Now on this second visit to Doha when I arranged to have lunch at the La Sahtaine I decided that since I am returning back I ought to know what the word means at least. I checked it up in the dictionary, so in Arabic we say sahtain, which is the dual of health, like in Greek when we say “stin ygia sou” something similar! In French it means ‘Bon Appétit’.
So, we are back again to this amazing restaurant but we came here for lunch this time. I was curious to try the Business lunch. I missed the pretty pianist playing I can admit, but of course my timing was wrong. If we had chosen to come in the evening the atmosphere would be different. This time the restaurant was very quiet –I guess not many people are aware of its amazing cuisine yet. Between us, they don’t know what they miss! I wonder if when it gets full the service would still be up to scratch.
SERVICE: Simply Superb! I was impressed once again and had a warm welcome from the staff who remembered us immediately. From the Manager Stephanie to the waitress’s the service was fast and impeccable. Angeli is an angel. All of them are extremely nice, discreet and courteous. They are real professionals!
INTERIOR: Modern chic interior, brightly lit and vibrantly colored with an elegant but at the same time, sophisticated atmosphere. There is a bar and a dining area with the piano on one level and an additional dining area above. We chose to sit by the window on the upper level exactly at the same seats we were sitting on our previous visit. This time was daytime and we had a view of the beach as well.
LOCATION: In the heart of the Diplomatic District Street at West Bay on Corniche.
CUISINE: The true is that if you choose to come here you will surely enjoy the most delectable French Mediterranean cuisine. Portions are normal and flavorsome. If you check the menu through the web of the hotel you will see that it is varied and covers all tastes for very demanding clients.
BUSINESS LUNCH: For a 3 course menu, the quality of the food, the exceptional tastes and the perfect presentation I find the cost of QR 88 (€17.50) outstanding! (Extra selection of side dishes at QR 25, (€5.00)
As a Professional Travel Guide Writer and a person who is constantly trying new cuisines I have learnt to appreciate good food. I have become a food travel enthusiast and a good restaurant critic with much taste and experience. (Through experience comes confidence). Through travelling I seek out and sample all cuisines no matter how weird some are. When I visit a restaurant I feel like a critic and it is like being a consumer advocate. The more the meal costs, the higher will be the expectations. You see, eating out is so much more than what is served on your plate –it is the experience as a whole.
Exceptionally though and after my request to the Chef de Cuisine, I had the privilege to taste almost the whole of the menu with smaller portions of course, thus having a picture of the taste of most of what is on the business menu.
BUSINESS LUNCH: Nibbling and trying almost everything!
STARTERS/MAIN COURSE: We each had the Prawn Bisque, Wow!
Describing it right now it is as if I have the dish right in front of me. Well, I can only describe the texture as akin to silky smooth, slightly melted soft ice cream. In every bite there was a chunk of tender toothsome piece of prawn. The flavor was full-bodied, a sweetish seafood taste. The garlic bread matched so well here.
I tried the Confit Duck leg. I have to admit that I have tried this dish in so many restaurants but never had I been that satisfied with the taste. A true confit suggests softness and an intensity of flavor. The word evokes a certain rustic richness. Of course I found all the above on my exquisite confit, I enjoyed it to the maximum even though I knew that it is a calorie orgy. Words cannot describe how delicious the Duck Confit is here.
The piece of Foie Gras Terrine garnish got a tough cellular structure and was very creamy. It kept the flavor really wrapped up in the texture and it was superb! (QR 30 (€6.00) supplement.
Another Yummy dish was the Goat’s Cheese Tart (red onion marmalade) Magic crunchy pastry against roasted caramelized onions and creamy cheese… What a marvel!
Of course I tried everything my husband had. The Penne Pasta, comes in a vibrant presentation, cooked al dente, with a fragrant mushroom rich creamy tomato and herb sauce. Worth a try!
The Panfried Sea Bream dish comes with ratatouille, potato rosti & chive peurre blanc (creamy butter sauce well-seasoned). It is a delight in the mouth.
The last dish I tried was the Poached Roasted Chicken Breast. It is presented with green lentils, honey roasted carrots, broccoli & almonds. My husband loved it. It was cooked to perfection, tasty but it was a bit too rich for me.
BEVERAGE: There is an extensive selection of fine wines displayed in an all-glass wine cellar. (At least here the client has the opportunity to accompany the heavenly dishes with real wine or champagne in place of the fruity juice which is served in other restaurants around Doha.)
We accompanied our starters with a Cool Bottle of Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Reserva) –Chile origin. It matched well with what we had. On the palate, citric, with excellent acidity and notes of bananas. It had long agreeable finish. The bottle costs QR 225 (€46.00)
Highly recommended for the main course is the Italian wine Ruffino. (Orvieto Classico 2011) It is a well-known producer of Tuscan wines. The bottle costs QR 200 (€40.50) Easy drinking, aromatic and refreshing on its own. It has a pleasant stinging of the tartness of green apple and lime zest, with a dry clean finish and lingering aroma of green almond.
DESSERT: I tried All 3 desserts from the menu in half portion! Lemon Cheese Cake & Raspberry, Milk Chocolate Profiteroles, and a tried the ice cream (selection of ice cream & sorbets)
My husband who has a sweet tooth loved all, but I go for the Lemon Cheese Cake and Raspberry delight, although sugar was balanced on all 3 desserts. The Lemon cheese cake was creamy and full of lemon flavor, refreshing, reminding me of summer.
Lunch is served from noon – 3:30pm while Dinner is served from 7:00pm to midnight.
CONCLUSION: Highly recommended for a Romantic Outing, a Business Lunch, or a Special Occasion.
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