Hearty tapas, good service and a friendly vibe in the centre of Doha
  • +4

Time Out Says

Aceite is one of the new restaurants at the new Meliá Doha hotel, situated in the heart of West Bay. While Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor was the first of the big name restaurants to open shop, it is this semi-casual bar and restaurant that we opted for.

Opening the bar at 5pm and the restaurant at 7pm, this allows for a more relaxed feel, with one TV screen in the bar area and the other in the restaurant. Sitting ourselves down exactly at 7pm, we notice that the place is busy – the 5pm bar opening seems to have done the trick.

We start with a selection of tapas bites – mixed croquettes, with mushroom and spinach for the filling, go down exceptionally well. Each mouthful is packed with flavour. The deep fried patatas bravas we order, however, are not fully cooked for our palates and much of it gets left on the plate.

The other problem for us was that there was too much on the plates. Charging QR60 for the croquettes and QR50 for the patatas bravas, we would much prefer fewer bites and a lower price.

We accompanied the tapas with a tuna salad – a highlight of the meal. The tomatoes, peppers and potatoes worked perfectly with the flaked tuna to make an excellently refreshing salad.

On to the next courses and we chose the stewed oxtail and the seafood fideuà. The vermicelli-type pasta of the latter is best crunchy and this worked well, but some of the seafood accompanying it was a little dry for our tastes, and the apple aioli supposed to be in the dish could not be tasted by either of us. Not so the oxtail, falling apart seamlessly and the smoothness of the cauliflower puree added to the sumptuous texture of the dish.

For dessert, it would be a crime for us not to order the churros with chocolate. Unfortunately, it was still doughy in the centre – it needed a little longer in the fryer. But the winner of the whole meal came in the form of the crema Catalana – a Catalonian version of a crème brûlée, with an exquisitely smooth consistency and not as sickly as a typical brûlée.

Another thing of note is that the pair of us were in a rush. And the staff managed to get all the dishes out within one hour and little fuss. This was noticeable, while other tables were allowed to eat at a more relaxed pace. The ability to adapt to our circumstances showed that the chefs and the kitchen operate a tight ship.

We like the contemporary, chic vibe of the restaurant and bar. The only problem is that casual chic comes at a price. But it has character and we will be making a return visit.

The bill (for two)
1x ensalada Campera QR40
1x croquetas mix QR60
1x patatas bravas QR50
1x seafood fideuà QR100
1x oxtail de toro QR140
1x chocolate churros QR40
1x crema Catalana QR40
2x orange juice QR60
1x bread and tomatoes QR15
1x Fanta orange QR25
Total QR570

By Time Out Doha staff  | 29 Jul 2015

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Payment OptionsCash, Credit Card
12:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PMMonday: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PMTuesday: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PMWednesday: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PMThursday: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PMFriday: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PMSaturday: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Show number 4019 9999
Doha, West Bay, 61, West Bay Lagoon Street, Qatar

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