Monday, August 13, 2007

Full Up

I'm feeling full up. In fact I don't think I'll ever eat again. Well, that's perhaps a BIT of an exaggeration, but it'll be at least two hours before I ever eat again anyway.

Novotel Al Dana Resort

Our trip to Bahrain was extended at the last minute, because the Embassy wanted Karen to collect something from the Embassy in Bahrain and bring it back, so we had to stay until it re-opened on Sunday morning. Such hardship! Another 24 hours of shopping, cinema, lounging by the pool and eating out. Oh well, I suppose someone's got to do it.

I did feel a little self-conscious as the family relaxed by the pool, and this time it wasn't for exposing parts of my body to public view that have grown a little more than I'd have like them to. All four of us were reading one of the Harry Potter books: Abigail's was Order Of The Phoenix (because of the movie), mine was Half Blood Prince (which I started immediately after watching the OOTP movie), and Karen and Elliot were both stuck into The Deathly Hallows. We must've looked like a right bunch of saddo's with our four HP books lying on our sun loungers all in a row. Still, don't care! The HP marathon is nearly at an end. The last book has been published and there are only two film adaptations to go. We saw the new movie, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" while here. I was the only one who hasn't read that particular book, so while the other three mumbled, 'not as good as the book' and, 'they missed loads out', I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

We debated long and hard about which film we should choose for our second cinema visit of the trip. From a shortlist of Die Hard 4, Shrek 3, Spiderman 3, Fantastic Four 2, and The Simpsons we elected to see The Simpsons Movie, and only ten minutes in I knew we had made the right choice. If you like The Simpsons you'll love the movie, and if you don't I guess you won't. I loved it. Hilarious. I laughed out loud every few minutes.

Culinary highlight of the trip was Friday Brunch at the Movenpick hotel. If you ever visit Bahrain on a Friday, you must go to the Movenpick for brunch. It is out of this world. We arrived at 12.30 and were seated in the hotel's airy atrium, with high vaulted ceiling and an entire wall of windows letting in streams of sunlight.

After an introductory glass of sparkling wine you wander up to the countless buffet tables for food.

On your marks, get set... go!

I started with freshly-made Sushi, which was among the best I've had. Following that I had Malaysian Laksa soup: a hot, spicy soup not unlike Thailand's Tom Yam Goong. Next I had a small plate of Malaysian Beef Redong curry, with my sparkling wine being automatically topped up all the while. Then it was time to visit the fresh counter. I joined a line of people with my plate and shuffled past two tables groaning with fresh seafood and meat. There were whole crabs, lobster tails, huge shrimp, plus raw beef, chicken, and more. Here you're supp0sed to select the fresh fish or meat you like and put it on your plate. Then as you walk along the line you can see the chefs in the kitchen, cooking the food of those ahead of you. When you get to the end of the line you tell the waitress how you want it cooked: grilled, pan-fried, wok-fried, Thai Curry, etc. Give them your name and table number and go and sit down, then they bring you the finished dish a few minutes later.

Elliot and Abigail having a whale of a time

Another top up of wine and Karen persuades me to try the oysters. I go and get six (they're supposed to be in half-dozens aren't they?). I eat two and Karen has one, but we can't finish them (it is a bit late in the day for this). Another glass of bubbly and it's time for dessert. I start off with chocolate ice cream, followed by a banana and chocolate crepe, made in front of me by the chef. At the same time Abigail visits the chocolate fountain and returns with two skewers of chocolate-covered strawberries, pineapple, and marshmallows.

All the while there is live piano music, face painting, henna tattoos, and a clown making balloon animals for the kids. Abigail then decides to finish off dessert with a candy floss!

"You're mine, all mine!"

After three and a half hours of this we manage to prise ourselves out of the chairs and waddle out to our waiting taxi. Heavenly.

That was just one of several culinary delights, but I think you've had quite enough for the time being. Now do you believe me when I say I'm Full Up?


Jonny E said...

Wow! That is one hell of a slap-up feast. I can now see why the facebook status was updated to feeling pleasantly fat (at least I think that's what you had). I would have to agree that a whole family of Potter readers would not score highly on Jeremy Clarkson's cool wall.

Glad to hear The Simpsons Movie is funny - I'm worried to watch it that it might not be as good as the tv show. Fantastic Four I've seen and it's perfectly good harmless fun, but pretty forgettable. Have just seen The Bourne Ultimatum (good if you like the others). And talking of books/films. Having just finished the Bourne Identity. Film far, far better.

Chris said...

Hi Jonny,

Simpsons movie is great. see it.

Regarding the Bourne trilogy: I read all three books years before the first film came out, and I loved them. With anything like this, you should to book OR film, or book THEN film, but never film THEN book: you'll always be disappointed, particularly if the book is old. Robert Ludlum wrote them in the late seventies/early eighties I think.

Laura said...

You absolute gannit! You ate more there than over 2 Christmas'.
Can't believe you didnt mention Elliot's exam results!

Children looking stunning - and far too grown up!