The Cellar

Tapas – and lots of it – comes to Doha, courtesy of the Oryx Rotana hotel Reviews

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Open since September 12, The Cellar is a wine and tapas restaurant located on the ground floor of the newly-built Oryx Rotana hotel near the airport. As the name suggests, the decor is reminiscent of an underground wine cellar of creamy stone, punctuated with clear glass, and softened by the darkest of woods. Crowning the room are elaborate chandeliers. The Cellar caters to small groups and is perfect for a business lunch, after-work drink or an evening with friends.

The venue will also be introducing a new concept to Doha: BYOB (bring your own bottle). This is increasing in popularity in the States, where such restaurants encourage guests to bring their own choice of beverage to drink with their dinner. The Cellar is adapting the concept to the particulars of Doha, so guests do not have to bring their own bottles from outside, but can purchase them at the door for a nominal fee. Not strictly BYOB, but certainly the next cheapest, and legal, thing.

Being a tapas bar, the wine list is longer than the food menu. For those unable to decide on their choice of grape, a separate bar has been designed for tastings, allowing guests to sample the most popular reds and whites prior to ordering. If wine isn’t your thing, there are other drinks, including juices, bottled water and aperitifs. For a tapas bar, sangria is conspicuously missing from the menu.

If the prospect of affordable wine in a restaurant isn’t enough to entice you, perhaps one of the daily specials will. For example, guests may purchase a selected bottle (not a BYOB) and receive three tapas free. The tapas are Mediterranean-influenced, from sea and land, hot and cold: smoked salmon on crispy baguette with cream cheese; chickpeas cooked in white wine with turkey cabanossi sausage and garlic; roasted baby potatoes with tomato sauce and fresh thyme.

Small tapa portions combine to make a meal depending on your stomach and budget. For a full dinner, calculate approximately four tapa orders per person, and the menu clearly marks those dishes containing nuts or alcohol. Lighter tapas are served first and service is conveniently staggered, so small tables aren’t overwhelmed with plates.

We opted for the Italian baby buffalo mozzarella tapa, which was a smooth combination of ripe cherry tomatoes, delectable baby buffalo mozzarella, and smooth balsamico with a shot of basil pesto. The French goat’s cheese and sundried tomatoes on crispy, garlic baguette was the perfect combination of sweet and salty. And we jostled over who had the privilege of eating the last oven-baked potato tortilla with bell peppers and cheese. We couldn’t decide, so we cut it in half. At this point our taste buds were just getting started and an indulgence in the Australian Black Angus beef medallions served with tomato salsa was called for – perfectly cooked, if missing a solid shake of salt on the beef and a quick jolt of spice in the salsa.

While all the tapas sampled were good, we felt that aside from the cheese dishes, some could have benefited with a touch more seasoning. We also were not too keen on the fish-based tapas – the New Zealand mussels, gratined with diced tomatoes, bell peppers and bread crumbs seemed slightly greasy and a tad overcooked, as were the king prawns with garlic and roasted bell pepper. Dessert filled the empty spots left in our stomachs. The dessert platter was just the right size for two to share. It has four different cakes to sample, from decadently, rich chocolate to fluffy, light berry. Follow up with an Americano, served in your own individual French press, which was excellent and possibly the best Americano we’ve tasted in Doha.

While we may be scrutinising the food just a little, much of the experience lies in the communal nature of tapas strongly, which influences the atmosphere and can make for an all-around sublime evening. Once seated, guests shouldn’t be surprised to find themselves relaxing in the casual elegance of The Cellar for hours.

From the soft chairs to the subdued music to the communal food, everything about The Cellar is designed to support leisurely conversation. It’s all about attitude. The Cellar whispers: come in, sit down, stay a while. Enjoy yourself. And we did.

The bill (for two)
1x Baby mozzarella QR34
1x Lebanese shanklish QR32
1x Goat’s cheese QR32
1x Potato tortilla QR29
1x Beef medallion QR65
1x Prawn QR68
1x Sardines QR52
1x Mussels QR45
1x Dessert platter QR49
1x Ice cream QR12
1x Espresso QR24
1x Americano QR24
1x Cabernet Merlot QR32
1.5 litre Aqua Fina QR25
Total (incl charges) QR523

By Time Out Doha Staff
Time Out Doha,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Oryx Rotana, Umm Ghuwaylina, Doha
  • Tel: 4402 3333
  • Travel: Al Matar Street
  • Website | Send mail

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The Cellar On The Map

User reviews:

Posted by: Millie on 11 Jan ' 12 at 06:43

We ate here for the first time last retail night (7th Jan 2012) and were blown away with the menu.
Firstly the bread to start was beautiful, we had the Goat's cheese bruchetta, tortilla - which was exceptional, baby potatoes wrapped in veal bacon, beef medallions and apple chicken. All of the food was outstanding.
The prices for the wine on retail night were fantastic!
Can't wait to go back!!

Posted by: krystel S on 09 May ' 11 at 13:23

remarkable restaurant , great food!

Posted by: shahrzad on 09 May ' 11 at 06:54

Nice restaurant. Amazing atmosphere and friendly people

Posted by: Manal on 09 May ' 11 at 06:50

Great Restaurant..

Posted by: Amino Shakara on 09 May ' 11 at 06:33

I love this restaurant!!

Posted by: Lara Daniel on 09 May ' 11 at 06:28

GREAT FOOD GREAT AMBIANCE!!!! BEST OF LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: shah on 09 May ' 11 at 06:15

Very nice place. Love the food in here. And the staff are very friendly as well. Would recommend trying it.

Posted by: Raghda on 09 May ' 11 at 06:06

Its the best restaurant i hv ever been, love it
cheerful staff
keep it up ;)

Posted by: Prakriya on 17 Apr ' 11 at 22:38

A amazing restaurant good food ,ambience
N staff

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