It was 7:30am. I rolled over in bed and blinked groggily at Cody. He was sleeping peacefully, the room was still dark, our bed still warm. But after a restless night I was wide awake. It was January 1st and we had been at a NYE party all night and hadn’t crawled into bed until 3am. But the bed we crawled into wasn’t ours; we were staying at the Ritz, and I’m cursed with hotel insomnia. At home in my own bed I sleep like a baby, but whenever we stay at a hotel, no matter how tired I am, no matter how comfortable the bed, for at least the first few nights I struggle to sleep.
“Cody,” I whispered. “Are you awake?”
No response. I gave him the gentlest of shoves. “Cody, I’m hungry.”
“You’re always hungry,” came the muffled response from under the pile of blankets.
I had to concede he was right. “Yes, but now I’m really hungry.”
His lack of response elicited another of my gentle shoves and maybe a tickle or two. When it comes to food I’m ruthless.
Some begging and pleading and tickle harassment later, we ended up happily (in my case) heading to Emmawash.
There has been a lot of buzz about Emmawash lately and I was excited to check it out. It is the perfect place for snap-happy gluttons and their endlessly patient husbands. (Did I mention that no matter how early I wake up I’m annoyingly chatty and chipper?)
Emmawash is on Budaiya highway which makes it easy to find and convenient for my Saudi pals coming over the causeway. As soon as you walk inside you’ll notice a few things: the amazing aromas of fresh bread, spicy eggs, and molten cheese drifting out of the kitchen; the smiling faces of the staff (erm…except for the dude in the picture below…); and the amazing artwork all over the walls.
The waiter led us to our table, past the busy kitchen with its glowing oven and through the crowded dining room where I had to stop myself from drooling over people’s plates of food, and of course, past the vibrant, eclectic, and cheerful artwork. He left us with icy bottles of water, a menu, a pencil, and a pen. That will be important later…
One thing that sets Emmawash apart from the crowd is that it combines the fresh ideas and funky vibe that Bahrain has long associated with it’s upscale restaurants, with budget-friendly pricing and a laid back atmosphere. It reminded me of restaurants in Austin, Texas, but Emmawash is a Bahraini creation through and through.
I was ravenous and we quickly made our menu selections, and poor exhausted Cody ordered a big cup of coffee.
We went for the egg with potato (added cheese, of course), their most popular dish which is egg and tomato, and an order of bread and cheese. (Yes, I like a little breakfast with my cheese.)
As we waited for our breakfast a man with a dauntingly professional looking camera approached me to offer some very helpful tips on how to use my camera. Turns out he specializes in teaching classes on photography, and he was at Emmawash for the next few days to take pictures for their social media. (Told you there has been a buzz about this place!) I thought that was so quintessentially Bahrain; the people here, whether they are expat or local, have the friendliest, most approachable attitude.
Breakfast arrived and we dove in!
The eggs with potato and cheese was definitely my favorite! Just look at that perfection.
As we ate our way through the deliciousness even Cody had to admit that it was worth waking up at the crack of dawn to feast at Emmawash. Every dish we had was tasty, the eggs were fluffy and cheesy, the tomatoes tangy, the bread fresh and flavorful, and the service was fast and friendly. To finish we ordered cups of hot sweet tea and savored the start of 2015.
As we sipped we watched the lively crowd eat their breakfasts, Instagram pictures of themselves posing in front of the murals, and add their own artwork to the ever growing masterpiece.
I wanted to wander upstairs to the majlis area, but first I had to leave my mark!
The art upstairs is made all the more stunning by the floor to ceiling glass windows that front the restaurant and flood the entire space with light. Two large majlis sections are filled with cozy pillows and are the perfect place for a big party.
Emmawash was everything I’d been hoping it would be: authentic and delicious Bahraini food, a laid back vibe with some amazingly cool artwork, enough strong coffee to wake up my sleep deprived husband, and an affordable price tag. Our whole feast only cost us 5BD/50SAR. Picture perfect, if you ask me!