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The Rues Culinary Passions Ignited by Fuego

Fuego Meat Shangri-La Doha 2

Only a little bit cross, still, with Maradona and in agreement that pressing the ‘pause’ button is the only fair way to stop Messi, the Brothers Rue did not feel unduly intimidated at the prospect of reviewing the stylish Shangri-La Hotel’s Argentinian restaurant. Rather, a frisson of anticipation, even excitement, was in the air. Not to mention a pun, never far away from one Brother Rue (who shall remain nameless) offering the suggestion that they simply… tackle whatever the Argentinians should confront them with…

And so it was that the intrepid duo descended upon Fuego! (fire!) where they were warmly received by the elegant, travelled and multi-lingual Malak, the hotel’s Director of Communications and gastronomic guide for the evening.

Fuego bills itself as a steakhouse but doesn’t over-emphasise the fact and there’s an impressive list of non-bovine dishes on the extensive menu. However, if looked for, there is a subtle steakhouse theme to the restaurant, noted one Brother Rue, citing its large studded leather chairs and the bread served in similarly studded leather bowls. Studded leather equals steakhouse, he opined with studied calm …

Apart from Malak’s charming company throughout, another highlight of the evening was, the solicitous Rues noted approvingly, the attentive service and attention given to the needs of a table of nearby diners, one of whose group evidently suffers from unfortunate and diverse food allergies. The pleasantly knowledgeable waitress Maria and the smoothly efficient restaurant manager took great care to cater to them. Having made a booking via the hotel’s website the diners were pleased when phoned to confirm the booking and even more pleased when questioned carefully in advance about the allergies. As a result, they all were able to arrive and enjoy in relaxed mode Fuego’s excellent cuisine – as opposed to suspiciously sniffing and poking at dishes delivered to the table, however gracefully, by Maria.

Singer Fuego Shangri La Doha

And speaking of tables, they were large and elegantly furnished, the seating comfortable and the ambience perfect: not noisy but warm and rich, with low lighting, dark wood and leather and with clever flickering electric candles not seen before by the Brothers, one of whom, good with his hands, desperately wanted to take them apart … Softly adding to the ambience was a delightful female singer-guitarist, who had a lovely voice and chose just the right songs – covers of Coldplay, Sade and the like – which were not too intrusive but nor did she fade into the background. True talent, was the opinion of the Rue who usually and grumpily objected to having music foisted upon him …

One Brother Rue is occasionally asked if he is hard of hearing (although he, of course, won’t hear of such a question) as often, in a noisy restaurant with wide tables, it is not unknown to see him engaged in conversation while leaning across and cupping his ear which, though tiresome to him, is perhaps due to too many evenings out with DJ Carl Cox in the 90’s…

Empanadas Fuego Shangri La Doha

While pouring over the menu one Brother Rue was heard to mutter ‘entrees’ and, not unnaturally, was asked by his sibling to elucidate which he did, all while affecting a professorial air peering over imaginary pince-nez reading glasses. Thus Student Rue was loftily informed that entrees have moved up and down the menus in several countries over the past 500 years, beginning life in France as the ‘entree de table’, the first dish of a meal; later appearing as the dish served before the main course; and often (especially in the Land of Trump) as the main course itself. Variants included it being, in mid-17th century England, the hot meat dish served after soup and by the 19th it was the third course of a meal … Student Rue’s torpor was at this point stirred by merciful Maria’s intervention – bearing said entrees …

Appetiser Fuego Shangri La Doha

The highlight of the entrees ordered, it was agreed by the siblings, was Canelones de Osobuco Braseado – tender shredded beef rolled in firm pastry with a chunky naked marrow-bone on the side. Divine, and almost a main course in itself, ventured Professor Rue. The Sopa de Calabaza, a pumpkin and blue cheese soup, represented an unusual but successful combination. The soup was mixed and served at the table, a welcome act of showmanship. Wonderful lamb cutlets followed, succulent and meaty. The Rues unfailingly opt for medium rare at the least and medium rare they were indeed – just right. Posing as a steakhouse spoil-sport, the other Brother Rue ordered gnocchi as a main course, which worked well – it being too large a dish to finish, rich with anchovies and served with Portobello mushrooms and spinach.Meat Selection Fuego Shangri La

Argentina, also known as Beef Country, serves its national dish in myriad ways: stuffed and grilled beef roll in matambre (‘hunger killer’) fashion, roasted over an open fire ‘asado’ style, or grilled. Fuego, under Chef Mariano and his trusty assistants, is an ideal introduction to Argentine cuisine being, as the siblings concurred, as fine an exponent of it as can be found anywhere. And, as the professorial Rue declaimed, while beef and other meats predominate there is much else to enjoy, with many dishes distinctly Mediterranean in flavour, the country’s gastronomy having been influenced first by Spanish colonisation in the 16th century and then by Italian immigration in the 18th… Here, once again, in stepped merciful Maria, this time with suggestions for some of the fine menu items available by the glass.

grilled beef roll Fuego Shangri La Doha

Very reasonable, considering the quality of the food, furnishings, and live entertainment, was the unanimous verdict of the siblings who noted certain popular discount vouchers are accepted – and that the Shangri La has valet parking of course.

Ruefully, the Rues were not quite able to finish the main courses so the world of Argentinian desserts remains to be explored, which they greatly look forward to another time…Fuego Dessert Shangril La Doha

For reservations and more information about the Spring Food Special, call 4429 5000 or visit their website

The Rue Brothers review restaurants exclusively for Marhaba. They have spent a combined 40+ years in Qatar and think they know their onions, and kofta kebabs, by now

Click here for more reviews by The Rue Brothers.

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