An impeccable blend of tastes, textures and ambience was on the menu for Fernanda Langhammer when she dined at re/Asian Cuisine by Wolfgang Puck.
The song On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons started playing in my head as soon as we entered the elevator at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay on our way to re/Asian Cuisine by Wolfgang Puck. The restaurant is located on the 50th floor (the trigger for the music popping in my head). The elevator ride was smooth and we reached ‘the top of the world’ in a few seconds.
As soon as we entered the eatery, the stunning view of Bahrain’s skyline, many floors below, was breathtaking – we took a moment to absorb such beautiful scenery. We were lucky to be seated right next to the glass wall, allowing us to enjoy the stunning cityscape with its shimmering night lights. The décor follows an art-deco-inspired design with a minimalist, modern twist. Magnificent crystal chandeliers and the large wooden sushi counter caught my attention. You can sit by the counter or enter deeper into the room, where you have dimly lit areas offering privacy. The vibe is a definite perk at this place – the resident DJ keeps the music at the right volume with perfectly tailored beats for a lounge/fine-dining atmosphere.
Regional Executive Chef Brian Becher and Chef Kiyoshi Udagawa are the maestros of the dishes that re/Asian offers in an innovative menu that gives a modern spin to traditional Asian recipes. That night, we also had the pleasure of meeting Rumena Begum, the restaurant’s director, who is very passionate about re/Asian’s menu (and knows it intimately) and helped us choose our dishes.
The dining experience started with Priya stopping by our table with her beverage stroller (or, in her words, her moving bar). She offered us two new signature drinks: Goldtini, made with bubbles and edible gold, and Hot and Numbing, with spicy orangey hints. The first was quite sophisticated, while the other hit like a liquid punch; they were delicious!
A selection of palate teasers appeared on our table. Kimchi with crunchy Chinese cabbage bathed in peanut sauce kicked off our taste buds’ journey. The Jackfruit Bao had a delicate filling in a super soft dough. When dipped in the accompanying sweet and tangy sauce, it became one of the best bites of the entire night (there were many) – comforting and adventurous. The Trio of Veggies was a selection of vegetables, such as lotus root, radish and carrot infused with citrus juices – the presentation was super cute with a lovely rabbit-shaped beetroot. The Edamame Tofu, another strong contender as best bite, was a creamy green delight that was soft but firm with a gorgeous edamame flavour – I love tofu and edamame, so this was a marriage made in heaven for me. We also had the Crispy Rice Vegetable, a combination of five crispy rice squares topped with different toppings, such as asparagus and eggplant – they were crunchy and each had a completely different texture and flavour, yum!
It was time for the mains. With so many options and the possibility of having most of the dishes transformed for my vegetarian preference, Rumena was a star when she took care of my order. My dining companion is a raw-fish enthusiast, so he opted for the Sea Bream Ceviche, beautifully created with ginger, lime, carrot and yuzu, and Hamachi Sashimi. The ceviche was citrusy and the Hamachi was fresh with the expected allusion of oceanic flavour. He also had the Braised Beef Short Ribs cooked for several hours in Rendang style (when the meat is cooked and braised in a herb and spice mixture until the liquid evaporates). The beef was tender, rich in flavours and melted in his mouth.
I had the Thai Green Curry with Tofu. Well, I already mentioned my love for tofu, but I haven’t said how much I adore Thai cuisine – so this was the perfect dish Rumena could have chosen. It had the right amount of spiciness combined with crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside tofu, teamed with sugar snaps, green beans, spinach, coriander leaves and peanuts in a lush green sauce – I finished every last bite of it! I guess that says it all. We also had two sides: Crispy Miso Artichoke and Hunan Eggplant & Snow Pea Pods (a must-try if you like eggplants and even if you don’t!).
We finished our feast with the refreshing Halo Halo dessert made with coconut tapioca pearls, mango sorbet and crispy rice. Chef Brian came to talk to us right when it arrived at our table and said that even when someone tells him they don’t have space for dessert, there is always room for Halo Halo – he was absolutely right! It was the perfect end to a magnificent display of culinary artistry, with dishes made with many hidden details to make them memorable.
If you are looking for an eatery with extraordinary food and a fantastic ambience, re/Asian Cuisine by Wolfgang Puck is the place to go. The restaurant can be booked for private events, such as corporate lunch or dinner, family gatherings, ladies’ lunch, etc. and offers customised menus.