Jena Bakery’s buttery-based chocolate diamonds are the true gems in Bahrain’s culinary crown

Jena Bakery Bahrain chocolate diamonds

Thomas Gold Appleton once quipped that when good Americans die, they go to Paris.

Yet it’s hard not to wonder if a single taste of the chocolate diamond at Jena Bakery might have swayed him to reroute heaven’s expressway straight to Bahrain.

Eating one of these confections is, after all, like getting a hug from a long-lost friend.

Imagine a humble biscuit base – not your garden-variety biscuit base, but one that’s so so sumptuously buttery, it begins to melt in your mouth at the faintest hint of a nibble.

As if that’s not enough, the diamond is then crowned with a generous slab of chocolate so thick, it asserts a delicious dominance over the entire creation.

The recipe, guarded with a fervour that makes Fort Knox look positively laissez-faire, is a family heirloom, etched not on paper (that would be far too risky) but in the minds of its creators.

Perhaps surprisingly, the owner of Jena Bakery isn’t actually called Jena at all – the place is named after her daughter.

She is, in fact, Narise Kamber, whose baking origin story is steeped in the sepia tones of childhood, evoking the nostalgia of family gatherings at her grandparents’ house in nearby Manama.

The chocolate diamonds have graced the display cases since the bakery first opened its doors decades ago, and due to their success have often been imitated by local rivals – although that would be like using crayon to reproduce the Mona Lisa.

But for the real McCoy, venture to the brilliant original in Hamala, just a stone’s throw from the motorway.

Here, delivery drivers line up like penguins, ready to ferry parcels of the coveted treats in sixes and 12s to the sweet-toothed of Bahrain.

Crossing the threshold, the air is thick with the sweet, heady aromas of fresh baking.

Take the Nutella squares – chocolatey love letters, dense and fudgy, each bite one of hazelnut-chocolate bliss.

Then there are the pink lemonade cakes, born from the culinary genius of Narise’s progeny, Nabil.

They’re edible summer days, where each slice is a balance of tart whimsy and sugary flirtation, as if sunshine and laughter were baked into a sponge.

If your sweet tooth is still standing unvanquished, it’s about to meet its Waterloo in the form of Jena Bakery’s Herculean dessert bowls.

Here, you have a choice – to plunge into the depths of a mango trifle, a layered affair of fruit and cream, or to face down the enigmatic allure of the chocolate surprise.

Either way, it’s a foregone conclusion – they’re both unabashedly, unapologetically delicious.

In Jena Bakery’s sweet showdown, there are ultimately no losers – only blissfully defeated palates, surrendering to the irresistible allure of cakes, bakes, and those chocolate diamonds.

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