Eid Al Adha is upon us, and with that comes a few days off to relax and unwind. And, of course, eat!
By now you’ve read our Eid Al Adha listing of all the places to go (if not, go take a look here). We were lucky enough to be invited to sample the delights of one such establishment offering a special Eid menu – Izu restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Doha.
And what a menu it is! But firstly, let us put your mind at rest, in that the hotel is following the strict protocols in place for eating out – facemasks and Ehteraz status are required at the entry point to the hotel, and the staff is employing safe, social distancing measures.
With these formalities over with, we rushed off to Izu restaurant (thankfully on the ground floor so we didn’t overtax ourselves!). Coming to the Mandarin, and Izu, is much like visiting an old friend: we were happy to be back in touch yet eagerly-awaited details of the news.
All was much the same – and this is a good thing – yet there is a new addition to the restaurant in the form of an outdoor seating area. This may fill you with horror, given the weather at the moment, however upon entering, we were magically embraced with welcoming and refreshing cool air. There are a number of tables at which to sit ‘al fresco’ and enjoy the good food and drinks on offer while admiring the architecture of the hotel and Msheireb Downtown Doha.
Once at our table, and using the courtesy envelopes in which to house our facemasks for the duration of the meal, our socially-distanced waitress provided us with the menus. She explained the restaurant has taken some of the most popular dishes and in some instances tweaked them slightly, to give them a new twist for Eid.
We couldn’t decide what to drink while we were waiting for the food to arrive, so we were recommended two of Mandarin’s mocktails that have been selected as ideal partner beverages: the Melody, a strawberry-watermelon juice drink with goji berries and fresh mint, and the Caribbean, with rose tea, passion fruit, kiwi and coconut. They were both refreshing and clever reinventions of the usual fruit juice combinations.
The aroma of just-baked bread making its way to us made our mouths water, and we obviously couldn’t resist having a slice … or two. Maybe three. Be sure to try them dipped into the olive oil from Greece, personally sourced by the hotel, and the aged balsamic vinegar.
For starters, we ate a delicious piquant quinoa salad with avocado and peach, coated in a zesty passion fruit dressing. There was also a tangy beetroot salad with goat cheese and pistachios, and a lentil salad with pickled vegetables. They were all seasoned to perfection, and for a while, we forgot that there was more food to come! Yep, empty plates all round…
For the mains, we were both pleased to see that there were ‘veg and non-veg’ options (for those of you with dietary concerns, just mention this in advance and the chef will be able to adjust the menu for you). As the dishes were brought to the table, we had to double-check that it was still just the two of us eating! A huge cast-iron pan of cheesy gnocchi alla Sorrentina goodness and a massive bowl of grilled cornfed chicken with spaetzle in a creamy mushroom sauce were presented for our delectation, alongside grilled broccolini and vegetable ratatouille. Singly: delicious. Together: sublime.
Now, this is a very important suggestion: make sure you leave sufficient room for the desserts. We had (just!) and hence proceeded to demolish two of our favourite puds in the whole wide worldTM: the passion fruit cheesecake and the Apple Tarte Tatin with accompanying vanilla ice cream. A superb end to a delicious meal, and not a sweaty brow insight, thanks to the excellent climate control!
The Eid Al Adha menu at Izu is QAR250 per person. This is just one of the excellent offers from the Mandarin Oriental, Doha. Click here to learn more.
Author: Sarah Palmer
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