Ignore the décor and come for the thalis.
As happens so often, we discovered Woodlands whilst looking for something else. In the baking furnace of midday Manama, we had hoped to come across a Gujarati vegetarian restaurant. When we found it, it was derelict and abandoned and the shutters hadn’t been opened for what could’ve been years.
Disappointed, we threw caution to the wind (figuratively speaking, as we will visit anywhere) and opted for the closest restaurant we could see to spare ourselves from the heat. Inside, the restaurant was painted in a dark, ill-advised plum color and one of the piercing white lights was strobing. This, combined with the flickering shadows from the fans whipping around, gave me a feeling which I can only liken to sea sickness and I was unusually quiet for most of the meal. I’m sure Mo was secretly delighted!
Woodlands is a vegetarian restaurant and, of course, we had arrived at lunch time, which can only mean one thing… thali time!
Within minutes we were tucking into a small, yet deceptively filling lunch complete with steaming chapatti and an abundance of rice. Our thalis contained an interesting dish which we initially thought was a tofu curry but, in fact, the little sausagey-looking things turned out to be made from chickpea flour and were actually really tasty! The channa dish was also a surprise with its fruity, turmeric-infused sauce.
All in all, the food was excellent and I would happily return for a pit stop whilst on a souq wander!
Location: Manama Souq
Every day: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.