As someone who has reinvented themselves a couple of times over the years (a gal needs a new look/job/handbag), I know the importance of keeping relevant.
Doha’s dining scene will add more new players in coming months, so the pressure is on the “old favorites” to hold their nerve and seek new inspiration while also attracting new diners as well as keeping existing ones happy.
W Doha is one of those hotels that consistently raises the bar for food and entertainment in this city. For the sake of transparency I spend a lot of time at this hotel and its hardworking team are extremely smart, active and generous when it comes to bloggers in this town. When new menus are launched I am often invited to sample and give feedback by the team.
Consistently one of the best restaurants in town, I consider this my “local” – you will also see someone you know there and the staff are always welcoming. Familiarity does sometimes build boredom, and while there are items on the menu I hope never change, I was craving something new, creative yet also comforting.
I was not disappointed. Highlights included the spider crab sushi roll. W make some of the best, most innovative sushi in town and this is their latest creation – the crispy deep fried spider crab and a hit of chilli made for a firey start.
As a seafood lover, I usually shy away from lobster in this country. Omani lobster tends to be tasteless and rubbery and just disappointing. Lobster from Canada and the US sometimes lose something in the transport. Luckily this Maine lobster, which arrives live (“it’s like a zoo in the kitchen”, said the chef) was served with German spatzle which is essentially pasta. Light and deceptively tasty.
The only slight miss for me was a foie gras dish which was a little heavy. I also have a conflicted relationship with foie gras. As a food blogger I feel immense pressure to like it. I really am not a fan of offal and foie gras is controversial anyway. However I did try a bit and the top is bruleed which was a great foil to the heavy savory element of the liver. Those who love the liver will like this interpretation.
The star of the night for me was the braised short rib, which as my dining companion noted, literally fell apart on the fork. Rich, complex, deeply flavored and served with a beautiful mess of herbs and parnsip puree, it’s top of my list for comfort food favorites. It’s the sort of dosh you don’t want to share…
Desserts included this beautifully presented lemon tart. While I am not a dessert expert, the tartness was balanced with the creamy vanilla icecream.
The Market recently had a little makeover – it’s much warmer and cosier but still retains the bustling vibe.Service as always is excellent and the night we visited (a Tuesday), it was full of locals, expats and hotel guests all enjoying the food and ambiance.
Yes I was a guest of the W Doha and yes I am a regular in the hotel and it’s outlets, but frankly this place and this restaurant have very few peers in this town. When you go to Market, it’s the whole package – a warm welcome, impeccable service and consistently excellent food. Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent yourself, just a few tweaks will do.
Market by Jean Georges at W Doha
West Bay, Doha
Phone: +974 4453 5135
*Life on the Wedge was a guest of W Doha for the evening but views are my own, unless it’s what Adele said, because then, well, yeah they are her views because she’s awesome.