Lawson Misquitta experienced the best of Egyptian-style seafood and warm hospitality on his recent visit to Kadoura restaurant.

Bahrain truly is a place of diversity and culture where you can find some of the most eclectic restaurants serving up unique blends of flavours from around the globe. At FACT, we are fortunate to sample some of these culinary offerings and our latest gastronomic adventure was truly a treat.

Located in Seef, within the vicinity of Seef Mall, is the recently opened Egyptian seafood flagship restaurant – Kadoura – an establishment that first got its start more than 60 years ago in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria. These exceptional, traditional Egyptian flavours have made it to the heart of Manama and can now be experienced first-hand, which is just what I did.

On entering the restaurant, I was immediately impressed by the spacious layout that complemented the minimal but elegant décor. Shades of cream, off-white and turquoise tastefully coloured the space, while plenty of natural light flowing in from the large windows created a calming, seaside-like atmosphere.

Once comfortably seated, the courteous staff were quick to attend to us. Perusing the menu, we were elated by the various enticing choices and styles of preparation that we were about to indulge in. But it wasn’t long before we were asked my favourite question (at any notable seafood establishment), “would you like to see the fresh catch of the day?”, to which there’s only ever one right answer – yes please! We were led to a small, air-conditioned room (yes, you heard me right, not a display section but an actual room) that showcased a tempting variety of fresh fish, crustaceans and molluscs. We gladly made our choice.

Back at the table, we were first treated to a complimentary plate of crisp, salty crackers made from khubus, served with an Egyptian-style tahini – very different from the typical one we usually get in Bahrain. This had a fantastically luscious, hummus-like texture and was a lot more flavourful, with strong hints of lemon, garlic and cumin. I kept returning to it throughout the meal and unabashedly asked for more.

We were then served the Kadoura Special soup, a smooth and creamy broth that had it all, from shrimp and calamari to mussels and crab – truly indulgent.

Next came the starters; first up was a Rocca salad with fresh rocket leaves and juicy cherry tomatoes that paired nicely with the tangy and mildly sour feta. Then, a typical Alexandrian mixed platter comprising delicious, roasted eggplant topped with piquant spices, plump tomatoes drizzled liberally in vinegar, lemon juice and garlic and a serving of mixed pickles.

The mussels arrived next – exquisitely sauteed in a highly aromatic garlic, vinegar and lemon marinade, they were tossed with mixed bell peppers that provided a much-needed hint of sweetness to balance out the sourness. I honestly can’t remember the last time I enjoyed mussels this much.

We were then served a plate of fish roe and grilled jumbo shrimp. The former, lightly sauteed in lemon and butter, had a very interesting texture with a noticeable salty and umami flavour. While the latter, were grilled to perfection and doused in a special butterfly sauce that was rich and creamy but still splendidly tart due to its lemon butter elements. I also detected a hint of mustard in the mix, which certainly added that much needed kick.

Rounding off the appetisers was the amazing Omani lobster. Impeccably grilled and covered in a decadent bechamel sauce and cheese, every bite was a gloriously blissful morsel.

It would be amiss not to mention the refreshing drinks that we enjoyed during our meal. I particularly relished a delicious raspberry and pineapple concoction, that was infused with mild peppery flavours, called Bur Said.

Kicking off the main courses was the Tajen with red sauce and calamari. Its ravishingly thick tomato sauce, flavoured with onion and red capsicum, was cooked into a deliciously gravy. It paired excellently with the savoury Sayadiya rice, a truly unique Egyptian preparation.

The standout of the meal was the Bahraini Hamour prepared in Kadoura’s Singari style of cooking that resulted in a true masterpiece. The fish was butterflied, grilled to perfection and covered with diced vegetables and spices. It was flaky yet firm, while retaining a soft bite.

We finished the mains on a real high with the sea bream, prepared in the most simple way by immaculately grilling the fish with just oil and lemon. The chef’s expertise really showed here as the fish retained its delicate sweetness, while exuding an intensely lemony taste on the palate. Simply divine!

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, our table was graced by the only dessert on Kadoura’s menu – rice pudding. All it took was one spoonful and I could clearly see why. With an ultra-creamy and comforting texture, every mouthful was truly heavenly – a must try.

If genuinely good seafood is what you desire, I’d gladly point you to Kadoura and wish you bon voyage! ✤