Bentley’s Grill, Radisson Blu

As Greg will confirm I spent many hours reading reviews of places I may never go and pouring over menus selecting dishes I’ll probably never eat. It’s the same when I’m invited to a restaurant. I’ll do some research by reading previous reviews to get a feel for the place. So, when I was invited to Bentley’s, I did some research and found overwhelmingly positive feedback about the food and service. One referred to the ‘wacky’ interior which had my interest! On arrival instead of ‘wacky’ interior I found a beautifully designed restaurant reminiscent of a dining room in a Scottish castle I’d been to many years ago. Wonderful heavy leather chairs, crisp table cloths, candles, roses and a fantastic open kitchen. The restaurant probably only seats 30-40 people which makes it feel cosy, I loved it.

We were given a warm welcome, shown to our table and handed menus. It was so tough to choose a starter!


I opted for the lobster cocktail (I have recently discovered a love of seafood) and Greg chose crab cakes. Whilst waiting for our starters we were brought an amuse bouche. A deep fried oyster with a ‘volcano sauce’ which was absolutely delicious and the sauce got our taste buds singing!


Shortly afterwards our starters arrived. My lobster cocktail was outstanding. Tender chunks of lobster with sweet mango and creamy avocado in a light citrus mayonnaise. It is by far one of the nicest dishes I’ve eaten this year and I’d go back for that dish alone. I was sad when it ended. Greg’s crab cakes were equally good. Light, fine, crispy breadcrumbs with a subtle crab flavour and a wonderfully sharp creme fraiche. A perfect start.


When we ordered our mains we both opted for steak and I asked what the most popular choice was. We were told the wagyu tenderloin  was the most popular so I chose that and, for comparison, Greg chose the USDA prime graded.


When the steaks arrived they were very well presented, cooked medium rare as requested and seasoned. The vegetables were lovely and crunchy and the hash brown was a perfect accompaniment along with the onion rings in a tempura style batter. We tried each other’s steaks and I felt the wagyu was a little sweeter and, as expected, had more marbelling than the USDA Prime but both were fantastic.


We were both very full but decided (in the interests of a full review!) to check out the dessert menu.

Firstly were brought a dessert teaser. A little shot glass filled with sweet berries and a white chocolate and whiskey sauce. I was a little reluctant to try this as I detest whiskey but Greg assured me it wasn’t too strong. He was right. It was a lovely sweet shot of tart berries and creamy chocolate which, even if you don’t like dessert, was a nice sweet way to end the meal.

We decided to share the molten chocolate cake which, when it arrived, lived up to its name. Rich chocolate, liquid fondant filling with a simple vanilla ice cream to cut through the richness. Definitely a dish to choose if you love chocolate!

By now we were happily full and had enjoyed a lovely evening. The staff throughout the evening were superb, they were friendly and informative. We went on a Monday night and about 1/3 of the tables were occupied. I watched closely at the food and service other tables were receiving and the table next to us described their meal as ‘outstanding’ and ‘absolutely delicious’ and on another table the waitress spent a few minutes talking through the different grades of beef to two gentleman diners who were not able to read the menu well. It was clear we weren’t getting special treatment.

I do have two pieces of constructive feedback. Firstly, it would be nice to have the rolls in the bread basket warm, however this is only my personal preference. Secondly, as mentioned, I loved the interior of the restaurant but it would be nice if the blinds on the windows which overlook the restaurants downstairs were fully closed to maintain the cosiness of Bentley’s. Two very minor things. Overall I’d really recommend Bentley’s for date night, a meal with family and friends or colleagues.

They are also running this promotion


** As mentioned I was a guest of the Radisson Blu on this occasion. All photographs and opinions are my own **

Bentley's Grill - Radisson Blu Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Prime, Intercontinental Doha The City

‘I challenge you to find a fault with this meal’ said Greg at the end of our evening at Prime and for once I didn’t have anything to say. It was faultless. It wasn’t our first visit to Prime, we have been a few times before and even though it was always enjoyable I wasn’t always 100% convinced that it was as amazing as some people claimed. On one visit I found the sides a little luke-warm and on another occasion we were the only people in there and there was a lack of atmosphere. However, after our visit on Thursday I can say I understand why people love it here so much. I emailed to reserve a table and specifically asked for a table next to the open kitchen as I love to watch the chef at work preparing the food. I was not disappointed, I think we got the best table in the restaurant.


