The Radisson Blu, Doha hotel is one of the most popular hotels in town, partly due to its longevity, but also for the range of amenities on offer and the ability to constantly refresh and reinvent itself. People to this day who remember its previous incarnation as the Ramada Plaza still refer to the ‘lively’ junction of the C Ring and Salwa Roads as the Ramada signal, such is the hotel’s history here.
Part of that history is Chingari, one of the hotel’s restaurants in the West building, which over the years has continued to offer fine dining Indian cuisine. Marhaba had been invited along to the launch of the ‘new and improved menu’. We were met by restaurant manager Joy (by name and indeed by nature!), who explained that Chingari has changed over 20 dishes while overhauling the entire menu in general. We were familiar with the ‘old classics’, and were excited to try some new dishes!
One thing that hasn’t changed (thankfully) is the level of service, which was attentive but not intrusive. We munched through the poppadums and Bombay mix while we perused the menu, making a conscious effect to not eat it all and ruin our appetite! Mr Joy was on hand to guide us through our options and made some excellent suggestions. If you need any assistance or have any particular allergies, Joy and the rest of his team are at your disposal!
We started with palak ki chaat, crispy spinach leaves, and dahi bhalla, lentil dumplings. Both of these vegetarian options were served with yoghurt, pomegranate seeds and tangy sauces, and were absolutely delicious. Who knew the humble spinach leaf could be transformed into something so more-ish?!
Meanwhile, the meat and fish lovers among you will be utterly delighted with the goodies from the Tandoor. Joy put together a huge platter of the new items available for us to sample – Reshmi turkey kebabs, salmon tikka, chooza Chingari (baby chicken) and topped off with the new house special: Tandoori Bateyr, quails cooked with garlic, cumin and fenugreek. All were succulent, cooked to perfection, and weren’t around for very long …
Of course, you can’t have Indian food without a good curry, and a good curry was what we had next. In truth, we had four good curries, but who’s counting! Each was packed full of punch and flavour, with different levels of spice.
The non-veg murgh makhanwala had tender bites of chicken tikka in delicately spiced tomato gravy, while the madras fish curry was slightly spicier and very tangy with good amounts of hamour. The two vegetarian options we tried were a revelation: khumb makkai hara pyaz with mushrooms and corn in an onion and tomato sauce, and kadi pakoda, chickpea dumplings in a yoghurt sauce. We strongly recommend mopping up all these curries with the mixed bread platter.
One thing is certain: we are sure all of the dishes are going to be new house favourites. Chingari has done it again, and the restaurant must be doing something right, as during the evening we were introduced to Head Chef Jograj who has been at the hotel since 1995!
To soothe and enhance the dining experience, live ghazal (sitar) music is still available most nights from 7:30 pm, playing softly in the background. The night of our visit we listened to a fantastic rendition of Hotel California – the band happily takes requests so think of your favourite song and hear a brand new version of it!
Our thanks to all the team at Chingari for introducing us to some fabulous new dishes from the menu. To try them for yourself, call 4428 1428 and make a reservation. You too can lounge in comfort while enjoying delicious Indian cuisine, and for large parties, private rooms are available.
Author: Sarah Palmer
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