The weather last weekend was a bit of a wash out. However, it was perfect for a long, leisurely lunch which was exactly what we did on Friday as I’d been invited to brunch at C. taste, the restaurant at Centro Capital Hotel. I can imagine some of you are thinking ‘where?’ ‘never heard of it!’ that’s probably because it’s relatively new and tucked away just off C Ring road near Barwa Tower. First impressions of the hotel were good, there’s valet parking (which is vital as parking in the area is limited) and the reception area is very modern with lots of natural light.
C.taste, the all day dining restaurant is split into two sections, we chose to sit by the window away from the bar area – the other section is by the bar and the main lobby. The modern design of the hotel continued through to the restaurant with the light, bright, modern ‘monochrome with a splash of lime’ theme. I liked the variety of seating from benches seating 2/4 people to raised breakfast bars with fabulous overhead light and tables for bigger groups of 10-12 people. It felt quite cosy and created a nice ambience. The area we were in was also non smoking and I suggest, if you are sensitive to the smell of smoke, you ask for a table here as on the lower seating area you can smell smoke from the bar.
We then went for a look at the dishes on offer. At the enterance to the restaurant there was a tempting display of tapas, however they were not labeled. I stuck to the dishes that were pretty obvious such as smoked salmon and cream cheese bites and dates wrapped in bacon, both of which tasted good. I asked about the labels and they explained that they had just introduced this section and everything will be labelled in the future, as all their other dishes are.
There was also very good range of salads. I am not a fan of lettuce, I think its pointless (unless it’s in a caesar salad) and I was pleased to see some thought had gone into the salad selection. I really enjoyed the seared tuna with mango and avocado, the thai beef, chicken with pineapple and the flaked salmon with broccoli and citrus.
Moving on there were 3 rustic buckets filled with crab, prawn and mussels with a choice of dips and sauces. The seafood was very fresh and seemed popular with our fellow diners as well as ourselves.
The ‘hot’ section offered spicy tom yum soup and a milder roasted pumpkin served with a selection of fresh breads. There was also a good range of main courses such as chicken roulade with pesto (very good) beef stew which was perfect for the rainy weather, black angus striploin with yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes.
For sushi lovers there was a small but perfectly formed section and, although not a huge choice, it was well executed. One of my favourite dishes was the beef carpaccio which was sliced thinly with a drizzle of oil, peppery rocket and salty parmesan.
We were also able to order from the grill and selected lamb chops which were juicy and well seasoned and some spicy tandoori chicken. These grilled meats, along with fresh pasta dishes, are freshly cooked to order and brought to your table.
Overall I was impressed with the choice of savoury dishes. I liked the presentation on small serving platters which meant that food was replenished quickly. There was a large group seated near us and I couldn’t help but notice they were happily tucking into plates of tender beef, crispy yorkshires, roast potatoes and gravy on this very rainy day!
Dessert was next and whilst it the choice was as extensive as at some brunches there would be something to appeal to most people. From traditional Arabic Umm Ali and ‘oriental desserts’, individual rocky roads, mahalabiya, cheesecake, fruit tart, chocolate brownies plus platters of chocolates, turkish delight and macarons.
My favourites were the shot glasses of thick cream with strawberry coulis and the rich rocky road. I loved the biscuit based on the cheesecake but found the topping too much like a mousse, we also felt the macarons were too hard and dry, the consistency was more biscuit like. There was also a range of cheeses with fruit and biscuits which I was far too full to try!
Overall I felt that the Friday brunch at C. taste is very competitively priced and represents good value for money. The buffet including water/ fresh juice is 185QR and 249QR for the package which includes wine, beer and spirits. This brunch is perfect for people wanting a relaxing Friday with a good selection of well presented, fresh food using quality ingredients. The service was friendly and efficient throughout, although we did point out that cutlery needs replacing once plates have been removed. This is not a wild, dancing, party brunch but has a nice atmosphere with the staff always on hand if needed. I also think it would be suitable for people with older children and for those who want a non smoking environment. A good addition to the Friday brunch scene, and for those not wanting to spend 400QR+ per person.
*please note that I was a guest of the hotel, I have provided an honest account of my experience and all photos are my own*