Succulent sliced steak

Shereen D’Souza is all for some Josper-cooked meat on a winter night

Succulent sliced steak

Remember The Crystal Maze from back in the day? It might have been on TV more than 20 years ago (revived recently with the inimitable Richard Ayoade hosting), but we were big fans of that mystical world of challenges and adventure. This might be one of the reasons we love Illusion. It’s shrouded in mystery right from the entrance, all through the walkway that leads up to the central foyer and finally through one of the many doors that you have no idea what’s behind. It’s absolutely beautiful and Illusion sits high on our list of must-visit places in Doha.

It has the advantage of a brilliant location. The Secret Garden is our pick from the different venues you can dine (and party) at inside Illusion. Remember that epic mushroom truffle pizza we praised so much? If you do, then you probably also remember that Illusion does the best bar food in town.

This cooler weather is great for our dish of the month – the tagliata di manzo, a grilled, sliced rib-eye fillet with courgette purée and cheese croquettes. This plate already scores high on visual appeal alone. A juicy Australian black Angus steak is prepared in a specially imported Josper oven and marinated with thyme, marjoram, rosemary, shallot and extra virgin olive oil. It comes nicely charred and literally oozes seasonal flavours. The courgette cream and sous-vide sweet potatoes perfectly offset the density of the meat, while the Napolitan-style mozzarella croquettes add a nice crunch to the dish.

If The Secret Garden is not your thing, you’ll be happy to know the tagliata di manzo is served all over Illusion. The Pearl Bar is its newest addition and if you opt to eat here, you might be (pleasantly) surprised with the performers who will sashay past you. You might even be entertained by a lady with an illuminated lamp for a head.
QR150. Open Sat-Wed 6pm-2am, Thu-Fri 10am-2am. Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar (4035 5757).

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