Inside Fishbone, the latest restaurant from Chef Susy Massetti

Fishbone is by Chef Susy Massetti. (Supplied)
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Updated 21 February 2020

Inside Fishbone, the latest restaurant from Chef Susy Massetti

MANAMA: Chef Susy Massetti is a long-established star of the region’s culinary scene — from five-star hotel kitchens in the UAE and Bahrain to her unique concept at Bahrain’s multi-award-winning Masso by Chef Susy Massetti.

Having left Masso just over two years ago, many Gulf foodies were left wondering where she had gone. The answer is Fishbone, a gorgeous spot tucked away in the Novotel Al-Dana Resort, close to town but with a seaside feel, where she has had a hand in everything from the interior setup — even down to the fabric design — to, of course, the kitchen and menu (which, by the way, is not all seafood).




The restaurant has a gorgeous, and uber-romantic, outdoor terrace with liberal sprinkling of fairy lights. (Supplied)

I was lucky enough to try out a selection of chef’s recommendations on a cool evening recently — and no, this is not the customary British obsession with the weather, but an excuse to mention the gorgeous, and uber-romantic, outdoor terrace with its liberal sprinkling of fairy lights. I chose to sit inside because of the chill, but it will surely be warmer soon.

I was by the ceviche, knowing it to be one of Chef Susy’s signature dishes. But, instead, I went with the recommendation of Fishbone’s Poke Bowl — sushi-grade tuna with avocado, red onions, sesame seeds, coriander and black rice, with Asian dressing.




Chef Susy Massetti is a long-established star of the region’s culinary scene. (Supplied)

Firstly, it looks beautiful, with the black rice adding a visual twist. And that same black rice also contributes to the texture mix, slightly rougher and nuttier than its white counterpart. The abundant raw tuna is a fish lover’s dream, fresh and succulent. The flavor additions are a perfect mix, giving just the right piquancy without overpowering the tuna. If you’re not a fan of coriander, don’t feel shy about asking for it to be omitted, the kitchen is very happy to oblige — though you’ll be missing out slightly.

For my main course, I was delighted to discover a whole section of the menu devoted to truffles. In an ‘Every day’s a school day’ moment, Chef Susy informed me that, as well as working with top-quality imports, she’s also a big fan of local truffles. I never even knew such a thing existed. Apparently, in season, the desert sands of Saudi Arabia are abundant with both white and black truffles and they’re particularly plentiful after rainfall.




Fishbone is a gorgeous spot tucked away in the Novotel Al-Dana Resort in Bahrain. (Supplied) 

I chose white truffle risotto. In my view, it’s the ultimate comfort food, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Arborio rice was perfectly cooked — tender and creamy without a hint of stickiness. The generous portion of wafer-thin truffle slices, pungent, and with that unmistakable delicate taste, was the cherry on the cake, so to speak.

Purely in the interests of research, you understand, I went for a second main of Branzino Al Limone — seabass fillet with a classic lemon-and-caper sauce. Delicious! The flesh was that perfect consistency of fall-off-the-fork tender but still firm enough to retain its robust meaty texture and the accompanying sauce demonstrates the skill of the kitchen — the simplest dishes are often the hardest to get right.




In season, the desert sands of Saudi Arabia are abundant with both white and black truffles and they’re particularly plentiful after rainfall. (Supplied)

At this point, I have to confess that I should have taken the advice on the menu: “Life is short, leave space for the cake.” With choices including chocolate toffee pudding with mascarpone cream, strawberries with jaggery and balsamic syrup, and baked yoghurt with fresh berries, I would have been very much in my element. Sadly, I simply could not fit any more in — the price for having two main courses. However, I shall treat my omission as an excuse to return, not that one is needed.

And if you’re in Saudi Arabia, you don’t need to wait for your next trip across the causeway to sample Chef Susy’s culinary creations, as you’ll also find her at the recently launched Eat’sy on the corniche in Alkhobar. I feel a road trip coming on.


Jameela Jamil to guest star in ‘Red Table Talk’

Updated 19 October 2020

Jameela Jamil to guest star in ‘Red Table Talk’

DUBAI: British actress Jameela Jamil took to social media this week to tease her appearance in an upcoming episode of “Red Table Talk,” Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Facebook talk show series.

According to Jamil, who is of Pakistani and Indian descent, she will talk about being “an honest, open and rebellious feminist-in-progress” during the American web television show.

“Coming soon. My cup runneth over. I got to sit at the holy red table about what it’s like to be an honest, open and rebellious feminist-in-progress. Obsessed with these powerful, present and amazing women,” she wrote to her 3.3 million Instagram followers, alongside a photo of herself with the Pinkett-Smith family, including Jada’s daughter with husband Will Smith, Willow, as well as her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones. 

Naturally, Jamil’s friends couldn’t contain their excitement about the upcoming episode, taking to the comment section to share their anticipation. 

“SO COOL,” wrote singer and actress Demi Lovato. 

Plus-size blogger CeCe Olisa commented: “This is going to be good.”

Indeed, not one to hold back, Jamil is known for unapologetically speaking her mind and weigh in on the important issues facing women today, even if it affects her career. “I just cannot stay silent any more, I can’t. I don’t care if I’m going down – I’m going down in flames. I’m fine to not work in this industry. But I’m not fine to not say something,” she told The Guardian in a past interview.

The 34-year-old, who is the founder of the I Weigh movement that focuses on self-worth and body positivity beyond the scale, routinely takes to her social media accounts to talk about issues of body positivity and the #MeToo movement.

She’s been open about her own personal struggles with body image, such as an eating disorder she grappled with in her teens.

Additionally, the actress, who is known for playing Tahani Al-Jamil in sitcom “The Good Place,” is also known for telling wild stories. 

“Red Table Talk” premiered on May 7, 2018, on Facebook Watch. Previous guests on the online show include US comedian Tiffany Haddish, singer Toni Braxton, “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo and US singer Ciara, among many others.