BY ANAAM IKRAM
Overlooking one of the most popular and busiest areas of Bahrain, the Manama Souq, Downtown Rotana is a modern vision in an otherwise traditional backdrop of the heart of Bahrain. Standing tall at 26-floors, Downtown Rotana’s floor-to-ceiling glass façade allows a picturesque view of the lively area in the day, and as the sun sets a dimly-lit ambiance creates the mood for a sophisticated evening – almost quietening the humdrum of the rush outside. On the one side the Manama Souq invites tourists and locals alike to get accustomed with the local culture and traditions of Bahrain through its narrow roads lined with a variety of shops on either side, Downtown Rotana allows the same crowd to immediately step into a modernised Bahrain, one that still holds its culture close and is – quite literally – deep-rooted into it, but with a contemporary feel. Within Downtown Rotana, the art of exploring of different cultures comes to life through its many aspects, especially the dining facilities, and specifically through their newly opened multi-cuisine restaurant, Teatro. Perle Magazine spoke to Speciality Chef W.A.P. Sanjeewa about the restaurant’s eclectic menu and some of the signature dishes that makes this restaurant home to a truly unique dining experience.
Boasting over 130 dishes on the menu, Teatro brings its customers dishes inspired from five of the most well-known cuisines, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, South East Asian, and Italian resulting in a melting pot of flavours that promises to take the guests on a gastronomic journey across the globe. The third Teatro in the region – with the other two being in Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively – the restaurant has maintained its high standards and consistency ensuring customers experience the same great taste throughout. With an impressive list of achievements under his belt throughout his career, Chef Sanjeewa perfected his culinary skills while working with multiple reputed international hospitality brands across the world for over 16 years including Seychelles, Maldives, Tokyo, his native Sri Lanka, and Zanzibar before assuming the role of Speciality Chef at Teatro Downtown. In Teatro, Chef Sanjeewa is in charge of the managing the overall operation of the kitchen including supervision, management and development of staff. He explains that he personally tastes and monitors every single dish that goes to the guest to make sure their standards are maintained and to promise the guests the true Teatro experience. Having mastered all the recipes – that are the same in all locations – of the menu, Chef Sanjeewa explains that in any of the Teatro restaurants, customers can taste the consistency that is practiced throughout to uphold their guarantee of great taste and dining experience.
Teatro – Italian for ‘theatre’ – welcomes diners in a posh waiting/lounge area near the bar where they can enjoy a variety of beverages before their meal begins, or to unwind and relax. The bar also offers signature mocktails such as Downtown Tokyo, a ginger-based drink for a punchy start to the evening, or a tangy option to tickle the taste buds such as the Honey Berry Syrup. The lounge area also has the sushi counter where Chef Jun Jie Piao makes an exciting array of fresh sushi and sashimi. The dining area behind the lounge is a designed as a walkway in the centre with tables on either sides accommodating up to 133 diners. On one side, the customers are seated next to the glass showcase from where they can get a clear view of the open-kitchen duck oven, pizza oven, two tandoor ovens and, and is ideal for the culinary enthusiasts to see how their food is prepared. On the opposite side, guests are seated close to the glass façade of the hotel and are treated to a clear view of the bustling Manama Souq and Bahrain Financial Harbour.
The Culinary Voyage
The beauty of Teatro is that diners with different tastes and dining preferences can easily be accommodated as its impressively extensive menu consists of food options that everyone can enjoy. Guests are not limited to specific cuisine or menu; they can start their dining experience with a taste of Japan from the sushi counter, and then expand their culinary experience through the Chinese, Indian, South East Asian, or even Italian food options. Almost like a gastronomic theatre where, much a like play, different culinary themes come together and create a rich and exciting dining experience. Assistant Outlet Manager Alvin Oyiko explans, “there is no limit, it is all contemporary. You do not have to stick the traditional and order a salad, and Teatro brings a different kind of dining experience to Bahrain.”
Starting the meal in a flavourful manner is the selection of bite-sized starters such as the Prawns Kickers with peanut and tamarind sauce. Prepared as per the Teatro signature recipes, they crunchy prawns with the either the nutty peanut sauce or the tangy tamarind sauce are just the right way to begin the fine-dining and multi-cultural experience at the restaurant.
Though Japanese cuisine is not limited to sushi and sashimi, the delicious and fresh selection of the dish at Teatro Downtown will is enough for diners to relish in the food option alone. Offering a generous selection of Maki Rolls such as the Crispy California Maki, Fantasy Roll, Teatro Nigiri, Vegetarian roll, and more, guests can pick and choose what they prefer, or order the Sushi Grand Platter and get a wide selection of different sushi and sashimi types served with homemade beetroot pickle, wasabi, and ginger pickle all atop crushed ice keeping the dish tasting fresh and crunchy.
