Mykonos is well-known in Doha for its authentic Greek cuisine so we were intrigued to find out what they would dish up for the Tour of Greece, which aims to give diners a taste of the specialities of different regions.
When we arrived, we were greeted with a warm welcome and promptly seated at a pool view table. Despite being a weeknight, within minutes all the tables around us were taken and the restaurant was alive with chatter and terrific traditional music from the bouzouki duo.
Chef Ilias Kafalis, who previously lived and worked in France, found inspiration for the new Tuesday night theme from the Tour de France. In a similar way to the famous cycling race, the Tour of Greece passes through various regions on its culinary journey. Kafalis says he takes traditional recipes and adapts them with new touches and techniques. In January, there are two alternating menus based on the cuisine of the Peloponnese, in southern Greece, and the islands of the Ionian Sea.
I sampled the Ionian Sea menu while my friend opted for the al a carte. My ‘tour’ began with a salad originating from the island of Zakynthos, a flavourful concoction of eggplant, garlic, tomatoes and capers. My friend went for ksidato, a slow cooked octopus dish. Both were beautifully presented in large, open jars.
Next stop for me was a speciality from Corfu – melt-in-the-mouth fried red mullet with beans puree and raisins to give an injection of sweetness. My friend ordered lamb chops, which were succulent and well infused with herbs.
The beef fillet Sofrito, also from Corfu, was well presented with parsley and potatoes puree. The herb-coated fillet was very tender and the explosion of flavours in the after-taste made this my favourite dish of the night.
We sampled several desserts to round off the evening, of which the highlight was the zesty, creamy lemon tart.
All up, the presentation, helpfulness of the cheerful wait staff and Chef Kafalis’ passion for authentic Greek food left us eager to return to continue the tour.
INFO: Expect to pay between QR150 to QR275 for three courses from the Tour of Greece menu, minus drinks. 12pm-11.30pm daily, InterContinental Doha, West Bay, 4484 4919, www.intercontinental.com