Home to a variety of nationalities, Bahrain has become a melting pot for different cultures, beliefs, ideologies, and especially, cuisines. As more people visit The Kingdom and make it their home, or travel abroad and bring back with a new culinary experience, more flavours and tastes are added to the overall dining scene, resulting in a variety of authentic and combination cuisines from around the world. Offering customers a completely new type of culinary experience, Hévéa Café’s food is an exciting mix of French and South-East Asian cuisine, with endless tasty possibilities. The brainchild of Khalid Alshakrani and his wife Abeer, Hévéa Café ideally is the East meets West, as it gives the diners the best of both entirely different cuisines served on a single plate, as the cosy interior takes the diners back to the French colonial era. General Manager and expert chef, Guy Gateau, spoke to Perle Magazine about the novel concept of the café and how it is serving more than just food.
Designed in a manner to replicate a tropical garden, Hévéa Café is named after the rubber tree that is located in the parts of Southeast Asia once known as Indochina, colonised by the French at the time. Inspired by the varied cuisine and cultural influences of Indochina, Hévéa Café was born. The name “Hévéa” was chosen to parallel the economically viable qualities of both the tree and the restaurant, as well representing the preservation of the tree without geographical boundaries. With a dusty purple and pistachio green aesthetic, the café, located on the ground floor at Al Aali Shopping Complex, has an inviting presence both indoors and outdoors. The glass windows let in plenty of sunlight, and the door leading to the outdoor seating when opened gives the impression of a spacious and airy dining area. Tropical and Asian accents are placed carefully around the café, and the diners are transported to a serene garden-like surrounding without actually being in a garden or eating in the summer heat.
Heading the restaurant, Chef Guy Gateau has brought with him his years of experience under renowned mentors such as Henri Trottier, Alain Chapel, and Guy Girard. Chef Guy started his career as a chef by entering a culinary competition, and upon his victory he began his apprenticeship at a 2-Star Michelin restaurant located at the Champs Elysees, Paris, followed by a devout attitude towards partaking in other culinary competitions to learn and refine his cooking skills.
Upon mastering the culinary arts, Chef Guy also taught around the United States and Paris and received notable recognition for his work. His desire to continue understanding food as well as the consumers lead to his education in Food Psychology, and he received his degree from Miami Florida, under the mentorship of famous author Marc David. Combining extensive experience as a chef as well his knowledge as a Food Psychology coach, Chef Gateau was able to perfect the Hévéa Café recipes. “One of the main reasons I love cooking is the fire of instant creation”, he says and adds, “It really brings everything to life.” The beauty of the café, he explains, is that the interior also reflects the taste of the cuisine, which is European-based but has some Asian ingredients, similarly to the European feel of the café with hints of traditional Asian influences such as the wood and other garnishes throughout the café that perfectly blend the two cultures together.
As the customers walk into the multicultural café, it is evident their food will also be nothing short of a tantalising dining experience. With a mouth-watering spread of delicious salads including their best seller, the Pommelo salad and the Quinoa salad, popular starters like the spring rolls, fantastic seafood options such as the most recent addition of The Escoffier Madras King Fish, meat dishes like the Burger Du Tigre, pastas with Asian accents to the taste, and a divine selection of desserts from Banoffee, to their newly introduced Affogato, Hévéa Café has an incredible array of delicious food and desserts. Using only the best French coffee blends, Hévéa is home to and retailer of some of the best coffee blends on the island.
For Ramadan, Chef Guy and his team are creating an entirely new separate menu that will be completely localised for the region. Keeping true to the Arabesque feel of Ramadan in the region, the dishes will have no Pan Asian options, rather solely Middle Eastern tastes.
Whether it is to try out a truly different kind of cuisine in the Kingdom, or to enjoy the relaxing and cosy ambiance of the café with a toothsome dessert and coffee, Hévéa Café is the perfect location to enjoy an enchanting culinary getaway without actually having to go anywhere at all.
For more information:
Sun-Wed 8AM-11PM, Thurs-Sat 8AM-12AM
Ground Floor, Al Aali Shopping Complex, Seef District
(00973) 1700 4588
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