Eggs enveloped in flavours, potatoes sautéed in spices and freshly brewed teas: the locals in Bahrain take their breakfast very seriously. The traditional first meal of the day is a feast with multiple components, constantly challenging every food lover’s taste buds. When in the island nation, trying some of these breakfast dishes needs to be on top of your itinerary.
A popular dish, the Balaleet is flavourful mishmash of sweet and savoury. Vermicelli noodles infused in saffron or cardamom, served with thin egg omelettes that are cooked in onions and turmeric along with some other diverging flavours, the yummy dish is traditionally served with boiled garbanzo beans and boiled black-eyed peas. The Baydh Tomato is almost similar to the Middle Eastern dish called the shakshuka, a delightfully tasty combination of scrambled eggs and tomatoes blended in with spices.
Breakfast spreads across the world are incomplete without bread. In Bahrain, the first meal of the day comes with the traditional khubz, a flat bread. It also contains mihyawa, an unusual combination of flat bread with fermented fish sauce, tangy and spicy to the taste buds. The triangular donut-like zinjubari are usually dipped into a mixture of the fish sauce along with herbs like za’atar and sumac before eating. Their pau is similar to the Indian dabeli, flavourful and familiar.
Aloo is a simple morning dish made of sautéed potatoes in traditional Bahraini herbs while the aloo chab is a popular snack of fried potatoes. Nikhee is a delectable mix of fried chickpeas in a Bahraini-style sauce, acting as the perfect dip to go with the breads.
A breakfast spread always needs a typical morning beverage. For those who love a good drink, the Karak is a home away home, similar to the Masala Chai, very sweet and drenched in cardamom. Chai Haleeb is another sweet concoction, made of fresh milk, unlike the former, which is made of evaporated milk. For those who prefer a good shot of coffee, Bahrain’s traditional bean drink is a blend of an Americano with rose petals, cardamom and saffron. Another early morning kick-starter is the Arabic Gahwa served with dates, which also double up as a welcome drink for guests. No breakfast meal is complete without these.
1. Naseef Café
Located inside the Bab Al Bahrain, this café’s claim to fame was its mango ice cream. Now, other than serving scrumptious portions of the tradiontal breakfast, Naseef serves the best Karak chai in the most colorful dellah.
2. Saffron by Jena
Touted as the best Bahraini restaurant, Saffrona by Jena has three outlets in Bahrain. Their breakfast spread and locations are a true testament to the nation’s cuisine and culture.
3. Chai Café
Located inside Bahrain Mall in Sanabis and always crowded, the Chai Café is a hotspot among the masses. Expect simple traditional décor and deliciously fresh food.
Started by two childhood friends and with two locations in Bahrain, Emmawash is a fairly recent establishment with mouthwatering delights. The eggs and rose milk are a must have.
5. Haji Gahwa
A pocket friendly street-side café in the heart of Manama, the food here is simple and home cooked, in generous proportions.