Nov 11 2013

Spice Market

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I have already reviewed Space Market in London (MMMM) and I also visited Spice Market in Doha, Qatar. To read more about Spice Market and what it is, please see my London review, but in general I find both restaurants quite similar with same criticism and same positives.

Just like in London, Spice Market in Doha is located in the very trendy W hotel. The W hotel in Doha is the place to be, and it is located in the financial district among the tall skyscrapers of Doha. We went there for dinner as it is my friend Ahmed’s favourite restaurant in Doha and he has had most of the dishes there. Spice Market in Doha is located on the first floor and just like London Spice Market is inspired by the street food of Southeast Asia. The décor is very similar, almost the same as in the London Spice Market, the restaurant is dark, buzzing, has a sort of sexy atmosphere to it, also I think I slightly prefer the atmosphere in Doha Spice Market to London, but that is purely because it felt more vibrant and busier.

Quite a few of the dishes I recognized and had had in London but there were also dishes I had not seen before. There were three of us having dinner and we shared all the food. I did most of the ordering, but I did listen to my friends for suggestions. To start with I had ordered a “tuna tartare with Spicy Radish, Ginger Marinade”, as well as two portions of “Steamed Shrimp Dumplings” which had Lobster and Shiitake Mushroom Sauce, and two portions as there was a misunderstanding and I thought the boys wanted two portions, but it turned out they did not. The dumplings were delicious, served with chilli slices, they had loads of intense flavour, and all of us really enjoyed them, so we managed to finish the two portions with no problem. The tuna tartare was good, but it sort of lacked a bit of flavour and there was a nice slight ginger flavour to it but not enough for my and Rob’s liking. We also had a “market salad” with Cherry Tomatoes, Radish Sesame Seed Vinaigrette, which Ahmed did not like at all, and Rob only had a bit. Both the boys gave me abuse saying it was not very good, and I do agree. The salad was big, there was loads of it, and I could not finish it, mainly also because there was not that much flavour there. Loads of healthy greens, but not much sauce and it felt just a bit too plain. We also ordered a spicy tuna roll, which all of us enjoyed, nice good sushi.

For the main course we ordered two dishes, one fish and one meat which we had with steamed rice and vegetables. Ahmed chose the fish dish, “Roasted Hammour With Malaysian Chili Sauce, Thai Basil” (and hammour is the name for the fish grouper in middle east, but according to Ahmed it is a local catch). The fish was well cooked but the sauce was not that interesting. There was not much chilli, I could feel the basil, but overall it just did not feel that exciting. Rob had ordered a steak dish with garlic, coriander and served on some greens, and the steak was amazing. It was tender, soft, delicious, the sauce was great, all of us agreed that not only was this the best dish of the meal but the best dish we had had during the last few days. The vegetables we had with the meat and fish, “Baby Corn and Broccoli With Lemongrass Chili Sauce” once again though were not that interesting. The vegetables were cooked to my liking, not too a la dente, soft with some crunch, but I was not too keen on the sauce, once again I just could not taste any chilli, it just felt a bit boring.

Overall service was good, although the funniest thing that happened to us was that the waitress had poured us only one glass of wine even though we had ordered a bottle and them I guess forgotten to pour us more wine, so when we finished the one glass during the meal she cleared our glasses. However when we were paying the bill, she asked me if I want to keep the wine for the next time I come, and we got super confused, as we had not realized we had wine, we were just not being served it, but we did finish it at the end.

I had a similar experience in Doha Spice Market that I had in London. The food really is hit and miss, there are some excellent dishes, like the beef this time, but there are also a lot of dishes which are very average. I do however still like the idea of the place, I love Southeast Asian dishes, street food and love the fact I can have these together, in interesting dishes and in a very trendy, hip and modern atmosphere.  Spice Market Doha gets a slightly lower rating than London though as I thought more of the dishes were miss than hit than in London.

Date: 11/ 11/ 13
Location: Doha
Price for 3 people with a bottle of wine: QR 1220 (and I left QR100 service charge), which in total is around €230

Maija rated: 

3.50

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Spice Market
Diplomatic Street W Doha Hotel & Residences
Doha
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Spice Market Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5