From the moment you walk in to the Mondrian Doha hotel you know you’re in for a treat – sumptuous décor surrounds you, providing the ultimate VIP experience.
Head left once through the main reception area – try not to stop and take too many photos of the ‘staircase to nowhere’ in the lobby – and enter CUT by Wolfgang Puck.
The American restaurant is just as well appointed as the rest of the hotel, with opulence at every corner and a fully open kitchen. The restaurant has had a slight rejigging of tables and chairs since reopening at the beginning of November. The gorgeous long marble bar is still there, with its fancy cream and gold backdrop; as well as the leather stools though, you can now relax in leather high back armchairs while sipping your drink or enjoying a light meal.
The main dining area has also been adjusted, to accommodate the new restrictions in place but keeping its fresh and vibrant style, with the addition of leather banquettes around the periphery. Which is where we headed, so we could watch Chef Justin and his crew whip up their miracle meals.
Wolfgang Puck is an American-Austrian chef/restaurateur/food wizard who uses only the finest produce and locally sourced ingredients. He has brought this philosophy to CUT Doha, which is expertly overseen by Chef Justin. The Friday brunch has a set menu that adapts with the seasons; once you read the card, you know exactly what goodies await.
To start, we enjoyed a wonderful silky-smooth pumpkin soup, accented by sage and pistachios, and which hopefully no one saw us dunking our jalapeño cornbread in to. Then came a rather large tray bearing more gifts: red snapper ceviche with mango and rice crackers, salmon gravlax and an accompanying cucumber relish, and a super healthy kale and persimmon salad with feta.
Chef Justin also kindly brought over two further dishes for us to try from his new dinner menu: heirloom tomato salad with burrata (it was so fresh! Does the Mondrian have a vegetable garden somewhere?), and smoked local trevally with a divine white bean puree.
We were now moving on to that grey area, the post-starters/pre-mains. Nothing grey about this food though – quite the opposite. More colourful dishes arrived in the form of a burrata and rocket pizza with truffle oil (a delightfully thin dough and lots of toppings), and a wild mushroom (handmade pasta, no less, and the parcels chock full of flavour). And this was just the first two rounds of food – we hadn’t even got to the main course yet!
Speaking of which, it’s difficult to say which one we enjoyed most, because they were all excellent. Are you a meat lover? You will be absolutely drooling over the melt-in-the-mouth New York striploin, beef cheek pastrami and roasted chicken, served with perfect sides such as sauerkraut and Yorkshire puddings. More of a fishy sort? No problem, simply move the plate of plump grilled jumbo prawns closer with spiced carrots and dive in. Got veggie vibes? Chef Justin has that box ticked too, with the gooeyist mac and cheese we’ve seen in quite some time, and al dente broccolini. However, bad news if you’re an omnivore, as you may end up fighting over who eats the last prawn or spoon of mac and cheese! (Don’t worry, you can always order more.)
To end the feast, we ashamedly admit that we had no idea what we were getting, as we had never heard of it before. Kaiserschmaren, we were informed by affable assistant manager Yassine, is a light, sweet pancake dessert and one of Wolfgang Puck’s favourites. And once you start eating, it’s not really a surprise why. It’s the perfect end to the meal, as it is deceptively light and definitely moreish, and is served with berry compote and a selection of CUT’s signature ice creams and sorbets. Keep an eye on the time though, as this is a dessert to linger over!
Sadly, our three hours of VIP treatment was over and, without a doubt, boy did we ‘Eat, Love, Live’. Welcome back to the brunch scene, CUT, we’ve missed you.
The CUT Friday brunch is available 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm; booking is recommended, as is calling ahead with any dietary concerns. Chef Justin will happily adapt the menu for vegans and coeliacs. There are two packages: QAR315 (basic), QAR465 (enhanced). Call 4045 5999
Author: Sarah Palmer
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