AMBIENCE, AROMA…ASIAN

A delectable new menu is what Fernanda Langhammer and the OHLALA team encountered at BO.SABI, The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa.

I am always very excited to embark on a journey through fusion flavours, mainly when it involves a selection of Pan-Asian dishes (one of my favourite cuisines) and BO.SABI is the right place to go if you are looking for a wide selection that will cater to all your cravings.

Not only will the food find a soft spot in you, but the décor complements the experience. The wood ceiling, bamboo touches and mosaic flooring create a relaxed vibe. While the details, such as pop art-inspired canvasses on the walls and rising sun wood panels above the door that leads to the pool area and stage, give the final cool touches. We were there for lunchtime, and a nice amount of light entered the room, giving it a vibrant feel. The ambient music was at the right volume without disturbing our chit-chat but creating a pleasant atmosphere. Black plates and cutlery added a modern accent to the whole dining scene.

We were greeted with a Yuzu Slush mocktail freshly prepared by Frazer, the bartender. The drink consists of lime and grapefruit juice, sugar syrup and a dash of pineapple. These drinks can be overpowering and sweet, but this one was perfectly balanced and beautifully decorated with a grapefruit slice and a rosemary sprig – so refreshing, it felt like summer!

We headed to BO.SABI to try their new menu items, so if you are already a fan, don’t miss the fresh dishes. The feast started with a selection of makis. BO.SABI is known for preparing this Japanese delicacy skilfully (are you a big sushi enthusiast? Don’t miss their sushi nights every Thursday). Now, they’ve added new creations to the already varied spread.

We had the Crispy Jumbo Maki, a combination of lobster tempura, asparagus, carrot and miso mayonnaise; this was the table’s favourite for the explosion of flavours, perfect crunch and balance of sweetness and tangy punch. We also tried the Veggie Sesame Roll with asparagus, carrot, cucumber, avocado and sesame seeds with a touch of smoked vegetable glace, an excellent pick for vegetarians – it was crunchy and the ratio of rice to other ingredients was spot on! But it doesn’t end there; we also tasted the Rainbow Roll which is an encounter of crab meat, salmon, tuna, sea bass, avocado, cucumber, smoked eel sauce and sesame seeds; Osaka Salmon Roll composed of salmon, avocado, carrot and spicy mayo and last but not least, Caterpillar, a perfect pick for eel lovers.

While munching our sushi, we were also served the Wonton Soup, a light broth with Chinese chicken dumplings, mixed greens and scallions. The warm liquid had a mushroom essence, and the vegetables added a nice crunch – a comforting dish to break the innovative maki spread.

The Roasted Duck & Mango Salad surprisingly showed us that duck and mango is a marriage made in heaven, and the Tuna Salad had perfectly seared tuna slices marinated in sambal (an Indonesian chilli paste) on a bed of pickled asparagus, daikon, baby green lettuce and redcurrant sauce. These were followed by warm and fluffy Chinese BBQ Buns that are offered with chicken or meat. If you ever get to try these, don’t forget to add the chilli black bean with spicy cherry hoisin sauce; it is divine.

It was main dishes time and after a strong start, we were all looking forward to what else the new menu had to offer. We were told that the best seller so far has been the Korean-Style Spicy Beef, so we had to have it. The dish is prepared with beef spareribs, ginger, soy and barbecue sauce and to our surprise, pearls of beetroot, radish and carrot complemented the mix. The dark colours were contrasted by a purple sago cracker placed on top of the soft meat. After having the first bite, we understood why it is so popular; the sticky flavours matched well with the tenderness of the beef, and the white rice that accompanies it serves as a great complement to balance the intense flavours.

If you like an extra kick to your rice, the Kow Sai Chiang Mai is a wonderful Thai-inspired fried rice with an aromatic touch. We tried the chicken and vegetarian options, and both were full of zest with a special touch of Thai basil – the pickled cabbage, lime, and coriander also gave an extra dimension to the simple recipe. However, the star dish was the Indonesian Prawn Curry with jumbo prawns, garden peas, diced potato and coconut milk. As one of my dining companions commented: the shrimps were chunky, firm and tasty! The flavours had a hint of sweetness that paired well with the spicy and distinct herbs in the sauce. And, as you find in every good Asian restaurant, we had to try at least one noodle dish. The new addition to the menu is the Thai Chili & Basil Noodles, it looked very plain, but the stir-fried noodles were cooked with chilli, kaffir lime, golden lime and Thai basil; as you can already figure out, the aroma coming from the plate was glorious and the simple egg noodle had a complex and delightful seasoning.

We barely had space for dessert, but who could resist? We shared the Thai Mango Sticky Rice and the Japanese Cheesecake served with red plum and passion fruit custard. But the selection of Mochi conquered our hearts – coconut, strawberry cheesecake, vanilla and our favourite, mango. It had a thin layer of sweet glutinous rice dough and a generous, delicious ice cream filling.

Are you looking for a solid Asian menu? BO.SABI is the place to go!

For more information or to make a reservation,
please call BO.SABI at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa on 1753 1666.
@diplomatradissonblu
@bo.sabi.bh

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