Thursday nights. My Waterloo.
Me. The couch.
There are very few things that will get me out of my stretchy pants. Even fewer things that will prize the TV remote and Netflix privileges out of my cold, dead hands.
That…that will do it. I mean, I even put on makeup!
It was a bit of a bittersweet event though – one of the last times I would get to dine with my blogging and culinary partners in crime Sara and Gerald who are leaving me to fend for myself and each leaving Doha for exotic Asian climes. I’m bereft.
But also hungry.
While not exactly a review (I was a willing guest of Four Seasons), this is rather an in-depth look at this special menu, selected by their chef, to celebrate their second year of operation and the standout dishes.
The menu spotlights their greatest hits – while seafood heavy it can be adapted to cater for even the pickiest eaters.
Nobu’s dishes really shine when they allow the ingredients to speak for themselves, which is why their salmon with lime and ponzu (a citrusy Japanese sauce) is always so successful.
In a city obsessed with sushi in all its forms, Nobu really sets itself apart. Their selection of sushi for this menu is spot on. A favorite being the scallop version, with the perfect balance of rice and silky scallop meat.
I’ve never eaten as much lobster as I have while living in Doha. It’s everywhere. Unfortunately, it’s not always good. Omani lobster tends to be tough and tasteless. Canadian lobster, when you can get it, is superior in taste and texture. This addition to the menu feels both luxe and over the top. Yuzu again makes an appearance, giving it a fresh and clean feel offset by the deep unami of the miso dressing. This is a standout dish, not just for the presentation but also the flavor.
Speaking of decadent, the king crab leg with a truffle crust may not be the prettiest dish I’ve eaten all year, but it was one of the most satisfying. The crab hails from Alaska and clearly those clear, cold waters work wonders on their crustaceans. The meat is fork tender and the truffle crust, luckily is not overwhelming. Rather it’s crispy with a hint of earthy truffle.
I could have ended the meal right there and been happy. But a generous portion of Wagyu with foie gras and apple was there to tip me over the edge of gluttony. This is a rich dish, the foie gras taking on an almost beefy flavor when paired with the equally intense Wagyu. I had hoped for some light relief from the apple, but this flavor was a little lost and needs to be amped up.
A matcha fondant was a little flat and heavy at the end of such a prolific meal. I love matcha (yep, hipster tendencies coming through), but this was a little too muddy. The mango sorbet however was sharp and soothing all at once.
I’m a lucky woman – I get to eat here regularly as a guest (this time) and as a paying customer (its a favorite for AZ and I as well as for my tribe). This menu is an illustration of how Nobu has evolved from a part of this eponymous empire into a restaurant with its own identity. Not every dish is stellar, but when combined, as the sum of its parts, it would be hard to find a better fine dining experience in this city.
It’s always a joy to eat at Nobu and this menu should please both the regulars and the newcomers looking for a fairly priced way (QR450 for six courses) to experience this landmark destination.
Nobu Doha Anniversary Omakase Menu
QR450 for six courses
Available from 1 May
Phone: +974 4494 8500
*As I said, I was a guest of Nobu for the purpose of trying this menu. Did it influence my views? The fact that I regularly choose to dine there under my own steam and credit card should speak for itself.