

Friday is my favourite day of the week and knowing I was heading to Sofitel’s brunch was the best motivation to get me out of bed in a good mood. I had a small breakfast and, after some chilling time, I got the family ready and we drove the lovely route. The beautiful sunshine with a soft breeze added the perfect vibe to a day we knew was going to be great.

When we entered the resort’s magnificent and imposing main hall, we could already hear the music and the happy vibes coming from downstairs. We took the stairs down and saw that the brunch spread from Saraya restaurant all the way to Fiamma and, with the awesome weather, it also took a big part of the outside space. If you have never been to Sofitel (you are most definitely missing out), it is a massive area. The tables and chairs filled up quite quickly. You can tell that this is one of the most beloved brunches on the island – it was busy!

It was time to explore our options. Well, after a first look, we knew that we wouldn’t be able to try all the dishes available and that we had to come up with a plan. The number of options is uncountable, really. They have a wide variety of cuisines and offer food to please all tastes.

I decided to start with something to warm me up and went for the potato and leek soup. The liquid was creamy and velvety with a pronounced potato flavour, it was simply divine. I can say it was a great start. I then moved to the salad selection and, if you are a fan of this type of cold dish, they have an excellent variety. I tried a small portion of some of them. The green apple, pomegranate, walnut and arugula had a hint of lemon and the perfect crunch. The other option that stood out was a seasoned watermelon with fresh basil leaves, it had the sweetness of the fruit, but the spices turned it into a refreshing savoury bite. And lastly, the simplest option out there, a tomato salad, composed of tomatoes (of course!), red and yellow cherry tomatoes, onions and fresh basil leaves with a touch of spring onion, it was the most comforting of them all. Fresh tomatoes do make me happy.

Moving to the main dishes, we found a variety of options such as Masaman Curry, a slow-cooked Asian curry with chicken and Asian herbs, Nespresso Beef, a classic tender beef braised with sweet onion barbecue sauce, Camarones Ranchero, grilled shrimp, ranchero sauce and garlic, and Peruvian Roast Chicken with a Peruvian marinade, salsa verde and confit butternut squash just to show a small selection of the warm dishes. You can also pick your favourite meat or seafood and take it outside to be grilled to your taste. However, there was a spot that was the rest of the family’s favourite. Before entering Fiamma restaurant, they found a sushi haven and as lovers of all Japanese flavours, they tried all the sushi options available, and they were not disappointed as they went back many times.

If the assortment of food wasn’t already enough, Chef Marco Terranova, Sofitel’s Executive Chef, comes up with different surprises every Friday. That day, he was frying fresh plantains and distributing them to the tables. They were crunchy and warm, such a delicious morsel. We also had a Bhel Puri (a popular Indian street food made with puffed rice, sweet and sour spicy chutneys, herbs, onions and tomatoes) trolley moving to each table to prepare fresh servings. They were spot on with the perfect punch and crunchiness that you expect. We also had another ‘food on wheels’ option offering fresh tuna carpaccio with a touch of caviar that melted in our mouths, just beautiful. And the last live presentation was the preparation of fresh guacamole by the one and only, Chef Marco. Everything was so fresh and well-balanced! The dessert corner has something for all sweet tooths out there.

From macarons, crème brûlée and lemon tarts to chocolate delights and eclairs. However, our table favourite by full agreement was the tiramisu. It was also visually the cutest one, in the format of a coffee cup. It had the perfect coffee hint and light texture and best of all, the coffee cup was made of chocolate!

Not only does the food embrace you, but also the vibrant ambience. Outside there was a kids’ corner in the lawn area that looked like a colourful picnic where my son had a blast in the bouncy castle and where he really enjoyed his first mini pony ride. We finished our wonderful day with a stroll by the beach and the undoubted thought that we must come back to try all the other delicious food that we had to skip.✤