At the Spice Market in the W Doha, they have been asking the question: how do you level up an already fantastic menu? And they came up with the answer: you add heaps of new dishes with exciting and intriguing new flavours!
The W Doha Hotel & Residences is an institution here in Doha, their brunches alone are infamous, but now they have gone above and beyond to enhance their menu at Spice Market which could truly make the restaurant their crowning glory.
When you arrive at the W Doha, a quick trip through their chic lobby – past their ever-changing centrepieces and their notorious blue polar bears which are always worth a quick snap for Instagram – and up to the mezzanine floor will take you to Spice Market. We decided to visit for lunch, but this signature South-East Asian restaurant is always a busy hot-spot which gives the place a great vibe.
After quickly getting our Ehteraz checked at the door, we were escorted to our table. The cozy, candlelight lounge exudes a soulful and exotic sensation – making it the perfect venue to excite and explore your palate. We were quickly greeted by the Restaurant Manager Diego Brizzio who gave us a thorough walk-through of the new menu and recommended countless new dishes for us to try. In the end it was impossible for us to choose any single dish to sample – so we ordered pretty much one of everything new!
The first starter to arrive was a shaved artichoke and young coconut salad. This French-inspired dish is utterly unique – shavings of artichoke and coconut are heaped together and lightly sprinkled with a lime vinaigrette and a dash of curry powder, with hidden soft, buttery chunks of fresh avocado. This salad was crunchy, refreshing and completely vegan!
Speaking of vegan… the next to arrive at our table was the broccoli soup, which was cooked with Thai spices like coconut and lime and also totally vegan. The huge bowl was plenty for two people and was thick, creamy and delicious. Who knew vegans had it so good?!
After our broccoli soup arrived we were treated to two very generous fillets of salt and pepper fish served with Thai basil and an intriguing Yuzu dipping sauce. The Chef de Cuisine, Rizal Saikrol, decided to swap out international fish alternatives and use a local hamour in keeping with his menu’s goal to be more inclusive of local ingredients. And it was absolutely divine! The fish was soft and flaky, with a crispy batter and the Yuzu sauce was surprising. The dipping sauce was tangy and sharp but with a soft, creamy aftertaste that paired excellently with the hamour.
Alongside the fish dish, came the shrimp toast. We can say, without a doubt, that we highly recommend this dish. In fact, according to Manager Brizzio, this is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. This French-Asian fusion consists of a bed of toast, layered with soft shrimp and covered in sesame seeds. The pear jam and mustard dip was my favourite part though – it was sweet and savoury at the same time.
After our “small” plates had been cleared, our sampling of the Robata course was served. We just had to indulge in the decadent charred chilli Wagyu beef skewers served with Thai basil dipping sauce. In addition, we sampled the chicken skewers which were served alongside a chunky, rich peanut sauce.
All that food, and we hadn’t even gotten to the main course yet! The highlight of the meal for me was the stir fried lamb. At the centre of the plate was a dome of perfectly cooked white rice, and then encircling it was piles of lamb cooked with cumin and chilies. The lamb was tender and if you like spicy dishes this is the perfect main course for you! In addition to the lamb, we were given a plate of salmon Cha Ca La Vong and local prawns in a light curry sauce. The salmon was served on a bed of egg noodles and topped with a fresh, flavourful herb salad. The prawns were huge! They were served in a light curry sauce with trimmings of bok choy and fried plantain.
However, if you fancy sharing a dish with your friends or eating ‘family style’ then the Peking duck is the best dish for you. Served with scallions, cucumber and hoisin sauce, you can make your own pancakes which is a great activity to get everyone chatting while they enjoy their food.
After sampling all these incredible dishes we couldn’t wait to see what dessert had in store. We were treated to a deliciously sweet Yuzu pudding cake with a delectable almond sorbet on the side. It was the perfect Asian sweet to end what had been a fantastic lunch.
These new dishes are certainly an incredible addition to this already substantial menu. Each new portion brings a new and unique flavour of South-Asian cuisine. This new menu is sure to become a favourite of the Doha crowd!
Spice Market is open every day, except Fridays, for lunch from noon – 4 pm, and for dinner from 5 pm – 11:30 pm. On Friday and Saturday, they are open until midnight. To make a reservation, and taste these new dishes for yourself, please call 4453 5135.
To read the latest news from the W Doha Hotel & Residences please click here. And don’t forget to check out Qatar’s Hospitality e-Guide for all the information you need about Qatar’s ever-changing dining scene!
Author: Charlotte Wright
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