Nobu. If you’ve been to one, you would be forgiven for thinking that they all have uniform continuity and consistency in their decor and design across restaurants…. You would be forgiven, but totally wrong.
Unless the other Nobu you have been to is 26,000sq ft and on its own entire island? No. This is the worlds largest (and most impressive) Nobu.
Part of the fabulous and incredibly popular Four Seasons Hotel, the restaurant (building/island) is set on a separate island and is created to look entirely like an Oyster Shell. Why? … Well I am glad you asked. It is because of and in homage to Qatar’s rich history of Pearl diving.
The interior continues the motif and is designed across 4 areas: The white pearl (The 1st floor bar), The Black pearl (The 2nd Floor Bar), The restaurant itself and the rooftop bar (which deserves its own paragraph and so I will return to this).
The set menu we had was the Omakase Menu which loosely translates as “leave to the chef”… I mean, there is definitely NO argument here and truthfully it may as well have translated as “Don’t ever choose your own food again because the chef knows better” as I will probably be tempted to do this next (every) time.
Before we had even started, their appetisers selection (including Scallop and Foie Gras Vanilla den Miso and mini Lobster Tacos) was enough to make our eyes light up and us ask the question, “These are just the appetisers?!” This was Wow level 10…
For me, there were two stand out dishes in this avalanche of delicious food. Firstly was the Soft Shell Crab Tempura with Amazu Ponzu… This was so subtle and sweet that it made even the crab-apprehensive people on my table cave. It was lightly battered and served with a sweet sauce. Let’s also take a moment to talk about the size of the crab leg it is served with…
Secondly, and rather predictably if you know me at all, was the Black Miso Cod. This is as consistent as Camels in Qatar and for me was cooked to perfection.
This was served along side a dish of Chilean Sea Bass with a silky Jalapeño Dressing.
Other notable winners were the Rock Shrimp Tempura with Creamy Spicy or Butter Ponzu (which I always order when I order for myself) and a surprise contender in the form of the yellow tail sashimi.
Ordinarily, while I like yellowtail as much as the next girl, it can be a little “meh” with the flavour impact, but this time it was served with Jalapeño to give it a little extra kick. These were eaten in around 0.9 seconds by us.
It is also worth noting that as one of the diners was gluten free, they took it upon themselves to create separate versions of gluten-full dishes for her and swap everything with soy for Tamari. (Basically the same as soy sauce, sans wheat).
For dessert, it would be quicker to name the things that we didn’t have rather than ALL of the things we did.
This included little Mochi Ice Cream wrapped in soft rice pastry dough, which I am usually not a fan of, but these ones were slightly sweeter than the others I have had and seemed to work well for me.
Nobu Creamy cheesecake with raspberry sorbet, also the Caramelized Vanilla Cake (Layered dessert of almond biscuit, vanilla anglaise, caramelized egg custard served with apricot shiso sorbet).
Then there were The truffles, the Ice Cream selection and don’t even get me started on the Seasonal Exotic Fruit Selection aka the fruit mountain including dragon fruit, plums and the fruit that I keep going on about, Persimmon. (If an apple, a nectarine and a Dragon fruit had a child, a Persimmon would be their child).
It is important also to mention how utterly impressive and attentive all of the staff were. They were beyond fantastic.
The Rooftop Bar:
This rooftop bar is cool. Its Ibiza cool meets Dubai cool, meets achingly trendy cool.
It has 360 degree views of the Arabian Gulf, the skyscraper skyline and the less built up areas of Doha. This is like the city skyline vista of your dreams.
For cocktails, we had the Lychee Martini, the Yuzu Pear Martini (Vodka, Pear Puré and the Nobu Shochu Dragon),the Nobu Shochu (Elderflower, Dragon Fruit, Soda & Fresh Lemon) and the Ginger Kiss (Sake, Fresh Ginger, Peach Liquor, Pineapple Purée, Fresh Pineapple Juice, Orange Blossom) among (many) others.
Set around a central waterfall, the top of the “Oyster shell” winds up to a pinnacle bar and DJ playing Balearic/Contemporary House beats and setting the mood for a relaxed but chic drink… Of which they have many.
While you can always count on Nobu to deliver with their food, this is the first time in a long time that I have been wowed by a building. Trust me. This is something you NEED to see…
Nobu – Nobu Doha, Four Seasons Hotel, The Corniche, P.O. Box 24665
Four Seasons Doha – Four Seasons Hotel, The Corniche, P.O. Box 24665