Whether it is for lunch or dinner, with meat, vegetables, only cheese, thin crust or thick, gourmet or fast food, pizza is a universally admired food option. At Teatro the scrumptious homemade pizza is made in a special stone oven fired with imported wood, adding a smoky hint to the pizza and making the base the perfectly crispy on the edges and softer in the centre as the cheese is evenly melted atop. The freshness of the pizza and ingredients can be tasted, and allows diners to experience authentic Italian food. The restaurant offers four different pizza choices including Pizza Regina Margherita, Bianca ai Funghi, Diavola, Quattro Formaggi. The Italian dining options also include a selection of pastas and ristotto so the customers are able to enjoy different aspects of rich tasting Italian cuisine at Teatro.
Almost everyone enjoys Chinese cuisine, and Teatro’s signature dish, Buddha’s Delight is a deliciously light and spicy seafood dish prepared with stir-fried prawns, mussels, scallops, and calamari, with Udon noodles. Buddha’s Delight is bursting with flavours in each bite, yet is a light and hearty dinner option and is perfect with a side order of baby Bok Choy and black mushroom. The popular dish was also one of the dishes featured in the Rotana Times magazine.
South East Asia:
Offering a wide variety of Asian curries, Teatro’s popular Thai Green curry is a creamy and spicy curry packed with flavours of Thailand. Importing all the ingredients from Thailand, the curry is a wholesome dinner option as it can be prepared using chicken, seafood, duck, and even vegetables served with jasmine rice. The vegetarian option is prepared using fresh vegetables such as Thai eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, mixed together with light coconut cream and green curry paste, and serves as an appetizing dinner option.
The Kai Pad Med is another mouth-watering Thai dish from the Wok and Stir-fry section made with stir-fried chicken, cashew nuts, and oyster sauce and served with jasmine rice. Also a mildly spicy, Kai Pad Med’s soft and tender chicken is complemented crunchy cashews and the oyster sauce adds a unique flavour to the overall dish.
Creamy curries with a rich helping of spices are a signature of Indian and at Teatro the Indian cuisine is something that will always leave the guests wanting more. With flavorous authentic dishes and a generous selection of breads, Teatro ensures the customers enjoy the best variety of Indian cuisine. The Vegetable Handi in particular is a delectable choice for dinner as it is prepared using mixed vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, peas, and making the dish special is the addition of bell peppers, with Paneer cheese cooked in a fresh, spiced, thick onion and tomato gravy served with rice. The Lamb Seekh Kebab is undoubtedly a Teatro favourite, and is prepared in the unique manner of cheese-base (cheese mixed with the meat) with spices, and cooked in the tandoori oven resulting melts-in-your-mouth soft kebab. The garlic naan perfectly complements the dishes as it soft brings extra flavour to any dish it is accompanied with.
Big Show Dessert:
The perfect way to end any meal is with a helping of sweet treats, and at Teatro the guests have an impressive selection from The Dolce Stage to choose from. From the Japanese Ice Cream Mochi, Lemongrass Crème Brülée, Gelato by the Scoop, Green Tea cake, and more, diners can also end their meal by exploring region through its dessert. For the sweet-enthusiasts who want to try a little bit of everything, the Big Show Dessert is the ideal choice, as it is a dessert option with small samples of everything from The Dolce Stage. Including the mochi ice cream, crème brûlée, geltato, green tea cake, the Big Show Dessert also has Dulce de Leche & Banana Wantons, Iced Watermelon & Lychees, and fresh fruits served on crushed ice, keeping the dessert cool as the evening winds down. The bountiful dessert selection is great for sharing and allows the guests to experience sweets from the different countries – a divine manner to explore global gastronomies.
The menu also boasts a special Western Specialities and House Favourites section, which serves a variety of dishes such as the Australian Lamb, Grilled Hammour, and the signature Teatro Roast Duck on the Bone – which is made in the traditional Chinese duck oven, unlike the usual open-top duck oven – amongst many other scrumptious dining options. Always finding ways to stand out, Teatro’s Mushroom Soup Cappuccino is also an exciting way to have soup as it is served in a cup with truffle foam created using “molecular cuisine” method. The Canadian Lobster is also a Teatro favourite as the lobster is imported from the sweet waters of Canada and results in a soft and really tender seafood dish.
Teatro’s lavish menu is designed and presented in a manner that caters to all kinds of guests’ preferences. Whether they are looking to enjoy traditional Asian cuisines, or want to enjoy into some Italian dishes along with refreshing drinks in a relaxed environment, Teatro ensures its customers have a pleasant time from the minute they walk in till the very end of their wholesome dining experience.
For bookings and reservations:
(00973) 1311 9999
For more information:
(00973) 1311 9999
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