The amazing people behind Mais Alghanim have brought us yet another incredible concept, The Bistro. This Middle Eastern fusion concept takes the comfort foods we’ve grown up with and love, and created their modern gastronomic equivalents. Reimagining traditional Middle Eastern foods comes easy to the masterminds behind The Bistro. Located in the new Miral Complex in Mangaf, the view is absolutely magnificent, as is the food. With an array of mouth-watering choices, and empty stomachs, we were on a mission to try as many delicacies as possible.
With the option of outdoor or indoor seating, it took us no time at all to decide we’d enjoy our meal outdoors. Beautiful weather and the scenery to match, we were beyond excited to be dining with such a glorious view and sampling delicious foods. Overlooking the Mangaf sea area, when you sit outside at The Bistro, you can enjoy a delicious hot coffee to accompany your shisha or enjoy the food and the view. Clear blue waters gently lap the shore, and if you’re there at sunset, you’re in for a treat. The glorious colors of the sky intensify as the sun sets deeper into the sea. The seating itself is very reminiscent of a European style bistro with an Arabic twist, with neutral browns and beiges, accented with green. As we admired the view, the food started to make its way to our table.
We were presented with flavored sodas to start us off. Refreshing and delicious, the sodas helped us build an appetite as we started munching on our salad. The Shrimp and Crab Salad was absolutely refreshing. Mixed lettuce, and juicy cherry tomatoes mixed in with fresh mushrooms and creamy avocado, topped off with shrimps and shredded crabsticks dressed harmoniously with a creamy lemon dressing. It was magnificent. As we approached the end of the salad, freshly baked, steaming bread was brought to us accompanied by a Sultaniyah. The bread was fluffy, airy, and everything bread should be! It was an absolute delight to even consume on its own, let alone dipped into anything. The Sultaniyah, was a smoky, grilled eggplant that was so soft and flavorful, you couldn’t help but scoop it all up in the bread. Dressed with a molasses glaze and topped off with pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts, this dip’s flavors kept us reaching for more bread. If bread isn’t your ideal option, then opt for one of their many flavorful fatayers.
Next on their list, they presented us with a delectable Chicken Moghrabiya Roll. Yes you read that right, this traditional dish was created with an incredible twist that had us enjoying it as though it were maki. Wheat puffs cooked with onions and chicken, then flattened and rolled into servings, the moghrabiya was bursting with flavor and served alongside a delicious dip that compliments and enhances the flavors. Did I mention we were brought basket upon basket of their fresh bread? Yum! The mains came in slower, which meant we could take our time with each one. First up, we got the Chicken Shawerma Sizzler. A whole new take on the chicken shawerma, this deconstructed shawerma reminded us of fajitas, sans tortilla wraps. Using their fresh bread, you place a few of the sizzling chicken strips and top it off with some garlic mayo, pickles, shredded lettuce, grilled onion, green peppers, and tomato slices. The sheer joy of creating the shawerma ourselves was overwhelming and fun!
Our next main came in the form of a steak. Beautifully carved, the Beef Tenderloin with Herb Sauce was cooked to perfection. Two juicy medallions, the tenderloin was flavorful and served alongside diced potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and grilled asparagus. The herb sauce was the perfect condiment for the steak as it brought the whole dish together. Even after a feast like this, you must leave room for dessert and it came our way, after night had fallen. With the stars twinkling in the skies, and the moon rising beautifully against the sea, the whole experience was enhanced with dessert. We started with the Chocolate Volcano, which is a gloriously chocolaty molten soufflé-like cake. As soon as you break through the crust, you’re met with the hot molten center. The alternating spoonfuls of cake and vanilla ice cream were perfection.
Just when I thought dessert couldn’t get any better, the fine people of The Bistro brought out a plate so beautiful we couldn’t help but admire it. The Lokum Pudding was absolutely stunning to look at and a party by the spoonful. A base of kunafah (sweetened vermicelli) to start, topped with a perfectly shaped muhalabiya (milk pudding) with subtle hints of cardamom, and drizzled over it a sticky deliciously sweet pink glaze. The pink glaze was the crown on top of this beautiful pudding nest. With floral accents to this glaze, it’s made with melted rose-flavored Turkish delights. Every bite of this delicious concoction transported me straight to my childhood. An absolute must-try, The Bistro boasts an impressive menu alongside a splendid view. If you’re going on a weekend, try to be early as the place gets packed really quickly!
The Bistro is located in the Miral Complex off the coast of Mangaf past the Hilton Resort, for more info please call 2205 4200. Visit their website at www.bistromais.com or follow them on Instagram @BistroMais.