La Dolce Vita at Novotel Al Dana Resort - Eats and Treats by Tania Rebello | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

La Dolce Vita at Novotel Al Dana Resort - Eats and Treats by Tania Rebello

TDT | Manama                 

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com 

It was a beautiful Friday afternoon. The weather was fine as ever. Strolling through a tropical landscape to enjoy a marvelous meal was nothing short of a dream.

A cool breeze wafted through the hues of blue of the Arabian Sea to calm my mind and relax me.

Novotel Al Dana Resort located in Manama is a sight to behold. If you are looking for the next place to enjoy a brunch with a sea view this Friday, your search ends here.

A cozy restaurant located by the beach, Fishbone has been rightly positioned as the destination for an authentic Italian brunch experience.

The brunch at Fishbone is a complete package that pleases all the senses. There are two ways of getting to the restaurant; you could either drive directly to the restaurant, or park at the main parking lot and walk through the hotel.

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I chose the latter because I did not want to miss out on the picturesque details such the traditional touch to the architectural design, the pergola walkways, the swimming pool bustling with cheerful guests, the serenity of the greenery and the beach.

I wanted to experience the indoor as well as outdoor seating. They have very a comfortable, airconditioned indoor ambience.

The large glass panels of the restaurant ensure that you do not miss out on the beautiful view of the beach and the sea.

It takes a good meal to take your eyes off a view like that and I can say without a second thought that it did.

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Upon being welcomed into the restaurant, I made my s elf comfortable on the well-cushioned, fish print designed chair and glanced at the beverage menu while listening to the live DJ music.

An aperol spritz and mint lemonade were the ideal beverages to quench my thirst and prepare my taste buds for the meal.

Unlike other buffet style brunches, the brunch at Fishbone is served at the table. The food arrives at the table hot, fresh and when you are ready.

The menu has been tastefully orchestrated and does not disappoint.

Beginning with the bread basket, the freshly baked focaccia, bread sticks and Tuscan bread paired perfectly with the fresh and light dipsa very light labneh with extra virgin olive oil, a tomato dip prepared with balsamic vinegar and an olive tapenade. Next on the table was a duet of hot appetizers; arancini and ‘Crisps of the Sea’.

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Arancini are delicious rice balls prepared with Arborio risotto, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried until golden brown.

These arancini were prepared with mushroom risotto.

The rice was cooked to perfection and the combination of cheese used in the fillin g gave each bite a delicious, salty kick and paired wel l with t h e accompanying sauces.

Arancini originates from the beautiful island of Sicily which is breathtakingly beautiful just like the view I was enjoying.

The ‘Crisps of the Sea’ is a basket of batter-fried calamari and zucchini that is served with spicy tomato jam, spicy avocado sauce and tartar sauce. Each condiment paired perfectly with the lightly battered, golden and crisp calamari and zucchini.

I particularly enjoyed the spicy tomato jam.

The salads arrived in all their colorful vibrancy.

I ordered two salads – Mango quinoa salad and ‘Rock the dates’. Both the salads were delightfully fresh. The quinoa salad had good texture and derived its flavors from the tart mango and red grapes.

My favorite salad was ‘Rock the dates’. I highly recommend this salad.

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I finished the whole bowl despite being someone who is very picky when it comes to salads.

What makes this salad very special is the extremely smart combination of textures and flavors of arugula/ rocca leaves, dates, parmesan, sliced almonds and the pomegranate molasses dressing.

A fork full of all the ingredients built a special place in my heart. After that delightful salad, it was time to order the main course.

I would like to mention that they have a couple of tasty vegetarian items on the main course menu, but the Branzino (Mediterranean seabass) caught my attention.

I was also curious about the ‘stuffed chicken’ and ‘beef stufato’ so I ordered these as well.

The seabass platter had a medley of steamed vegetables and a lemon caper sauce.

The fish had a light dusting of flour that helped with the exterior crust and was tender and flakey as it was cooked with the utmost attention by the chef.

It was such an impressive, flawlessly cooked, chunky fillet of fish. The lemon caper sauce had a perfect consistency- flowy and slightly thickened due to the flour which was used to coat the fish.

The seared vegetables included bell peppers, eggplant, broccoli, carrot and charred lemon. I would crown this top dish of the day.

The beef stufato was slow cooked, pulled beef brisket served with au jus and creamy mashed potatoes.

It was very delightful and rich. The stuffed chicken consisted of spinach stuffed chicken breasts in a creamy white sauce.

Head Chef Ali Ismail who is a seasoned industry professional, explained how the brunch was developed to be authentic Italian with some dishes that could not be found at other restaurants.

The brunch with a view is what they would like their customers to experience.

Who could possibly leave without relishing dessert? I ordered two desserts; panna cotta and tiramisu and decided to enjoy these outdoors at their terrace.

The panna cotta was scrumptious with speckles of vanilla bean and beautifully set.

The fresh berries gave it a pop of acidity that cut through the creamy richness of the panna cotta. The tiramisu was light, not overly sweet and had a pronounced espresso flavor.

The texture was spot on as well.

This brunch experience at Fishbone takes you on a delightful journey and makes you appreciate the little things in life- fresh air, the beauty of nature while enjoying magnificent Italian delights.

Visit Fishbone at the Novotel for an unforgettable experience. Every Friday 12.30pm to 4pm. Contact 17298436 / 32112108 for bookings.