Named after the famous 1969 gangster-comedy film starring Michael Caine (about trying to steal a gold shipment by creating a traffic gridlock!), this gem at Radisson Blu has been a long-time favourite in Doha. The restaurant – adjacent to the pool at the Cabana Club – has two levels, with a ‘mezzanine’ open kitchen between them and numerous original black and white photos from the film set, supplied by the studio no less.
Though focusing on Mediterranean-inspired dishes, the menu is sufficiently varied to appeal to all. The ambience is good, the prices reasonable, the food and service excellent and what’s more, it’s fun! The waiters and waitresses individually break into song at unexpected moments – and their voices are lovely.
We had already dug deep into the complimentary garlic bread, breadsticks and olive oil-balsamic vinegar-and parmesan dip, and sipped our complimentary chilled sparkling beverage whilst browsing the menu. As a result, we decided to order just one salad to share between the two of us as a starter (Insalata di rucola e radicchio con pere e provolone) fearing that if we ate too much at that stage, we’d not be able to do justice to the main course!
For us, it proved to be ideal. The plentiful salad of baby rocket, radicchio, pears and provolone cheese was fresh, crisp and plentiful. The Radisson’s recently appointed Executive Sous Chef, Chia Jue Xian, was passing through the restaurant when we were there and chatted with us about his aspirations to enhance some of the dishes on the menus of the hotel’s various restaurants. So we decided to try the ‘Chef’s Special’ for the evening – the Seafood Platter – which can be ordered for one person or as a sharing dish. We also opted for the Grilled King Prawns with virgin rosemary olive oil and served with baby potatoes. Both were amazing. The seafood platter was a work of art in terms of colour, texture and taste; and ‘King’ prawns aptly described the enormous, succulent, ‘mother of all prawns’ we were served.
There is a choice of half a dozen or so delicious-sounding desserts on The Italian Job’s menu, but we only had room left for coffee. Sorry, we know Italians usually restrict their orders for Cappuccino in the mornings – but we went ahead anyway. Ours came in very large cups and rounded off our evening delightfully.
As for other dishes on the menu – well an Italian group at a nearby table attacked their pasta and pizzas, not with gangster-style weapons, but definitely with enjoyment. That surely has to be a good recommendation!
The Italian Job
Where: Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha
Next to the Cabana Club swimming pool
When: Open daily from 6 pm onwards
Contact: 4428 1555 or email [email protected]
Author: Gina Coleman
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