Opal by Gordon Ramsay
Time Out Says
After years of Doha’s Friday binges, what a thrill it is to find another restaurant offering the more traditional form of brunch.
At Opal by Gordon Ramsay, one is presented with a slender menu of under 20 items.
There’s a fair balance of egg dishes to cover the boiled-poached-omelette dilemma, as well as surf and turf offerings to appease carnivores and pescetarians alike.
And here’s the best part: no decision necessary. Everything is brought to the table in tranches for family-style sharing. This inadvertently nudges the conversation to the food itself, as the communal wait inspires talk of what will be the winning dish.
By consensus – and simply because we ask for three more servings of it – the award for ‘star dish’ is claimed by the Jerusalem artichoke and creamy, woody wild mushroom risotto. The rice is fragrant and cooked to the perfect stage of al dente. We keep telling ourselves, ‘enough’ but instead ask the servers to bring out more.
We are relieved, quite frankly, because it’s the last item before dessert and the one that gets our palates truly excited. We blame it on expectation; we are dining, after all, at a restaurant bearing the name of TV’s most fearsome chef. We do not understand the severely overdressed salads or bland roast lamb. But the ultra-cheesy Croque Monsieur and plump mini-burgers are textbook renditions of true comfort food.
The service, especially for a busy brunch period, makes up for any culinary disappointment we may have. Drinks are efficiently refilled or replaced before the last drops vanish. New plates are set for every course. And an irregular request for a dessert from the restaurant next door is fulfilled with a smile and without a blink (at no extra charge, no less).
Speaking of, the menu should print in bold, caps lock: SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT.
English treats such as Eton mess, treacle tart and profiteroles await, each better than the next. If there is one entire course that seriously shines, then this is it.
It’s hard to believe by that point that nearly four hours had passed since we arrived to when sweets are served. Sitting on the patio in the mild winter breeze, listening to a live reggae band, our afternoon has melted away without us noticing.
That’s when we remember that this is how brunch should be – no gimmicks, no long lines, no clowns or balloons; just a relaxed meal shared with good company.
The bill (for two)
2x weekend brunch (soft drinks package) QR250 each
By Time Out Doha staff | 02 Feb 2014
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