Teatro comes to Bahrain - Downtown Rotana, Bahrain

Teatro, the award-winning Rotana restaurant recently opened its doors in Bahrain, the hotel chain's third restaurant and 1st outside the UAE.  To appreciate how highly regarded it is, you just need to stand outside the hotel and see the signage. 

As the name implies, it is theatrical, and the walk into the restaurant is exactly that. Greeting the guest at the door is a hostess, impeccably kitted out in a  red one piece, reminding me of The Woman in Red - dramatic! She guides us through the restaurant and explains the concept to us - knowledgeable, well spoken and the epitome of elegance and refinement.  She is everything you want in a hostess and she understands her role perfectly. The walk down the carpet continues the threatre. 

I start off at the bar and I am enticed into having one of Teatro's signature cocktails, The Tiffin Punch. It gives me a chance to check out the consistency because I have had this before at Teatro at Abu Dhabi's Park Rotana. The drama continues as the barman expertly creates my drink using ginger, lychee, grapefruit, vodka and of course, prosecco. The result - a beautifully balanced cocktail where sweet and sour do not dominate each other. And yes, consistent with what I have had before.

I remember my first experience of Teatro in the UAE. I struggled with the concept of all those cuisines - Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and International - in one restaurant. In subsequent visits I was able to see the appeal of a restaurant like Teatro in terms of its variety. Teatro at Downtown Rotana has done something very smart - the restaurant has three distinct dining areas with separate kitchens - all these food types is now even more plausible because if you are in the mood for Italian, go to the dining area where you can watch the chef prepare your pizza in a wood burning oven or if you fee for Indian, get a table close to the Indian kitchen with its tandoor. Smart. Furthermore, it means it has by far the largest open kitchen of all three Teatro restaurants - an open kitchen is so much  a part of the Teatro concept because you can watch the theatre unfold in front of you. 

My daughter and I choose to sit in the Japanese area. I start with the  Yellowtail tartare. presented in deep fried gyoza. It is intensely flavoured thanks to tom yam marinade. However, guacamole balances it nicely. For my accompanying drink, it has to be the Tokyo Downtown, easily my favourite cocktail. This sake based drink is creatively presented in a masu, a box like cup. Tokyo downtown meets Bahrain downtown - I like it. 

My Teatro journey next takes me to Italy when I have the Burrata. It is quite different as a burrata to what I have had before. It is almost as if the burrata is one part of a dish where olives play an important role. Olive tapenade adds robust flavour to the dish while fresh olives bring the same but also adds texture. However, if its is more texture you want, then the ciabatta obliges. 

Teatro, like other signature Rotana restaurants, boasts a large by-the-glass wine list, and in the donwtown area, easily the biggest selection. The options are really well priced, ensuring that your night out is not heavy on the wallet. how many by-the-glass choices? 10? 15? No, how about 30!

We keep the Italian journey going because I really want to try the wood burning oven's pizza. We order the Quattro formaggi. This classic 4 cheese pizza is obviously packed with flavour as can be expected, but it is the thin crust with its crispy-crunchy quality that makes it a winner. Also, at 7.0 BD a night out can be very affordable at Teatro. 

Our final dish before dessert, takes us from Italy to India as we are served the cHicken tikka. It is part of an Indian selection that covers classic dishes, so you should feel quite at home with the menu. Cooked in the tandoor, it has all the moisture you ant in chicken while also having that typical tandoor flavours. At 7.5 BD, again good value. 

The service at Teatro is a major strength. Staff is well trained and in the end I do not choose any wine. I simply follow their recommendations. You know, when you have had  a long day and just want to relax, it is great knowing you don't have to make choices but can follow recommendations. You know the feeling, right? Finally, service is attentive but not overbearing - all evidence of very good training. From the restaurant manager to the waiting and bar staff - you will not be disappointed. 

Finally, dessert. The so-called Big Show, is indeed that. There is a slight variation on the one I had in Abu Dhabi, but it excites me just as much. Chocolate truffle, deliciously crispy banana spring roll, coconut ice cream, lemongrass creme brulee, mochi ice cream and ice watermelon and mint - an intelligent dessert that really sums up the cuisines on offer. Apart from the creativity, I like this dessert as a conversation piece. It is based on a sharing concept, so the perfect for 3 or 4 people. And price? You will not believe it if I told you. You have to go and try it out. 

Teatro really offers something for everyone and does so with value for money never being an issue. The stylish restaurant with staff who caters to every need without overwhelming the guest, a drinks selection that fits every pocket and of course dishes of high quality overseen by Head Chef Sanjeewa, brings fresh air to the Manama dining scene. Whether it is for drinks in the lounging area or a full out dinner in one of the dining areas, this is a perfect way to spend an evening in downtown Bahrain. 

The Essentials

Downtown Rotana,
110 Goverment Ave,
Downtown Rotana
+973 1311 9999

Dinner for 2 approximately 20BD-30BD 

Brandon Stoltenkamp
Disclaimer:  I had dinner at Teatro as  a guest of the hotel.