Sunday, June 16, 2013

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Doha Review: Crossroads Kitchen, Renaissance West Bay

My husband and I went there last Wednesday night for a taste of home-food, whilst an empty restaurant the service was good, the staff were attentive and showed us around the vegetarian selection (which was aplenty) and trust me it was just too good! They had a mix of South and North Indian cuisine and the mix and taste of each item reminded me of the Indian restaurants I frequented in Malaysia. The north Indian selection were way better than its south Indian counterpart. For instance the pani puri and bheer puri was delightful, the whole damn thing melted in your mouth in a burst of different tastes but the same can't be said for a plate of dosa (fondly known as Thosai in Malaysia) which was a bit too soggy and thick. But the sambar that went along with the dosa tasted so much like it did back home. Even the chutneys were tasty. 

In terms of menu selection, I don't know where to begin. Let me recall...

You have 2 selection of soups-the 9 vegetable-mix soup (a must try) and the other a meat soup. They had a selection of meat, vegetable and cottage cheese sag. Then came the cooking stations, they cooked dosa, fried vada and some Kerala bread (that tasted and looked so much like roti canai) with its selection of dipping sauces and gravy. AT The pani puri section fresh pani puri is made before your very own eyes, according to your taste bud and delivered to your table. They also had lamb ghost which was in this huge silver platter. They also made fresh liver and prawn chop, which was cooked before you and given to you fresh. I fell in love with their dessert so I tried almost all except for the ice creams and kulfis. The dessert were a detectable selection from all parts of India. For example, the traditional yellow laddu was replaced with the (what I call as) the rock-white laddu. It's a fucking dense white ball that you can play tennis with but the moment you bite into it, it starts to melt and engulfs your mouth in this black hole feeling, you can't spit it out or open your mouth, so you just let it take its (melting) course down your throat. They had a section for fried bread dipped with sweet cream (Indian version of Elvis's peanut butter fried bread) Another section was for Western bread (really a waste because no one even went near it, plus Western bread selection doesn't go well with Indian food, no?) TimeOutDoha had for the past 2 months falsely advertised that they had gajjar halwa but I couldn't find it here. They also had a bar that served alcohol and non alcohol drinks till 10.30pm. On the salad table, they had a wide variety of Indian snack food; namely the bher mix, Arabian dipping sauces, pickles,samosas and cut fruits. I have to mention one thing tho, they only have 2 types of beer that is the famous Indian beer; The Kingfisher and Carlsberg. They kept the food warm under a bevy of infra-red lights, and in claypots.

The soup station; 2 choices of soups were available

The main sag section; a total of 3 meat and 3 vegetarian options were available

                                       The salad stations with salad dipping choices and pickles

The lamb ghost and liver-prawn station

Vada station

Pani puri and bher puri section

Cold salad platter next to the Indian bread station

The liver station where they mix liver and prawns and fry them for you fresh

Dosa and vada station...

...fresh dosa being cooked, note the copper bowls of chutneys and sambar

An angle of the restaurant

Spirits and whiskeys

Beers, wines and bubbles

Fruit juices

Indian sweetmeats

The gulab jamun kept warm under the infra red light and a container of cold and sweet rasgulla

The fruit salad platters

If I wasn't already so stuffed I would have gone for the kulfi. It looked tempting

The table with fried bread and sweet sauce topping consisting of cinnamon, sugar, saffron and some sweet spices mix. Of course you can top it off with M&Ms, corn flakes and other condiments

The only drawback here is if you make a reservation try to get the tables away from the kitchen and buffet station, they have terrible ventilation here and you know Indian food has that smell that stubbornly stays on your hair and clothes that would only go away with a good wash. Plus the liver-and-prawn station is right next to the sitting places so you can't escape the smell unless you're seated in the more private booths at the far end of the restaurant.

All in all, it was a good dinner buffet and the prices were reasonable. The prices are :

510 riyals for a bottle of champagne, unlimited alcohol and dinner
195 riyals for non alcoholic dinner
275 riyals for unlimited alcohol and dinner

Here are some prices for the dinner buffet, both with and without alcohol...

and up close shots with prices below...

Tab for two

Indian night is every Wednesday from 6:30pm till 11:30pm. You may call 44146100 for reservations. The staff were very friendly and showed us the vegetarian options (being vegetarians ourselves) and the hostess; upon learning that we were Malaysians starting talking in Bahasa-her being from Indonesia so we got whatever we requested right. The restaurant was thoroughly empty on that night, probably because Indian food is not such a big hit among Westerners; West Bay literally being occupied by a majority Westerners, Eastern Europeans, a handful of Japanese/Koreans and not forgetting the high-end Russian/Chinese escorts

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