Monday Prime Club, Intercontinental Doha the City

Prime is one of my favourite Doha restaurants, its one of the few places I have rated 5/5 on Zomato, so when I was invited to try Monday Prime Club it was an offer I couldn’t refuse despite it being a school night. When we arrived at Prime we were intercepted by the wonderful Ally and directed to Strata where we chose drinks and took in the amazing view. Soon, other people from our group arrived and we had an hour or so chatting over drinks and delicious canapes. This was a great way to break the ice as we didn’t know any of the other diners so it was nice and informal rather than going straight to our table.


We were then taken into Prime and the large table had been beautifully arranged with individual place settings, the menu and a lovely personalised gift. Ally explained the night – 6 courses of food, wine pairings and a surprise ‘dessert extravaganza’. The wine had been decanted and so after each pairing we were challenged to guess the type of wine and its country. I scored 1/8 because I correctly guessed identified Argentina. This was a really nice touch as it was lighthearted and fun. Executive Chef Emmanuel also spoke to us about the ingredients, all personally selected and ordered in just for this menu and reflecting the products of the season.


The food theatre began with our first course of smoked salmon which was presented in a glass cloche. Once the lid was removed the smoke rose up releasing a wonderful aroma. It was perfect balance of flavours and the buttery bread was a great match. Our whole table went silent (and we’d been talking a lot!).


We then were served bouillabaisse, the bowl arrived on our table with a selection of rock fish and saffron then a delicious, deep, seafood soup was poured into the bowl out of a tea pot. Lots of ‘wows’ all around. It was velvety smooth, beautifully delicate yet packed with flavour. Chef advised that we add the rouille onto the croutons and place into the soup to absorb the flavour this worked wonderfully well. I think it may well be the best soup I have ever tasted.


Next to arrive was the guinea fowl which is a meat I love but my favourite element of the dish was the small cabbage stuffed with duck confit. I whispered to Greg it was like a mini Christmas dinner but luckily one of the other diners announced it reminded him of Thanksgiving so we were all thinking along the same tracks! Even the chef described it as ‘comfort food’ now winter has arrived in Doha.


Ally then appeared at our table with a knife selection for the venison. I love how they do this in Prime as they talk you through the knives and advise which would be best based on your cut of meat. I chose a pepper tree wood which smelt amazing, if anyone had been watching they would have thought we were crazy all sat sniffing our knives! 


The sniffing was interrupted by the arrival of the venison. Tender, meaty with a touch of sweetness from the chestnuts and the textures with the crunch of veg and silky smooth celeriac puree were heavenly.


By now we had eaten several courses and next to arrive was the goats cheese ice cream with tomato foam and rosemary biscuits. The presentation was wonderful as it was served in a little glass jar along with mini baster of olive oil. For me this dish was a little rich as I am not a fan of tomato based sauces though the goats cheese ice cream was lovely and not strong. My fellow diners devoured it in a few spoonfuls. 

We were then told to get our cameras for the ‘dessert extravaganza’ and we were led into the private dining area. What was to follow was insanely good. Chef Emmanuel and his team had set out 2 huge chocolate shells on a large marble slab and then, for the next 4 minutes, proceeded to create a work of art using chocolate sauce, fruit and cream ending with the lights being turned out and a spectacular flambe show. It was such fun and incredible to watch a ‘blank canvas’ turn into something that looked so spectacular. It was great to then sit as a group and dig in with spoons to try everything laid out in front of us. It was a chocoholics dream. I have never experienced anything like it before and the desserts were delicious, especially the molten lava chocolate cake with chilli, which definitely had a bit of a kick.

By now it was past my bedtime and we headed home, while others went to Al Jalsa garden to end their night. I can’t explain how good the food was, I don’t think my photographs can do it justice unfortunately. If you are a lover of fine dining with paired with perfectly selected wines this is a night you must not miss. By the end of the evening  we had eaten incredible food, drunk wonderful wines and spent a few hours in the company of a group of people we’d never met before but made the night such fun. Of course, non of this would have been possible without the brilliant team at Prime and the Intercon. Though it was our first experience of Prime Club there were other people around the table who had been several times and one person who was there for the sixth time so that seems to indicate what a special night it is, people coming back again and again. You are also guaranteed a difference experience each time so you never know what to expect! 

 

If you are a lover of fine dining, a real foodie or have a real foodie in your life and you want to treat yourself / them this would be perfect. The next Monday Prime Club is on December 5th, places are strictly limited to 10 people so make sure you book in advance (📞40158888). Go, I assure you it will be a meal you will remember for a long time to come. Monday Prime Club is priced at 900QR inclusive of wine pairings and 650QR without.

This is a video clip of how dessert was created. You have to agree it’s fantastic!   

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* Please note that on this occasion I was a guest of Prime however as always all opinions, photographs and even the videos are my own* 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Anvil Rooms, Tornado Tower

A few months ago the Anvil Rooms ran their New York Restaurant Week promotion, it was so good we went twice within a few days so I was very happy to hear it was running again from July 21st – August 15th. We reserved a table for 1pm and when we arrived it was very quiet, we had a table next to the window with a fantastic view of the corniche. I really like the design of the restaurant, the industrial steel theme, heavy red leather chairs and dark wood its all feels very New York and the service is always very good.

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For starters I opted for beetroot with goats cheese which was packed with flavour, the various beetroot had retained their bite and combined beautifully with the very creamy goats cheese, sometimes the portion sizes seem small but this was perfect. Greg had the chicken terrine with sour dough bread – the terrine was very coarse and the chicken was so soft and flavoursome with a slight aniseed aftertaste. The vegetables on top were crunchy and it was very well presented it was really nice but he said he wished there was another slice of sour dough but to be fair we did still have the bread basket which is one of the best in the city

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For my main I chose barbeque kingfish as I am trying to eat more fish and I had never tried it before – I am so glad I did. I was told the chef recommended it be cooked medium so I took this advice, the fish had been cooked perfectly and had a crispy skin but was so meaty and flavoursome I didn’t want to stop eating it which is the sign of a good meal. The cubes of orange and thick citrus dressing complimented the fish really well though I couldn’t taste any coriander. Greg had slow cooked beef cheek which he loves and had been looking forward to and was not disappointed. The meat was so tender it just fell apart, it was perfect even the small amount of fat was delicious! We were given three small pots of sides to share – salad, fries and spinach which was ample.

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For dessert I had cheesecake which is my favourite dessert so there were high expectations, to be honest I was a bit disappointed as I found the base was quite heavy and soggy, it didn’t really have any taste and the cheese filling was just ok. The strawberries and jelly with it were sharp and added much needed taste to the dish. Greg has s’mores sundae which again he found a bit disappointing. The marshmallow had been wrapped around the ice cream and there were a sprinkling of crackers scattered around it with the chocolate sauce poured on top. He found it all a bit too rich and to be fair what he got looks very different to the images of the dish on the restaurants website so maybe they have changed it slightly. When we go back we would probably choose different desserts as the desserts we had last time ( notably the millionaire sundae) were fantastic.

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I really recommend going to the Anvil Rooms especially during Restaurant Week. The food is excellent quality and added to fantastic service and lovely surroundings it makes for a special meal. For 3 courses at lunch is it 91QR and for dinner 138QR which is great value. We paid 285 QR( incl tip) for 3 courses each, a bottle of water and a cucumber lemonade.Although the full menu was available we chose from the Restaurant Week menu.

The Anvil Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato