La Mer in Doha
Nestled upon the 23rd floor of the Ritz Carlton Hotel and surrounded by stunning panoramic views of Doha, La Mer offers a sumptuous menu created by new Chef de Cuisine William Khala in a plush and elegant setting. Chef Khala is the reason why we’re here – we’d heard about his passion for sourcing the best local and international products and we’d been promised a decadent international culinary adventure.
From the blind tasting menu, we started with a stunning dish of Fine de Claire oysters topped with Osetra caviar and radish on a bed of lemon snow. The oysters were plump and silky with a slightly salty and incredibly fresh aftertaste. The lemon and radish made for a beautiful accompaniment which punctuated the quality of the seafood.
Next, we had La Mer’s signature dish and one of the culinary highlights of our evening: scallops with dukkah, raw cauliflower couscous, cauliflower yoghurt, roasted almonds and hibiscus foam. The perfectly-seared scallops were plump, soft and delicate with a mildly sweet flavor, which was given a warm earthiness by the dukka. The hibiscus foam was an inspirational addition.
Up next was the decadent Foie Gras Torchon. Flavoured with cocoa, apricot and rolled in pistachio granola, these luscious rounds were rich and creamy with the pistachio crust providing a lovely contrast to the buttery texture of the foie gras. Adding to the seafood theme, we then sampled locally-sourced Cobia fish with cumin, preserved lemon tabbouleh, shaved fennel and burned lemon sauce. Cobia is a firm and dense fish with a mild flavour –and the lemon notes of the accompaniments blended perfectly.
Next up, locally sourced lamb with a classic Moroccan ras el hanout, quinoa with mint, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, summer squash puree, romanesco and smoked paprika sauce. The lamb was cooked pink to perfection and the quinoa was the best I have ever had. Rounding off the mains were braised short ribs with pistachio puree and a medley of baby leeks and onions. This hearty and generous chunk of rich meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender. Sublime!
Last but not least, we finished our meal with Chef Khala’s confectionary masterpiece Chocolate World – a combination of delicate chocolate discs, chocolate panna cotta, caramel parfait, and chocolate sorbet. Oh, and a liberal sprinkle of gold dust. This was visually stunning and every chocolate lover’s idea of heaven!
With discreet and attentive service, incredible views and an incredible menu, La Mer was a memorable night that will not be soon forgotten. Combining a fusion of Middle Eastern flavours, French dining, classic cooking techniques and the finest ingredients, this is one of the best culinary experiences in town.
INFO: The Ritz-Carlton Doha, 4484 8000, www.ritzcarlton.com/doha
STARTER La Mer Salad QR65
MAIN Tea Smoked Duck QR185
STARTER Fine de Claire Oysters QR100
MAIN Canadian Lobster QR240