A Nouveau Setting
Le Chocolat’s name has become almost synonymous when talking about Bahrain and its culture. For joyous occasions, casual meals, business lunches, or even a break away from a busy schedule, Le Chocolat not only accommodates events and gatherings of all nature, but is also the go-to place to pick up delightful desserts to mark a special moment. With multiple branches around Bahrain to ensure residents in every area in the Kingdom can become part of the Le Chocolat experience, the café and gourmet bakery has most recently launched its newest branch in Busaiteen. Head Chef Karine Bonnaz spoke to Perle Magazine about setting up the latest venue and the special additions to their already eclectic and delicious menu.
Located behind King Hamad Hospital and RCSI – Medical University of Bahrain, the new Le Chocolat boasts an eye-catching façade that immediately draws attention in an already busy area. The mint green and gold doorframes have a regal feel to them, and welcome the customers to the spacious double-storey café. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls on one side of the café allow in plenty of natural light, as the diners get a view of Busaiteen, and for those who want to enjoy the outdoors, one can sit comfortably on the ground-level terrace outside. Regular customers can immediately recognise the cool and neutral coloured interiors, which are a staple of Le Chocolat, and a glass display of mouth-watering desserts such as pastries, chocolates, and ice cream, and of course, their display showcasing an array of their famous cakes. Already having well-recognised branches in Seef, Diplomatic Area, Saar (in Saar Mall), Enma Mall, Riffa, and now Busaiteen, Le Chocolat has cemented its status as Bahrain’s premiere café and bakery aiming to cater to everyone on the island.
Heading all the locations to venue is Chef Karine Bonnaz, who ensures that every branch is offering customers the exact same quality and experience at every location. Chef Karine, who has been working for Le Chocolat for four years, is in charge of the kitchens for all of the branches. Speaking of the new place, which opened on Eid Al Adha, Chef Karine says the location is perfect for all those who not only live close-by, but also the teachers from the nearby schools and institutions, hospital staff, students from the medical school, as well as those who live in the Northern region of Bahrain (Muharraq, Amwaj, Hidd, Arad). With the launch of the new branch, Chef Karine explains they have also decided to redesign their menu with a healthier approach. In charge of creating the menu, she says due to recent requests from customers, they have decided to add specialties to the menu, which offer heartier dining options.
Alongside the traditional menu, the Le Chocolat specialties will include dishes such as the Prawn Quinoa Seafood Salad, which is made using healthy ingredients such as roasted peppers, thyme, bay leaves, avocados, and fresh tomatoes, topped with char broiled prawns and garnished with aioli sauce. Chef Karine explains this dish, in particular, is a great option as it is filing and is rich in flavour but does not have any fats or oils in it. Although Le Chocolat pizza is already well known, their special wood fire oven pizza is made using homemade dough and locally bought fresh vegetables and other ingredients which are prepared in a healthy manner to ensure a “guilty-pleasure” can be enjoyed guilt-free. The chef, who makes it a habit to visit multiple Le Chocolat locations in a single day, is also introducing the Lamb Chops, which are caramelised with brown sugar, and deglazed with pomegranate juice reduce and balsamic vinegar, served with twice-baked cheese and bacon stuffed potato and a beetroot salad. The tender meat has no fat on it, and is complemented by the rich tasting salad and soft potatoes. The plate offers customers a complete meal with protein, carbohydrates, and greens, and is a suitable option for both lunch and dinner as it is not too heavy. Another specialty that is being offered is the special style Bahraini breakfast, which is served with balaleet (sweet vermicelli noodles) topped with eggs, naaki potato/tomato (seasoned potatoes/tomato and chickpeas), and egg made with tomatoes served with freshly made khubz and a glass of karak chai, to offer customers an authentic Bahraini breakfast experience. “This dish was a bit tricky, as the recipe was given to me by the family”, Chef Karine says, and adds that since there are so many variations of this dish – each family creating it differently – it was necessary to recreate it in a manner everyone would enjoy (it). The breakfast dish is served in a generous portion to share and provides a rich burst of flavours in each bite.
Tempting the customers to travel all across Bahrain for their specialties, Chef Karine explains they are going to serve different special dishes in different locations, so if customers wanted a specific speciality, they would have to visit the branch serving it. This allows customers to not only try different kinds of foods that Le Chocolat offers but also encourages them to visit different branches of the Kingdom and explore them if they haven’t already.
Whether it is the most popular branch of Seef, or that in the heart of the bustling business hub of the Diplomat Area or the relaxed Saar Mall or Busaiteen locations, Le Chocolat has undoubtedly become the Kingdom’s most recognised and favoured café and gourmet bakery. Over time, Le Chocolat’s expansion around Bahrain is a clear indication of its popularity and unwavering commitment to quality that diners in the Kingdom seek.
For more information:
Busaiteen, behind King Hamad University Hospital and RCSI – Medical University of Bahrain
(00973) 1732 0505
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