We were greeted with a lovely glass of bubbly and the menus were presented to us. Then I was faced with a dilemma – foie gras or no foie gras. I opted for the former. Greg chose the short ribs as he has had them before and they are amazing. For our main course we chose a 300g fillet steak with creamed spinach, potato gratin and onion rings. After placing our order a lovely bread basket came and shortly afterwards an amuse bouche which was a lobster and quinoa salad. There were several pieces of chunky lobster nestled on micro leaves with a lovely, but not overpowering, citrus bisque dressing. What a wonderful start.


My foie gras, which I had asked to be fried, then arrived. It was a generous serving and was so soft and buttery with rich brioche and the tang of berries and a scattering of sea salt on top gave added texture. Greg was not disappointed with the short ribs, they were crispy on the outside and melted in your mouth. Every tiny crumb was devoured.


We were then brought a refreshing lemon sorbet palate cleanser.


There were lots of ‘wows’ when our steak arrived. Not only did it look amazing but it was so perfectly cooked and seasoned I almost cried with happiness. We had selected french steak knives and they just glided through with very little effort. The side dishes were also delicious and the egg yolk was a unusual accompaniment but was really nice too. By now we were getting full but it was so hard to leave such delicious food!

We were asked if we would like dessert but we were so full we chose not to. Refusing to take no for an answer we were kindly given a complimentary ‘melting chocolate sphere’ which was a lovely touch. Hot chocolate sauce was poured over the sphere and, as it melted, it revealed cream and berries. Luckily it wasn’t too rich or bitter and we managed to eat most of it!


The service throughout the evening was excellent, very friendly and good-humoured but professional. There was also a lovely ambiance as many of the tables were occupied and this created a buzz, I do like how the tables as spaced out. We paid about 700QR for our meal as we used an Entertainer voucher meaning one of our steaks was free (offer ends July 2016). I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Prime or recommend it to people, it really was first class. At the end of our meal we asked to see a Tomahawk steak – I think this may be what we ordered when we go back as it looks incredible.

Prime - InterContinental The City Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

TGI Fridays, Medina Centrale

I love steak, really love it. I am a bit picky though – it has to be fillet, it has to be well seasoned, it has to be medium rare and it has to be served without a sauce. I can list the best three steaks I’ve had in my life 1. Keens in New York 2. Asador Steakhouse in Berlin 3. Jazz Club at the Oryx Rotana in Doha. I know I’ve had a good steak because I have to pause before my final bite and I get a bit tearful. So, Friday lunchtime I was craving broccoli and a steak. I wanted to sit outside and I wanted to use an Entertainer voucher so a quick flick through the book and we opted for TGI Fridays on The Pearl. Perhaps not the first place that comes to mind when you think of a great steak but bare with me…!


I’ve had tenderloin steak a few times at TGI Fridays and Chilis in Doha and they’ve been pretty good. TGI Fridays on The Pearl has a lovely outside seating area and now it’s pedestrianized it’s quiet place to sit and enjoy the warmer weather. 

Our server brought us menus quickly and we opted to share an appetizer and have a main course each. For our appetizer we had a half portion of Cajun chicken and shrimp fettuccini. It was deliciously creamy with succulent chicken and prawn. However, it was so good we’d eaten it before I took a photograph! For our our main course we both ordered steak, medium rare with mushroom, onion and garlic sauce. Mine with sides of cheesy mash and broccoli and Greg chose cheesy mash and onion rings.


