Best steakhouses in Bahrain
Veggie lovers might want to steer clear of some of these restaurants. Meat, meat and more meat, are what these places do best. But it’s not just about the steak here, sides to pair it with are just as important. Time Out has put every restaurant through their paces, assessing factors including quality of food, ambience and service. Popular or relatively unknown, we’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
Plums - Winner
Victorian mediums knew the value of smoke and mirrors. And as you step into Plums, past the gothic empty black picture frames on black walls, through the low lights that obscure its little nooks and corners, it’s clear such showmanship endures into the 21st century. Plums is shot through with ceremony and drama. After your meal, you’re presented with a dry-ice confectionary rigged with chocolates and mini ice-cream cones. It’s a sensory maze designed to delight and confuse. However, unlike the conjurers of the past who were all style and no substance, Plums delivers where it really matters. The trickery doesn’t mask deficiencies, rather enhances quality. Scallops are seared to the quick, layered with fragrant truffle. Sides are well-judged and unfussy. The carefully sourced steaks are charred with precision and swell with flavour. The Ritz-Carlton service doesn’t let you down either, as the staff are knowledgeable, efficient and, most importantly, unobtrusive. The theatre of dining – in some places a lost art due the propensity for earthy simplicity – is alive and well at Plums. Take your seats and enjoy the show.
Cut by Wolfgang Puck
There’s plenty to like about this lounge, located just beneath Wolfgang Puck’s notable steakhouse, Cut. Firstly, the outdoor terrace overlooks the burgeoning Manama skyline and Bahrain Bay, while inside the smartly-decorated venue offers comfy leather armchairs and a gentle, sophisticated atmosphere. It’s an elegant place, perfect for pre- or post-dinner drinks, but also a destination in its own right, thanks to muted screens showing popular matches, as well as a well-stocked bar and delicious food. The menu offers a small selection of what you can find upstairs, plus more besides. It’s not cheap and it’s not an everyday sort of place, but it is a great spot if you’re looking to impress. Oh, and you haven’t lived until you’ve tried their jumbo lump crab rolls. Trust us.
The Meat Co
A huge three-storey building towering impressively over the centre of Adliya, The Meat Co. is a South African-style steakhouse chain that aims to bring superior beef and a carnival atmosphere to the Middle East. A low-lit, buzzy venue, The Meat Co. combines the intimacy and quality of a high-end restaurant with the laid-back vibe of a neighbourhood eatery. You relax instantly into its easy-going atmosphere. A quick look at the menu stops you from getting too comfortable, as quality steaks come with premium prices, but there’s enough choice on the large menu to cater to any pocket. From T-bones that tip the scales at a hefty 400 grams to a classier wagyu fillet, the range of cuts on offer is extensive. And even vegetarians and pescetarians can get their fill of deliciously cooked, well-prepared cuisine here, so don't be put off. Thankfully, the kitchen team knows exactly what to do with their steaks. Cuts come perfectly prepared with an ample selection of sides and sauces to suit your palate. You’ve probably passed this place a thousand times – now it’s time to step inside.
Butcher Shop & Grill
The steakhouse chapter is packed with upscale restaurants, where one dinner could easily break the bank. That’s why the accessible, South African restaurant chain Butcher Shop & Grill offers a refreshingly different experience, with great prime cuts, excellent variety and plenty of value for money. The eatery even boasts an in-house butchery and knife counter, so you know you’re in good hands. It’s a great place for families on a day out to the mall, hankering after a good bit of meat. But it’s not just about the steaks, as the menu also boasts decent seafood and vegetarian options, too.
A relative newcomer on the steakhouse circuit, Flames at Art Rotana is a lavish affair. With lush carpeting, cosy backlit booths and striking décor, it almost has an air of ‘80s opulence. There's also a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere with a mixture of couples and large groups. The menu is well-balanced. All the classic appetisers are there – shrimp and lobster louie cocktail, calamari, smoked salmon – but there are also a few unexpected dishes, such as garlic-drenched escargot, which is a rarity in Bahrain.
The steaks are numerous and high quality, from the ubiquitous Anguses to the Stockyard Silver Wagyu, and they’re cooked perfectly to order. There’s no cold-centred rare or overdone medium here – the chefs know their stuff. They’ll sometimes even come out to meet you at the end of your meal where you – stomach full and appetite sated – will no doubt thank them for such delicious food. Flames may not quite be the best in Bahrain yet, but it’s certainly turning up the heat.
Legendz provides the same high-quality experience as the rest of Bahrain’s upscale steakhouses, but with an irresistible glint in its eye. The décor is a combination of style and gaudiness; it’s a cosy, welcoming place to spend an evening, made all the better by the wonderfully charismatic servers who wield ornamental knife-cases, as well as the largest black pepper grinder you're likely to see (it’s a two person job to sprinkle your dinner). The dishes are presented with artistry and cooked with the verve of a chef who knows how to get the very best from his steak. The rib-eye yields easily to the knife, saturated with juice and flavour, providing rivulets of goodness to mop up with the freshly baked bread that arrives in generous quantities. It might not quite be legendary yet, but it’s a decent steakhouse all the same.
Despite its wild moniker, Le Sauvage at The Domain hotel is actually a very refined spot. Perched high above the skyscrapers of Manama, artfully furnished with a nighthawk, downtown air, this is the sort of place where even the bread gets its own introduction and you get three types of salt. It has an innate awareness of the value of show and atmosphere. The menu is very refined, also. The grandiosely titled “Catherine De Medici” Green Ravioli shares the bloodlust of its namesake with no fewer than four different meats sealed within; the wagyu burger secretes seared fois gras beneath its brioche bun, while the selection of spicy beef sausages is wonderfully diverse. The steak itself is well-cooked and hefty. It’s a muscular cut that skirts on the edge of fattiness. Nevertheless, the flavours are superb, offset with an opulent Café de Paris sauce. It’s a balancing act which sums up Le Sauvage perfectly – the feral offset by the urbane. Best of all, this is one of the most reasonably priced, top- quality spots on this list.