Most people have a particular place that they like to visit when they’re feeling a little glum. For some this is somewhere associated with good memories, such as an independent cinema house or the place you went to on your first date with your other half. For others it’s somewhere that’s good for the soul, like the rolling hills of the British countryside, your local Church or your mum’s house for a long old chat.
For me, the place I choose to go to for a bit of comfort usually involves food.
And in Doha, my top choice is usually Megu, the modern Japanese restaurant just outside my front door. What is it about this establishment that has meant it has meant it has gradually become my place of refuge when I’m feeling a bit out of sorts? Allow me to explain.
The restaurant is a stone’s throw from home, meaning that I can be there in two minutes flat should I suddenly feel the need for a little cheer.
The view of the beautiful Arabic domes of the restaurant, as seen from my balcony.
Discreet and tucked away, there is an exclusive feel to the place, from the private elevators that whisk you up to the first floor restaurant…
To the excellent service and attention to detail that you receive once you are up there.
The circular, domed interior is plush, yet comfortable.
And the outside terrace showcases a stunning panorama across the marina of The Pearl, framed by the a giant window arch. The view looks equally as evocative whether you’re there for a bright and breezy daytime lunch…
Or a romantic nighttime date.
I met my blogging buddy, Rosalyn at the restaurant last week for a catch up, and to let off some steam (you can read Rosalyn’s account of our visit here). There is something particularly comforting to catch up with someone who just ‘gets’ you when you’ve had a bad week.
And even better, who understands the absolute necessity to capture the perfect photo before you even contemplate eating.
We opted for the lunchtime deal which is a steal at 140 QAR (25 GBP) for 3 courses. Greedy little food bloggers that we are, we decided to share most of our meal so that we were able to sample twice the items on the extensive menu.
To start, fresh and delicate Tuna Tartare.
And Crispy Friend Asparagus on sticks which was cooked enough to be crunchy on the outside, and yet still firm and not overcooked on the inside.
Next up, Rosalyn had opted for herbed chicken breast and crab rolls which were a delicious fushion of Japanese and European flavours (I didn’t try the rolls but she assured me they were great!).
I went for the sizzling steak, which I had remembered from my last visit was an absolute cracker.
I wasn’t disappointed.
The meat cooked away atop onions on the hot stone in front of me, and I struggled to remember a time that I had eaten steak that was that tender or tasty. Eating this dish was like being wrapped in a huge, snuggly blanket on a cold rainy night. The ultimate comfort food.
It’s amazing what a bit of time with food and friends can do for your state of mind, isn’t it?!
When all of the above was combined with cheesy truffle fries when they were brought to the table, I suddenly hadn’t a care in the world.
Now, after all this perfection, dessert didn’t go down quite as well as I would have liked. My Pana Cotta, albeit beautifully presented, was a funny texture and a little sour.
I looked on enviously as Rosalyn tucked into her Creme Brulee, which I knew to be amazing, and reminded myself to order that next time (and every other time I ever go to this place again – it is that good).
As we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, I was reminded of the last time I had visited Megu, just before Rich and I had jumped on a plane back to the UK at Christmas-time. I was in a similar mood when I’d walked through those doors – a little down-beaten from working hard and more than ready to see my friends and family again.
But sitting there with a tasty sesame-encrusted crunchy asparagus on a stick in one hand, fruity cocktail in the other, everything just somehow felt OK again.
Maybe it’s the tasty food, maybe it’s the ambience of the place, but I’m pretty sure that Megu has magical healing properties.
Do you have a go-to place when you’re feeling in need of a pick-me-up?