 We were asked to cut into the steak to check it had been cooked to our preference; they both had. I wish I’d asked for my sauce on the side as it was already on my steak breaking my ‘ no sauce rule’ but luckily it was not overpowering and so it didn’t spoil my enjoyment. The mash was lovely and rich, the broccoli still had crunch to it and the steak was a good size and tasted fantastic, it was really tender and tasty. Unfortunately at this point we started to get bombarded by dozens of flies – so much so we couldn’t eat our meal so we quickly picked up our food and moved inside. The staff seemed a bit worried we were upset but we weren’t, we just didn’t want our food to get cold!


We really enjoyed our food, I agree there more refined restaurants in Doha serving steak to an excellent standard but for informal dining in a chain restaurant you can’t go wrong here. Our bill came to 150QR for 3 main courses, 2 soft drinks with refills and a tip. We got one meal free as we used an Entertainer voucher. On a side note there is also an Entertainer voucher for the Jazz Club at the Oryx Rotana, you should definitely have the tenderloin ( pictured below) there as its scrumptious!

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TGI Fridays Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Maison Prime, Intercontinental City

Prime at the Intercontinental City has got a reputation as one of the best Steakhouses in Doha and I feel this reputation is well deserved, the food we have had there has always been very good quality and the dishes well executed. I was invited to the launch of ‘La Maison Prime’, a French menu promotion running for the next 3 weeks. Executive Chef Emmanuel Pauliat and his team have created a menu based on French classics and regional dishes from across France.  After a welcome speech from the General Manager of the Intercontinental The City and the French Ambassador we were given the opportunity to sample some the food which will be on the La Maison Prime menu.


Oysters

Snails

Duck confit, potatoes with cheese, omlette with mushrooms, foie gras on brioche

Rare roast beef with caramalised onions

Crepe Suzette

A huge selection of French cheeses, fruits, preserves, crackers, biscuits and breads


Éclairs and chocolates

The food was delicious as was the crisp French Chardonnay.

In addition to the a la carte menu there will be also daily specials. Business dinners and set menus can also be arranged on request. The La Maison Prime promotion will run from 19th January until 13th February 2016, it is the perfect place to sample some authentic French dishes with colleagues, family and friends.

** On this occasion  I was a guest of the Intercontinental the City, as always my review is completely honest and the photographs are my own apart from the first image **

 

 

Jazz Club, Oryx Rotana

In a week in which I got Bronchitis, lost my purse and was refused a visa for a holiday to China, Thursday couldn’t come quick enough. We had a table booked for 7.30pm and when we arrived the Jazz Club was quite busy with a mix of people eating and drinking. I was surprised at the decor, it’s a complete contrast to JALC, a sunken bar behind which the band was set up, white leather chairs, pearlescent tiles and low lighting.  I really liked the vibe it created.

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We selected drinks from the happy hour menu which runs 5-8pm then ordered food. For starters we shared Asian Touch, little sticks of very tender lamb, beef and chicken sat on top of a rich, sweet satay sauce they were delicious. We both chose tenderloin for our main course and it was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had, the best I’ve had so far in Doha. It was cooked to perfection, well seasoned and had great flavour, the mash and steamed veg as accompaniments were also very good. I am not usually a fan of food served on slate / wood but as this had a section for the sides it was better. I was too full for dessert but Greg battled through and had deep fried ice cream in a cornflake crust which he really enjoyed. My one ( very small criticism) is serving individual plastic portions of very hard butter – the breadbasket was really very good and serving butter like this didn’t really fit in with the rest of the food.

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About 9pm the lights dimmed further and the band started to play. At this point it got much busier and despite the buzz of a full bar the music could still be enjoyed. The band were really entertaining and the female vocalist was good. There was a mixture of music from ‘ At Last’ ‘ Valerie’ to ‘ Stand By Me’ and ‘ Venus’. As we left about 11pm there were very few free seats left.

Throughout the night the atmosphere and service was excellent. I’d estimate for 3 courses it would cost about 300QRpp and the quality of the food makes this good value. If you like live music and steak you really should give it a go, especially as a small group or a couple.

* On this occasion I was a guest of the Jazz Club, as always my review is completely honest and the photographs are my own.

Jazz Club - Oryx Rotana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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