In comparison to big cities like London, Dubai and New York, Bahrain's been a little slower on the uptake when it comes to the vegan food scene, but now the tiny Gulf island is catching up. Here are five of the best places for plant-based diners to eat.
Anais, which is based in Manama, is dedicated to serving up entirely raw vegan food, introducing diners to clean, sugar-free meals that taste good and reduce the agricultural food cycle timeline. It all started in Romania, where the brains behind Anais have 90,000 square metres of agricultural land, where they grow corn, wheat and sunflowers, as well as a café in the old city of Constanta. The reasonably priced dishes at its charming Bu Gazal venue include a tofu scramble and chickpea omelette, mezzes and salads, sandwiches, pizzas and pasta. There are plenty of desserts on offer, too, from cake to pies and ice cream.
Prince Khalid bin Alwaleed bin Talal teamed up with celebrity plant-based chef Matthew Kenney to create Folia, a vegan food concept that was originally rolled out in Four Seasons Beverly Hills. Its next stop was the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay, where diners eschewing meat and dairy can feast on the heavily raw but flavourful dishes at the hotel’s Bay View Lounge. Not only is the setting stunning, with its floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views over the bay and beyond, but the food is also bound to convert any vegan skeptic, thanks to its gorgeous presentation, strong flavours and excellent execution.
Bahrain’s first 100 per cent vegan café was initially started by Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal. While the Saudi prince has since moved on to other projects, Hamala’s Plant Café remains a stalwart in Bahrain’s plant-based dining scene. The interior is minimal, using natural materials to give a sense of calm. Take a seat around the open kitchen and watch the chefs at work, or head upstairs for a table. Either way, diners will love the selection on offer, which includes everything from pancakes and smoothies to mezze and mushroom dumplings. The food is inspired by cuisines from around the world, including Indian, Thai, Italian and American (there are burgers, of course). They make some wonderful nut-based cheeses, too.
Based in Seef’s Al Moayyed Tower, Raw Candy is a small superfood chocolate dessert bar with a twist. The fully plant-based spot was founded in 2018 and, naturally, serves all manner of vegan treats, but has also expanded to offer sandwiches and salads, plus gluten-free smoothies and cookies, as well as cold-pressed juices. This is where you get your guilt-free sweet fix from.
Bahrain restaurant group Al Abraaj, which is behind a range of popular eateries on the island, has just launched its newest offering and it's entirely plant-based, reports Biz Bahrain. The sustainable eatery, which is led by an all-female team, has started in a pop-up location at A'ali Mall with a view to introducing a regularly changing menu to plant-loving diners. Why Eighty Thirty? Its name comes from the idea that forests are home to 80 per cent of terrestrial organisms, covering 30 per cent of the Earth's landmass. Meat-free nuggets, hot dogs and burgers are on the menu, alongside healthier options such as salads. It also promises to set aside proceeds for tree-planting when diners buy a tree-inspired dessert.