The Hevea Café story
How a tour of South-East Asia inspired a unique Bahrain destination
Hevea Café is fast becoming a firm favourite among food fans in Bahrain. And it’s all down to the inspiration that Bahraini entrepreneur Khalid Alshakrani took when he toured South-East Asia a few years ago: “I was infatuated with the food and the historic connection of French colonialism in the region. And I said the first thing I’m going to do when I come back to Bahrain is to create the first Indochine restaurant here.“
And Khalid did just that, although he took his time to ensure everything was just right, starting with where it was going to be. “I identified the Al A’ali Mall as the best location. Somehow I convinced the Mall management, and the next week I came and made a hole in the wall of the Mall and said ‘Now I have to deliver!’”
And deliver he certainly did, although it took 18 months to create the café, the décor and the menus and to bring all the professionals together. First though, Khalid decided on the name. “Hevea” is a type of rubber tree which is widespread in South-East Asia. The name thereby symbolises not just regional authenticity but naturalness and flexibility as befits the menu and everything else within.
About The Cuisine
Indo-Chinese cuisine is where the ingredients and techniques of France and its South-East Asian colonies of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam meet. To bring to life this culinary match made in heaven, Khalid chose the celebrated French Chef Guy Gateau. It’s Chef Guy who introduced signature dishes such as Escoffier Madras King Fish Tonneau – follow the link to view a video of him creating this dish. He also visits the kitchens daily to check on the quality of the food.
As Chef Guy says, “The product is my trademark” – and what products they are. From the appetisers and entrees to desserts and special themed menus. Even the fresh breakfast croissants and teatime scones, eclairs and other pastries and cakes are to his specifications. All breads, cakes and pastries are made on the premises. From Hevea Caesar Salad (where wontons add an Eastern touch) to Banana Beignets (with honey lime caramel sauce) you‘ll find that the familiar is deliciously different, and that there are new dishes that could become classics in their own right.
We also believe it’s important to be healthy as well as indulgent, which is why so much care is taken with selecting individual ingredients. For example using agave as a natural sweetener in some recipes, and taking particular care in our beverages, which include a wide range of smoothies and other healthy drinks, and which feature the freshest ingredients possible.