La Mer Bistro
Look no further for excellent food to enjoy over a long, lazy evening meal Discuss this article
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Ahotel chain like The Ritz-Carlton comes with certain preconceptions. Rooted in a kind of old-world luxury, it’s a property you associate with precisely plated food, expensive grape lists and crisp white tablecloths illuminated by fluttering candle-light. Restaurants at hotels like The Ritz tend to be the epitome of fine-dining, so when La Mer closed last year, we expected something similarly haute to open in its place.
Not that we’re complaining. La Mer Bistro may have been unexpected, but it’s a refreshing change from the predictable dining that tends to dominate these five-star haunts.
The overall effect here is cosy and charming with wood panelled walls, simple, rustic tables and chairs, a few vintage posters and hand-written menu boards. Table water is even provided free (yes, really), decanted into glass jugs on the table while cutlery and napkins sit in tins. It exudes that laid-back, sophisticated bohemian vibe that has made areas of Paris like Montmartre so famous, but, if anything, goes a little overboard with its casual bistro image with phrases like “snob-free casual dining” dotted around when the atmosphere would be better left to speak for itself.
When it comes to the food, you’ll find plenty of hearty, warming classics like moules marinière, Burgundy-style braised beef and a sharp, zesty crêpes Suzette. Only the French onion soup really disappoints. It’s fine, but it lacks a depth of flavour that we suspect is due to omitting red grape, and we would have preferred it to come with a thicker layer of gooey Gruyère cheese.
The duck, on the other hand, is outstanding. It falls off the bone at the slightest nudge and is served with delightfully crisp skin and dauphinois potatoes that are indulgently cheesy and creamy.
La Mer Bistro is all about simple pleasures, and this is the sort of meal you inevitably end up lingering over for a few hours, chatting with pals and soaking up the ambience. Good food, made well, without any unnecessary bells and whistles. Perfect.
The Bill (for two)
1x soupe a'l'oignon QR35
1x moules Frites QR85
1x confit de canard QR115
1x crepes Suzette QR45
The bottom line
A delicious and down-to-earth addition to Doha’s casual dining scene.
Time Out Doha,
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