Narise Kamber reviews… A room with the best view of Bahrain
Have you ever wondered what Bahrain looks like from the sky? Well you no longer have to, as you have the opportunity to experience so when you visit the Capital Club in Bahrain.
Located in the East Tower of the Bahrain Financial Harbor on the 51st and 52nd floor, the Capital Club is a well-established and highly recognized business club with private meeting rooms, a library and a member’s bar. Yet for me, the highlight of the Capital Club is the restaurant on the 52nd floor, the Signature Grill.
There is no doubt that the Signature Grill restaurant is one of the most sophisticated dining areas we have on the island. When you enter the room you get a feeling that though this is a quiet yet inviting place. The style of the room is upscale contemporary with rich black marble at the entrance, red velvet curtains, and black carpeting with large golden patterns. The seating arrangements vary between black and red leather booths and Louis XVI chairs with large round tables, covered with flowing white table sheets. The room also has modern light fixtures and mirror rimmed wall hangings. Yet all this elegance pales near the most important feature of the room: the panoramic view. The view of Bahrain from Signature Grill is simply breathtaking. You can see the city of Manama, Muharraq and the surrounding turquoise blue sea all in one shot. The view is equally stunning in the daytime as well as in the evening. At night, the view from the restaurant shows a serene city dotted with thousands of tiny specks of light. When I book a table at Signature, I secretly hope that I get the large, round, focal table that has windows all around.
As soon as I entered the restaurant, the lovely staff and the executive chef Stephen McGowan warmly greeted me. Chef McGowan comes from England and has worked with top chefs across the UK. He boasts an impressive resume as the Head Chef at “The Bird In Hand”, one of London’s finest restaurants. Prior to that, he worked at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant in London as Sous Chef, as well as training apprentices as part of their apprentice program. I was delighted to speak with chef Stephen and discuss the menu at Signature. We also have something in common, and that is London and its culinary scene. London is my favorite city – I lived there for four years when I was a university student – and as the owner of Saffron by Jena, it is always refreshing to meet people who share your passion and challenges in the food business.
For the starters I asked Chef Stephen of Signature’s specialty and he recommended the Angus beef tartare. I also ordered the crab lobster cocktail, served with avocado and herbed cream cheese. I also had the fresh tuna ceviche which was served with apple jelly and broad beans topped with caviar. The beef tartare was the highlight of the three for me. The chopped raw beef mixed with onions, capers and seasonings was beautifully paired with marmite butter and puffed wild rice. The tartare was decorated with one half of a quail egg. This dish had a contrast of flavors I had not experienced before. There are others starters on the menu to choose from such as Foie Gras parfait, beetroot and goat cheese ravioli, poached king fish and the onion soup.
For the main dish I chose three items in order to taste as much as I can. First I had the braised short rib of beef served with horseradish potato puree and roasted baby vegetables. The beef was cooked to perfection, where the meat just melts in your mouth. The second main dish I tried was the pan-fried sea bream served with Jerusalem artichoke and roasted baby vegetables. The sea bream was cooked exactly the way I like it, soft lemony flesh with a crunchy crispy exterior.
The third main dish to try was the chef’s personal recommendation and that is the three cheese ravioli. Whenever a pasta dish is cooked from scratch it is a winner for me. The delicate parcels filled with the cheese assortment and cooked al dente was the ideal comfort food choice. There are also other good selections on the menu such as peppered Wagyu tenderloin, grilled corn fed chicken breast, pan roasted salmon, pumpkin ravioli and potato gnocchi.
For dessert, if I just glimpse at the word crème brûlée on a menu then that will be my automatic first pick. This brûlée had the perfect creamy silky texture. A spoon of that mixed with bits of the caramelized torched sugar, some orange biscotti and a touch of fresh raspberry is a heavenly concoction. On the dessert menu you can also find pineapple meringue, chocolate lava cake, caramelized apple mousse, and a trolley of international cheeses.
The Capital Club offers also a ‘business lunch’ menu that changes every week where you can get two courses for 12 BD or three courses for 14 BD. The menu consists of choices between soup of the day, house cured duck breast, grilled asparagus, Thai chicken, herb crusted king fish, three cheese ravioli, baked cheesecake, chocolate fondant, cheese platters, tea and, coffee.
The service at the Capital Club is one of the finest here in Bahrain. In general an efficient, polite and well-trained team heighten any dining experience especially when there is delicious food and a spectacular view involved. That is why Signature Grill is my first choice if I want to invite family and friends to a special dinner, celebrating an important event, or in the daytime when I hold my formal business meetings. The certainty of receiving the best service, food, and atmosphere makes this place a top pick of mine when I want to treat my guests.
Access to all the facilities in the Capital Club – including the restaurant and meeting rooms – is limited to its members or if one is invited by a member. The club is also very active throughout the year and holds many events and talks such as Capital Heels, American night, the White Party , Japanese night, Arabic musical night and many more.
If you are interested in becoming a member you can contact the membership department for details or to arrange a tour of the club.
Once you become a member of the Bahrain Capital Club you will automatically have access to its sister clubs in Dubai, East Africa and a variety of over 50 reciprocal clubs worldwide.
For more information:
Breakfast 8am-10am (served at the lounge and bar)
Daily: Lunch: 12am -3pm
Dinner: 7pm -11pm
Bahrain Financial Harbour, East Tower, Levels 51-52
(00973) 1710 0100
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