If you’re exploring the bustling Manama, take a break and walk through the doors of The Merchant House, Bahrain’s first five-star boutique hotel. With an impressive art collection, books curated by The Ultimate Library of Oxford, and a charming vibe within its lively interiors, The Merchant House is a different world in the middle of the ever-busy streets of the island’s capital.
Leading the culinary team at the boutique hotel is Executive Chef Nirmal Pant. He oversees food and beverage offerings, and in-room dining for the hotel’s 46 suites. With nearly 20 years of experience under his belt, Chef Pant is a sustainability champion in the kitchen, known for his imaginative take on fine dining.
With roots in India, Chef Nirmal’s approach to food is inspired by the farm-to-table practices of his family. Whether it was using fresh milk, to make cheese, yoghurt, and clarified butter (ghee) from scratch or preparing dishes in a way that retains their organic value, Chef Nirmal brings a wealth of knowledge to the TMH kitchen, informed by his own experiences with food.
“My parents grew vegetables in their house garden. We would prepare seasonal dishes with minimal cooking methods – they were blanched and lightly sauteed to preserve the natural flavours of the produce,” recalls Chef Nirmal. This form of wholesome cooking and sustainable living inspires his seasonal menu at the hotel’s FAB Brunches every Friday and Saturday.
In the run-up to Ramadan, we were keen on finding out more about what’s happening at The Merchant House during the month. “We invite the citizens and residents of Bahrain to experience Ramadan in the hotel’s artistic surroundings. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a special set menu and a High Tea experience that includes Turkish Coffee and a selection of finger foods, featuring some of the month’s most cherished delights,” says Chef Nirmal.
“During Ramadan Nights, guests will be treated to a six-course meal that offers a variety of dishes such as cold and hot mezze, salads, soup, Australian Lamb Chop, TMH Butter Chicken, Stuffed French Corn-fed Chicken Breast, and Australian Rib Eye. The Merchant House will reflect the spirit of the month with live entertainment to accompany the meal and enhance the Ramadan experience,” he adds.
His concepts such as the “B-lated Breakfast” programme which allows guests to enjoy breakfast options all day and, “Afternoon T” with refreshing tea blends, sandwiches, and pastries have added to the many culinary options available to guests at the hotel.
Recently, The Merchant House launched “ChocoLAB” in partnership with Auro Chocolates to serve a range of chocolate desserts and drinks and promote sustainable farming practices. At ChocoLAB, you will find Chef Nirmal preparing some decadent treats such as fondue, choux pastry, or iced chocolate with organic ingredients – cardamom, mint, and wild orange. P.S. We have tried some of these chocolate delights and they definitely are a must-try (Read here).
Combining his two popular concepts – ChocoLAB and Afternoon T, the hotel has launched “Chocolate Afternoon T” to give guests the chance to enjoy some of the best chocolate desserts, and pastries, along with tea or chocolate beverages.
Whether you’re heading to the Indigo Terrace for the weekend FAB Brunch for Chef Nirmal’s Mediterranean cuisine and authentic Asian delicacies or to Cafe Gray for homemade cakes, salads, and sandwiches, you can enjoy his creations while admiring the views of a busy Manama.
Call +973 16671000 or WhatsApp +973 66655118 to book your table at the hotel.