When Gastronomy meets Arts…
This week let’s discover Alain Ducasse’s restaurant in Qatar located at the Museum of Islamic Arts, my personal all time favorite place in Doha.
At your arrival at the location, you get to drive all the way up to the main gate where a valet parking is available. A hostess greets you and walks you through the restaurant where another hostess welcomes you at the door of IDAM restaurant.
The first look is striking. Mainly black and white colors, with lush furniture and edgy decoration by Phillip Starck.
We learn that 80% of the interior decoration has been custom made for the restaurant, with unique items such as the lamps for exemple, created by the designer himself.
A beautiful black carpet with white embroideries of arabic excerpt from the tale ‘One thousand and one nights’ is surely the jewel of the crown. It’s eye-catchy and locally inspired with a blend of culture and beauty.
We are being shown our table, with this amazing and clear view of Doha’s skyline. It gives us a rare sight throughout the atrium window, conceived by architect I.M Pei.
We cannot help but notice the impressive floor to ceiling bookcases. Our hostess informs us that Phillip Starck wanted this dinning experience to be also about ART which includes, various themed books, portraits of arabic artists, and of course Haute gastronomie.
The finest plates, cutlery, and crystal glasses completes this atmosphere of timeless chic and refinement.
I have to mention the chairs though for these are my big crush as you will see in the below pictures.
Comfy white leather seats, grey calligraphy laced combined with the whole interior gives us a fine balance between modernity and classicism with an arabian touch.
The service a la francaise is discreet yet very thoughtful and efficient. The staff is well-trained and speaks fluent Arabic, English and French.
The beverage menu is quite appealing, each drink has been created to complement the dishes with surprising combinations.
In the 60-seats restaurant, couples, friends and family with children were part of the clientele this evening.
The executive chef Romain Meder has created an ambitious and yet very unique and balanced menu.
Various mezze such as samboussek, halloumi royal, Omani shellfish or local lamb & camel combined with foie-gras, truffle or lemon caviar amongst other are on the menu.
Main courses also include the cookpot, signature dish of Alain Ducasse, with a crunchy egyptian rice combined with spicy seafood cooked and seasoned to perfection.
To finish with, desserts. The sweet trolley as a pre dessert, various infusions from all around the world (Marocco, China), and delicate pastries such as the fountain-inspired pastilla, fit all cravings.
And as the saying goes, a picture tells a thousand words…Here’s a sneak peek courtesy of Pierre Monetta.
At the end of your dinner, you also have the opportunity to visit the backstage of IDAM, this little tour is worth the watch as you can rarely access the kitchen of a professional brigade in their work place.
On your way out, a little surprise awaits you. A hostess hands you a little black bag with a sweet box to take away. There is also a card in an elegant black enveloppe summarizing your own dinner with the date of the day, as a memory, a cherished souvenir. Very thoughtful and extremely efficient.
When you get home, feeling comfortable and pampered, and you know that you’ve had a delicious meal and a truly unique experience, pat yourself on the back.
TIP: Ask the waiter for a sample of everything from the sweet and bread trolley, he will gladly oblige.