After reading the revues on Trip Advisor, we decided to give the Admiral's Club a try as a local band we knew members of were playing tonight. Unfortunately, they weren't there but we decided to stay for a few drinks and a meal. It was quite pleasant on the balcony over looking the marina and, at this time of the year, the temperature at night is divine without any of the nasty biting bugs you find in more temperate or tropical climates when dining outside. We were lucky to find a table unoccupied as this venue seemed to be quite popular, several very loud tables attesting to the fact that many hours had been spent at the waters edge enjoying the Admiral's Club's hospitality.
After sitting down, our table was cleaned and a bowl of nuts plus rather potent wasabi style snacks was placed on the table as our drink order was taken. We also requested a menu and our drinks and menu arrived very quickly. A short time later we were asked if we were ready to order and, as the menu is quite simple, we were ready. I wasn't particularly hungry so I decided on an entree, Chicken Quesadilla , as my main meal with another entree, the Caesar Salad to accompany it. My husband chose the Admiral's Boat Burger. We advised that all dishes were to be presented at the same time.
My Chicken Quesadilla's and Caesar Salad arrived and the Quesadilla wasn't too bad, quite tasty although it was chicken between two tortilla's and cut into 4 portions. There was no cheese and it hadn't been grilled so each quarter had to be handled most carefully or the internal filling fell out. The Guacamole, sour cream and salsa were in small side bowls for dipping the tortilla package into....very carefully though or the filling fell out. Still, very very tasty, certainly an excellent size and I thoroughly enjoyed the dish.
My husband's burger arrived a few minutes later and, again, the portion size and presentation was excellent. However, my husband had not been asked his preference to what style fried potato's he would like and, the coleslaw was miniscule in size ...... he thought it was a condiment to go with the burger. It certainly wasn't what you would call a coleslaw salad in the traditional sense.
Now, the Caesar Salad was a disaster. I'm afraid that the chef and I have a different interpretation of what a 'Caesar Salad' is comprised of. At the very least, you will see from the reference below, it should have contained eggs, though the majority of Caesar Salads I have enjoyed, from all over the world; from places such as Australia, several places in South-east Asia, the Mediterranean, Dubai and Abu Dhabi also contain crispy bacon (beef/turkey/pork) and tomatoes. When I complained to the waiter, I received an argument along the lines of "that is what a Caesar Salad is, ma'am." My reply was "No, this is a green Salad with a lovely Caesar style dressing." After several minutes of arguing....really??? .... yes... unfortunately, the customer is always wrong in Qatar, and the Filipino staff will argue that black is white if that is what it states on the menu.
I asked for the menu and sure enough, it stated 'Romaine Lettuce, Creamy Dressing, House Croutons. That's it........seriously!.... The term 'Creamy Dressing' is a worry when we ALL know WHAT a true Caesar dressing should contain. (I will state for the record, though, that it did have shaved Parmesan Cheese and not that horrible flaky stuff out of a shaker bottle.) However, if we go by the letter of the ingredients stated, it shouldn't have contained the Parmesan...so, that blows the argument right out of the water that the Admiral's Club states the ingredients with the stated menu item).
To cut this long story a little shorter, the 'Caesar Salad was taken back to the kitchen and we proceeded to enjoy our meal, the loud, drunken, some-what self-adulating conversation at the neighboring table...(eve's dropping wasn't our choice of entertainment and not the fault of the restaurant.... ) when returned the eggs were freshly boiled and delightfully warm but the tomato was anemically, cold storage plus the stalk end of the tomato was added to the mix...maybe I needed the extra roughage.
The bill was interesting as it included an extra charge for the extra ingredients to my 'Green Salad with Creamy Dressing'. We queried it but got more arguments from the staff and, for the extra QR15.00, we gave up and paid, asking to speak with the manager.
On the way out, we eventually had the opportunity to speak to the manager and several other staff to explain our dismay and vowing to not return. The manager stated we should not have been charged the extra....wow... now, THAT'S a reparation for an unsatisfactory experience at a high-end, international motel chain. I left my business card and advised them to view Trip Advisor within the next 24 hours.
Qatar is trying desperately to bring itself into the tourist spotlight and present itself as an international destination of choice to the avid traveler. Most places I have dined at have either been excellent in every way or, if I had reason to be somewhat dismayed, every opportunity was taken to make reparation to make our dining experience more memorable. Sadly, the Admiral's Bar fell short.
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