Growing health consciousness and a discerning palate have propelled veganism in Bahrain. While the number of vegan diners continues to rise, many nonvegans also enjoy vegan food. A thorough cosmopolitan, the Kingdom is home to some fantastic restaurants.
Falafel (chickpea fritters), bean-based dishes such as ful medames (fava bean stew) and hummus (chickpea dip) are vegan staples. Kisir salad, made from bulgur, vegetables and spices, is a popular Turkish dish. Known by different names across the Middle East, stuffed grape leaves are yet another delicacy; the vegan version has rice, vegetables and spices. The ubiquitous South Indian idli (fluffy rice and lentil cake), dosa (savoury rice and lentil crepe), upma (savoury semolina pudding) and vada (crunchy lentil donut), all served with sambar (lentil and vegetable stew) and coconut chutney are a must-try. North Indian vegetable gravies – specify ‘no ghee (clarified butter) and cream – with roti/naan (flatbread) are great options too.
Tofu and seaweed are heavily used in Japanese vegan dishes while Thai options include po pla (bamboo shoot and vegetable spring rolls) to vegetarian pad thai (stir-fried rice noodle). Thai curry, which uses coconut milk as a base, is also popular.
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Tucked away in Janabiya, Plant CafО, coowned by celebrated American chef, Matthew Kenney, is Bahrain’s first 100 per cent concept restaurant. It has a small yet appealing menu, featuring vegan lasagne, salads and desserts, as well as almond milk mochas and green juices. Its new menu features six items, including mushroom tacos and gluten free banana bread. Baker & Spice in Al A’ali mall and The Orangery Tea Room and Patisserie in Adliya have a vegan menu too.