In her infamous song, La Vie en Rose, stunning French vocalist Edith Piaf sings about the joys of seeing ‘life in pink’ or ‘life in rosy hues’. The phrase has a similar meaning to the saying ‘looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses’. It means to see the world at its best and most beautiful, and that is certainly the feeling you get at Sel & Miel.
Sel & Miel is nestled on the ground floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and promises authentic French cuisine served in a modern brasserie setting. The first thing we noticed when we walked in was the decor, with chic and sleek furniture but with a cosy ambience, this sweet brasserie instantly makes you feel comfortable and ready to feast!
Before we were shown to our table, our hostess checked that all of our Ehteraz codes were green and gave us a quick temperature check. All of the Marriott hotels, not only The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, are committed to keeping their guests safe and healthy – you can read more about their new health and safety procedures here.
After we were settled at our table, our waiter gave us a QR code to scan to see our menu and we were amazed at how extensive the lunch menu was! There were pages and pages of French delicacies to choose from.
To start, we decided to try some unique mocktails. I decided to sample the ‘Je suis extatique‘ which was made with rosemary, mix berry shrub, fresh raspberries, and fresh lime, all soaked in sparkling water. The flavour was fantastique and so cool and refreshing – I would highly recommend this drink on a hot day – which is everyday in Doha! Mon ami numero un chose the ‘je suis stupefait‘ which was composed of pea flower tea, honey, fresh lemon, and lime, with a spritz of Darjeeling tea essence spray. She reported that the flavour was sweet but subtle. Mon ami numero deux, however, decided to try the ‘je suis fabuleuse’ which was a mix of ginger ale and apple juice infused with lavender, basil, sugar, and lemon.
We asked our waiter, Charlie, what each of the drink’s names meant and he explained they meant: ‘I feel stars’, ‘I am amazed’, and ‘I am fabulous’. Could these drinks be more aptly named?!
After we had all received our drinks we quickly received our hors d’oeuvres. With so much to choose from we had decided to get a variety of dishes so we could all mix and match. The first dish to arrive was the burrata et tomates which was a huge dome of burrata cheese served on a bed of tomatoes and basil, all drizzled with olive oil. Quickly after, the bisque de crabe et d’endives arrived. This bowl of piping hot crab and endive bisque was full of colour and flavour, and while the strong taste of crab was present, the endive somehow created a smooth and creamy texture as well. In addition, to the burrata and bisque, we ordered the foie gras poele which is a traditional, seared foie gras paired with a flavourful pear compote.
If there is one quintessential French dish that you must try, it’s the escargot de Bourgogne or snails. I had never sampled this dish before, and was rather hesitant at first, because after all they are snails… But with the assurance of mes amis I gave them a try and now escargot may be my favourite French dish! The snails are absolutely smothered in warm garlic butter, and if you are a garlic lover, this dish will be absolute heaven. There is even a side of French baguette slices so you can mop up any tasty left overs.
After that incredible first course, it was hard to imagine how the meal could get any better. And then the food arrived. The first dish we had selected was the confit de canard a l’orange. This slow-cooked duck thigh was so perfectly prepared that the meat simply fell of the bone, and the tangy orange glaze paired with it perfectly. In addition to the confit, we sampled the coq au van. If you are a an admirer of French cooking, I’m sure you’ll be familiar with it already as it’s an infamous sampling of French cuisine. The chicken thigh, cooked on the bone of course, was steeped in a delicious reduction of red wine, mushrooms and pearl onions. The flavour is rather unique, and this offering at Sel & Miel greatly enhances it.
We couldn’t help but taste the moules frites or mussels. This huge, and I do mean huge, pot of steamed mussels is a tremendous morsel to try. Served with a pot of French fries on the side, this dish is sure to satisfy your mussel cravings for the next few weeks!
To wrap up this incredible lunch, what else could we do but indulge in some traditional French desserts. The fondant au chocolat was, literally, oozing with sweet, rich chocolate sauce which was absolutely sinful when scooped up with the vanilla ice cream. The cremee brulee had such a satisfying crunch as you poked through the hard, carmelised sugar to reach the soft, fluffy egg custard beneath. But perhaps my favourite dessert of the day was the soufflé au citron, coulis de framboise. This fantastic lemon soufflé was smooth and light, and tasted keavenly when drizzled with the tart raspberry coulis.
The atmosphere at Sel & Miel is blissful, and when combined with the rich menu of delicious French delicacies, you almost feel as though you could be on the streets of Paris dining at a traditional French brasseire.
Lunch at Sel & Miel is available everyday from 12 pm – 4 pm. You can click here to see the full menu. It is highly recommended that you make a reservation at 5576 4278.
Author: Charlotte Wright
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