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In a country where procuring items has become a hobby and activity in itself, Saturdays have become the de facto day that families and couples flock to City Centre Bahrain, The Avenues or any of the kingdom’s plethora of shopping destinations.
And last Saturday, to take a detour from my own adventure to find warm wear for the season, I took a break and met up with my colleagues Jalal and Honey at The Westin City Centre Bahrain’s Furn Bistro for, what I assumed to be a quick bite to eat.
But when Furn’s assistant restaurant manager Rishi Upadhyaya introduced us to their five-star lunch buffet, I knew my afternoon, just like my belly, was about to get filled up.
The first thing to catch our eye was the sheer size of the spread – from the sumptuous salad and appetiser bar to the kitchen counter stocked with entrées and the delectable dessert display.
The next thing was the diversity of it all. Chef Raafat Nemeh had prepared Middle-Eastern, Italian, Indian and European delights for every kind of palate.
And last but definitely not the least, when Rishi told us the price (BD8net), I had trouble believing that for a fairly affordable price, one could enjoy a five-star restorative respite from the ordeals of Saturday shopping.
I started with the salad bar, heaping on a healthy serving of bean salad, hummus, tomato-mozzarella and fish salad. As we have to come to expect from The Westin, everything was fresh and prepared impeccably.
Next up for the main course, I enjoyed some dal tadka atop a heap of rice with a scoop of paneer do pyaza, spinach cannelloni and a couple of pieces of shish taouk, just to represent every cuisine on my plate.
Meanwhile, we also ordered a couple of iced teas – peach (BD2.7) and hibiscus and blackcurrant (BD2.7), which were refreshing and prepped our bellies for the main course - round two.
For our second lunch, feeling like globalised hobbits, we sampled some of the chicken biryani, kofta, shawarma and pizza. While everything was delicious, including the shawarma on saj bread, the pizza in particular stood out because of its freshness, cheesiness and all-round popularity.
As loyal readers of this page might know, I have a thing for pizzas and with a crispy thin crust, excellent fresh tomato sauce and a couple of different kinds of cheeses, this one easily made the clean plate club.
Within about 25 minutes, we saw three fresh pizzas brought out and devoured by the pack of children who, like apex pizza hunters, kept an eye on their prey’s resting grounds, springing out of their seats as soon as a fresh ‘za reached the serving plate.
And finally, when it came to desserts, we were spoiled for choice. To stay on the healthier side, I went for the melon pieces dipped in the chocolate fondue, but couldn’t resist indulging in a single slice of chocolate fudge cake.
We wrapped up for the afternoon and headed back in to the crowds of the City Centre Bahrain to lighten our wallets and some of the calories we had just earned, delighted with the affordable five-star buffet we had just experienced.
The Westin City Centre Bahrain’s Furn Bistro lunch buffet runs every Saturday from 12:30pm to 4pm and is priced at BD8net, with a separate menu of affordable beverages available as well.