It’s a Tuesday in the desert and my friends and I are craving a mid week break. Not wanting to wait until the weekend, we unanimously agree on making a reservation at Prime -Intercontinental The City, Doha. We hear it’s been shortlisted as the best steakhouse in Doha for the Time Out food awards 2015 and that adds to the excitement even more so.
Post work, a quick wardrobe change and we are ready to steak out! Our reservation is made for 8 pm and we arrive bang on time. The restaurant is still quite and for now we are the first to dine at Prime.
We step out of the elevator and the staff extends a warm welcome. Being seated at a table for 4 facing the live cooking station we are absolutely impatient to start this meat fest.
First things first, we are handed over menus and a beautiful fresh breadbasket with a tray of butters in 3 different flavors – salted, olive and herb. Our post work starving stomachs devour on the bread and we find a clear winner among the 3 flavors – the herbed butter. We quickly pick out a bottle of red to start of our little midweek celebration and having recently visited the Languedoc region in France we settle for a bottle M. Chapoutier – Bila Haut.
I scan through the menu I see that it has a wide selection of starters ranging from a simple onion soup to creaser salad, crab cakes to beef tatare. The menu is designed with lots of attention, giving all those non-meat eaters a variety to choose from too. So even if your date is not the biggest fan of meat you don’t have rule out the experience of dining at Prime.
As we wait for our starters we are handed out an exquisitely plated petit palate pleaser. The server briefs us on the dish and it’s a niçoise salad with a slice of raw Tuna and quail egg. I am impressed with the unexpected hospitality and can’t wait for the starter I actually ordered.
Within a few minutes of clearing out our plates our starters arrive. For me personally the carnivore that I am the highlight was just as I had hoped. A 24hr cooked short rib served with a wasabi sauce that just melted away on my palate. With every bite the meat dissolved and left behind a beautiful lingering taste in my mouth. It was so good that it was hard to concentrate on the conversation going on the table at that point. The portion was more than enough as 2 medium sized pieces we dished out that was rich enough to fill half my belly.
My greedy taste buds though asked for more and so I have a bite of the Beef Tartare from my husband’s plate. The one thing that hits me immediately is the seasoning and freshness that was an absolute delight. Freshly chopped and seasoned as a Tartare should be my husband was extremely pleased he picked it off the menu but also suggested we swap plates after being swoon away with a small taste of the short rib. Our friends too, quite happily finish their Onion Soup without any trouble at all and tell us that it was absolutely divine.
The servers are attentive and make sure our drinks were refilled, plates cleared and give us enough time between meals. As we all admire our second and main course being prepped in the open kitchen we are handed over a tiny little ice-cream bowl with basil sorbet! Seeing the confusion on our faces our server mentions this was a little palate cleanser before we are dished out our much-awaited steak.
The sorbet I must say is deliciously fresh and leave us wanting a few more scoops of it. However, we are here for the meat and so we decide to stay focused on the winning prize! Our steaks were all ordered medium to rare and hence dinner was served in no time.
Honestly at first glance I am disheartened to see a tiny little piece of Tenderloin but looks can be deceptive. As I cut through the perfectly seared meat I see its medium rare in the center just as requested. My dinner companies seem to satisfied with their steaks too as all I can hear is pin drop silence at the table. Seems to me like they were enjoying their meals just as much as I am . The sides ordered to share were garlic potato mash, creamed spinach, potato gratin and grilled asparagus. For the steak sauces we request for Roquefort, pepper and veal sauce.
I have to say we are thoroughly pleased with our meals in total. The portion of sides was more than enough to share however the quality wasn’t exceptional for the price.
Post steaking out! Our server asked if we would like to indulge in dessert but by now we are absolutely stuffed. We politely decline and opt to have a shot of espresso instead. I am quite sure the desserts are very well prepared but unfortunately I really don’t have an honest opinion for the same as we skipped this part of the meal.
We await to pay our bill when the young chef walks out to say hello to us but barely makes any conversation, as he is too shy to. He then walks around the restaurant mingling with other dinners and then quickly vanishes back to his comfort zone.
We pay our bill and as we walk out I take a quick tour around the restaurant and discover an esthetically set private dining room. We walk out feeling a few kilos heavier than when we arrived and discuss how hard it may be to wake up the next day for a long day of work.
Damages: 1800 QR + 25% Discount with our Intercontinental Privilege Card = 1400 QR.
Ambience & setting: Beautifully styled with rich wooden furnishing. A wood + glass cabinet wall makes a stunning cellar. The restaurant has a few curved dinner setting, a large table for a perfect family or work – steakhouse dinner night and a very spacious private 8 persons dinning area. The lighting is bright enough to see and appreciate what you’re being served without compromising on the ambience.
Final Verdict: A great place to have a night out with someone special. Good, simple yet perfectly cooked steaks with an extensive and vast selection of wine. This Classic American steakhouse is an absolute delight.
Until next time and another food review.
Bon Appetit X Rochelle Zonnenberg
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