Friday, September 25, 2015


Location: Champs

Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch
Price: 7.700 BHD
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Lord's Pie (chicken and bacon cream pie)
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Oh boy, you betcha

I arrived in Bahrain yesterday morning.  We were picked up at the airport around 9:30am and spent the rest of the morning getting our base access sorted.  After this we were taken to our hotel, the Grand Juffair Hotel, which is about 10 minutes walking distance from the US Navy base here.  The hotel has several restaurants and clubs in it, one of which is Champs, a British-style pub.  After getting checked in my boss and co-worker and I sat down for lunch there.

I had seen via the Internet that they had some meat pies, something I absolutely love and I cannot find any good ones in Japan. My boss suggested the Lord's Pie (chicken and bacon in a cream sauce) as a good one to try, so I went for that.  It took a looooong time to cook, and I found out later they usually warn it takes 30 - 40 minutes.  Well, nice to know ahead of time.  It's definitely not cheap...none of these places are.  The discrepancy in prices between the fancy expat style restaurants and the "normal" people restaurants is stunning.  I ate breakfast this morning for .550 BHD (about $1.50), and this pie cost me 7.700 BHD ( about $20...I know the menu says it should be cheaper but I think there are several extra charges that get added on automatically).  Thank goodness for per diem, otherwise I'd never get to try the more expensive places.

The pie itself was very good.  It's not a complete crust, but the crust sits on top of a porcelain style bowl which is full of the filling.  It comes out extremely hot and requires more minutes to cool down to edible temperatures.  I was only able to eat about half of it and had the rest for dinner later last night.  Was it worth $20?  Hmmm...not frequently.  An occasional special meal?  Sure.

The other aspect to the place is the smoking.'s a real bar alright.  Funny how I've gotten used to Japanese places where smoking is allowed, but usually the ventilation is very adequate, so even though it stinks, the intense second hand smoke is less of an issue there.  This was a room full of expats smoking up a storm and it seemed to go nowhere.  My clothes and beard stank like smoke so bad afterwards I had to take a shower.  So I can't say I'm looking forward to returning precisely.

Luckily, the restaurant is in my hotel, so I can go down, order a pie, leave, then come back and pick it up (or maybe they deliver) should I want to try a different one.  Honestly though, there are so many places to try here this time, I may not get around to it.  If it weren't for the smoke and the price, I would give it a Very Good, but unfortunately I have to rate it Ok for now.

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