FOOD FOR ALL

Good food and breathtaking views are what team FACT experienced while tasting the new menu at Links at the Royal Golf Club.

Greenery is not a common sight in Bahrain and, if you miss seeing beautiful green lawns while enjoying tasty food, this is the place to visit. The restaurant is light filled from large windows that offer an impressive and extensive view of the golf course. However, if you need an extra incentive to visit, they have a new menu with gluten-free and vegan options plus new mains and desserts.

We were invited to try some of the new dishes, a perfect late lunch on a Thursday after a hectic workweek. The vegan and gluten-free options were added at the request of regular guests, making the vegan here pretty happy. Executive Chef Sudheesh assured us that the gluten-free menu is cooked at a different station, meaning it is safe for those suffering from gluten allergies.

The first dish was from the vegan menu, the refreshing Raspberry, Kale and Quinoa Salad. Beyond the ingredients in its name, it also had cherry tomato, cucumber, avocado and fresh pomegranate with raspberry lemon dressing. Kale is a quite fibrous green leaf and, if not prepared right, an entire bowl can be a bit too much. But Chef Sudheesh and his team know exactly what they are doing; the kale was soft and deliciously flavoured.

Still from the vegan menu, we had the Burrito Bowl, served with cauliflower rice, sweet potato bake, sauteed kale, fresh tomato salsa and refried beans. A de-constructed interpretation of this Mexican staple. A favourite bite from this dish had to be the beans, as an important protein for the vegans out there (we know our beans quite well), the texture and taste of this one was spot-on.

However, the dish I, the vegan, will come back for is the Salt & Pepper Tofu made with crispy tofu and seasonal vegetables served with garlic-fried brown rice and soy dip. Another key protein in a vegan diet, tofu (a soy-based white block), has no taste, and that’s what makes it versatile as it absorbs any flavour you choose.

In this case, Chinese-inspired accents darkened the triangular bites, while the chosen vegetables enhanced the dish for a well-balanced composition. My companion had a few bites from the vegan spread; however, she had to leave space for the exciting non-vegan dishes that were also arriving at our table.

The Pan Seared Scallops is a new starter on the menu and is composed of seared scallops served with butternut squash puree, grilled asparagus with a beurre noir. The scallops, a seafood option that can easily become rubbery if not done correctly, were cooked to perfection, firm and juicy with a hint of sweetness. In its authentic German version, one of the new main dishes that she tasted was the crispy Schnitzel.

It is served with caramelised onion and cheese spaetzle, small, seasoned dough pieces poached in boiling water and popular in southern Germany and Alsace, as well as steamed vegetables and creamy mushroom sauce. Continuing the culinary trip, the menu brings a new pasta, the Homemade Potato Gnocchi, pan-seared gnocchi, tossed in crispy bacon, cream and blue cheese sauce topped with rucola and parmesan. The little pockets of potato dough, with intense and memorable flavours, were one of the highlights of the menu.

It was time to explore the brand-new gluten-free options. The Chicken & Cauliflower Rice is a lemon and garlic-infused chicken, exceedingly tender and with a satisfying smoky taste, served with cauliflower rice, baked sweet potato and mint yoghurt, a delectable match of ingredients for a successful and comforting food. The other dish served, the Grilled Sea Bass, is prepared with a lemon herb crust, roasted new potatoes, cherry tomato, and basil stew. It was delicious and beautifully presented in a tower of well-seasoned ingredients.

As every perfect meal ends, we were presented with the desserts. Since there are, as yet, no vegan options here, my colleague was in charge of tasting the sweet new options. She tried the Crustless Lemon Meringue Mousse, a lemon flavoured white chocolate mousse served on vanilla crumble meringue, which was very light and brought a tangy and refreshing sensation to the palate. The Tiramisu was presented in a semi-circle chocolate case and filled with an infusion of coffee and mascarpone with a coffee macaroon decorating the plate that looked like a piece of art and tasted sensational.

And, last but not least, her favourite, the Infinity Chocolate Cake, a rich and soft flourless chocolate cake served with raspberry coulis and fresh berries. She was sceptical about its texture, as it is a gluten-free pick, but after the first bite, it left her speechless for its softness and perfect rendezvous of chocolate and raspberry. A tip though, ask for it to be served with a sprig of mint, it perfectly complements the other flavours. We’ll be back for the rest of the menu.

GO: CALL 1775 0777 FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A RESERVATION.