Market by Jean-Georges
Swanky international fodder in the W Doha hotel 1 Reviews
Get your choice of burger for QR110 Timings: 6pm-11pm (Saturday)
Get three courses for QR89 Timings: Noon-4pm (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday)
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The W Doha has become one of the swankiest hotspots in the city, where Doha’s glitterati and wannarati mix and mingle. And eat. Open for almost two years, Market by Jean-Georges is tucked away in the corner of the first floor. Upon entering, you forget you’re in a hotel – it feels like a self-contained restaurant, and not at all like you should be able to sign for your meal with your room number.
Servers are milling around, and present us with two menus – the regular a la carte fare, and a special Grill Night promotional menu. We opt, in the interest of the review, to stick to the regular menu, which though small seems to cover all the bases. It’s international contemporary cuisine with a minimalist approach to food – menu items are laid out with their ingredients listed, and lovely smells coming from the kitchen add to the enticement. I go for the calamari to start, while my dining companion chooses ebi sashimi from their small and slightly-oddly-placed sushi menu. When they arrive, mine is overflowing, a mighty tower of calamari with a dish of olive tartar sauce on the side and a hunk of lemon to squeeze over it all, while hers is an artfully arranged yet tiny portion of three pieces of lonely sashimi. It might be small, but it’s flavourful and tender. The calamari is perfectly cooked – crisp and crunchy on the outside without being greasy or heavy, and the tartar sauce is a surprise: a bit like an olive tapenade, it’s a grown-up dipping sauce for classy people.
Onwards to the main course, she chooses the salmon while I go for the rotisserie chicken. The salmon comes presented with vegetables on a bed of mashed potatoes, with a mysterious puree caging it in. The fish is just right, not overdone but not undercooked, with mild flavours that allow you to actually taste the salmon, instead of just the stuff it’s been cooked in. Typically, my dining companion is the food-cannot-touch type, but here she finds it’s best to scoop a little bit of everything, especially the mystery puree, onto her fork at a time: the flavours are perfect, blending together in harmony, and each element is actually better when combined. The chicken too is just what it should be: soft, tender, with a comfort food feel. That’s carried through with mashed potatoes and green beans, as well as a tasty natural jus that’s lighter than a gravy would be, but still gives a nice tang to the dish. Both are hearty portion sizes, and while the presentation is lovely, it’s not such a masterpiece I’m not sure where to put my fork: this looks like food, and moreover, food you’d be able to identify and want to eat.
I’d heard lovely things about some of their mixed drinks and mocktails, and I was keen to try – when we ordered the starters, I also requested a Cherry Yuzu soda, a mix of juices and soda water that intrigued me. Three waiters and four requests later it finally arrives, halfway through the main course – while they are attentive, and not more than four different people stop by to ask us how the food is while we eat, it was the only part of the evening we could pick fault with.
Well, apart from when we order coffee with our dessert: dessert appears, cherry sorbet for my friend and banana cake with caramelised banana and chocolate sorbet for me, but coffee is nowhere to be seen. Finally, after asking a third time if it’s gotten lost, it too appears.
But the desserts more than make up for this. The cake is lovely and spongy, like a sophisticated version of a treat I would have loved as a five-year-old, and the sorbet is zippy and smooth, although my friend isn’t sure about the cherry – it’s a bit tart for her taste. But overall, there is little to fault, and we can see why places like this are helping the W build such a reputation.
The bill (for two)
1x large water QR35
1x ebi sashimi QR45
1x calamari QR55
1x salmon QR100
1x chicken rotisserie QR80
1x cherry yuzu soda QR30
1x banana cake QR45
1x sorbet QR20
Total (incl charges) QR410
Time Out Doha,
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