Whenever I’m given the task of deciding where to eat with while meeting friends – I often find that my responses are pretty mundane and ordinary….i dont stray far away from the well known coffee shop around the corner or Adliya Avenue which lets face it – is known to be restaurant central.
My friend “D” however is notorious for luring us into joining him for dinner in somewhat debauched-looking eating outlets….while we tease him mercilessly for being a dodgy character for taking us to these places there is a part of me that is grateful that people like him actually do make an attempt to go out of the box and try out different restaurants (and hence my excuse for going there…).
One such place was the Thai Restaurant “Chompunuch” in Gudaibiya. Now, driving in Gudaibiya traffic on a Friday night is one heck of a feat and finding parking, well…a sighting of the loch ness monster has better prospects! The restaurant is a small sized making it perfect for a quiet night out (we were a group of 7 so that wasnt on our mind). The interiors give off them impression that the people did put some thought into decorating, and the plasma screen tv showing Thai tv proved to be quite entertaining for me – (but then i do have cheap thrills and love them Thai ads…). When not cooked properly, Thai food gives off a very pungent almost vulgar smell that is a definate turn off for me but Chompunuch’s food was far from obscene. The tom yum soup was one of the best that I’ve tasted and the rest of the meal was really delightful (again…didnt get around to taking photos and the actual names….am just not in the habit of doing so). I did wonder on how this place actually survives but I guess most of the business comes from take-away and delivery orders.
Which brings me to the second Thai Restaurant I visited last week, (yeah I know too many Thai places!*) let me start by saying I’m a big fan of Time Out Bahrain (its a magazine here for those who dont know!) and Feb 2010’s edition featured a restaurant review about the restaurant Honey’s. So my friend “A” and I decided to try it out after an evening of treasure troving the Souq (i love the Souq…but will rave about it in another blog perhaps..). As I stepped in the restaurant, I wondered whether I would have actually tried this restaurant if it werent for the review (incidentally my dodgy friend “D” – hence to be referred as Dodgy D – did recommend that we try this restaurant the week before, and was shoo’d off). The neon lighting of the place kills any hope of the restaurant even looking like a decent one. However, where the decor lacks, the food makes up for it and with good sized portions too. Being centrally located in Manama – the clientele of this place ranges from Thai’s looking for home food without breaking the bank, locals, tourists, curious review readers and unibrowed “working” girls!
*While on the topic of Thai food – Ohlala! February 2010 edition features a review on the best Tom Yum soup in Bahrain and investigates 7 restaurants that has Thai cuisine and Honey’s and Chompunuch wasnt in one of them(although Thai Chi was one of the restaurants covered!)…guess I have more Thai restaurants to cover huh?