Sel & Miel, nestled cosily on the ground floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, is a classy, authentic and top quality French-style brasserie, i.e. a cosy and less formal restaurant.

Here you are always guaranteed authentic French cuisine with recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation and you’ll immediately feel at home in the stylish and less formal atmosphere.

The man in the middle explaining all the details of each and every dish with his encyclopaedic knowledge of everything connected to ‘French’ and ‘cuisine’ is Malcolm who, in addition to unlocking the secrets of the kitchen, is really friendly and patient with all such questions.

Siel & Miel staffMalcolm immediately set us at ease and quickly brought out a pre-menu offering of Sourdough Rye bread with some signature Sel & Miel dressings. While just a kind of amuse-bouche, the brown bread was warm and wholesome, especially with the dressings: honey and truffles, black olives with anchovies, and sea salt. Trust Sel & Miel to show its class even with these simple dressings.

For the Starter or Hors-d’Oeuvres, we went for the Classic French Onion Soup and the Burgundy Snails/Escargots de Bourgogne. Created to sustain the workers in the market of Paris, the soup is made up of a marvellous selection of shallots, brown and red onion, brioche and two layers of cheese, the one on top beautifully browned. Individually basic but very enjoyable.

S&M Soups
Escargots de Bourgogne (left) and the Classic French Onion Soup

The Burgundy snails on their green bed of mixed parsley, coriander, and garlic herbs are iconic in taste and texture. This is why French cuisine at Sel & Miel is deservedly famous, transforming humble ingredients into heavenly dishes of delight.

If you like a glass of vin blanc or such you’ll be happy to know Sel & Miel have one of the best wine lists in Doha and, yes, even their soft drinks are outstanding …

Now for Les Plats, the Main Dishes. Here I must mention that there are a dozen dishes to choose from – meat, fish and vegetarian – but we only sampled two. But the level of perfection achieved by these dedicated kitchen staff makes it crystal clear that marshalled by Malcolm, they deliver on every dish.

salmon
Saumon dans un jardin d’herbes

Leaving for another day the Bouillabaisse, recently voted by a colleague and fellow devotee as the best dish ever, and the undoubtedly succulent Halibut and Seabass, the Salmon was reaffirmed as scrumptious in the extreme. And, another Sel & Miel knocking it out of the park, with something basic: how about french fries? Indeed. Well, add some magic and some truffles and now you’ve got the finest fries in town.

duck
Duck Leg Confit

My choice of Duck Leg Confit was also connected to water but more important, as the word ‘confit’ means, is that the leg was slowly cooked in its own fat; that means no waste and less fat for you to digest. It was absolutely delightful, soft and tender, falling off the bone, melting-in-your-mouth mouth-watering succulent – and that’s without mentioning the succulent selection of colourful vegetables, the orange glaze and the very nice and palatable purée tinged with celeriac.

Oh my gosh, you could visit this brasserie a dozen times and have a completely different but equally delicious meal every time.

Not such a wide selection of desserts but both lemon and apple tarts, while traditional, truly justify their status (and I love the name Tarte Tatin!) But the Mousse au Chocolat doesn’t justify anything. It could be the source of the expression ‘sinful pleasure’ and may lead you to a life of hedonism and self-gratification.

Dessert S&M
Tarte Au Citron (left) and Mousse au Chocolat

With that one caveat, I’m definitely going to Sel & Miel again …

Siel & Miel is open daily, from 12 pm to 11 pm. Call 5576 4278 to reserve. For more information, visit their website at selmieldoha.com.

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Author:  Terry Sutcliffe

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