There are so many reasons to love eating out in Doha at the moment, and the newly opened Elements at the Four Seasons hotel is up there with the best of them.
It was in this restaurant last Thursday evening that, after weeks of denial about my rapidly advancing due date, I came to the sudden realisation about just how pregnant I had really become. For a start, I struggled to squeeze my stomach under the table in the booth we were led to by our waiter. When the menu was handed to us, I berated the number of delicious sounding items listed that I wasn’t able to eat. And when our careful selection of food finally arrived, I ate like I had never eaten before!
Just as its name suggests, the theme of the restaurant is based on the earth’s four naturally occuring elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This translates to very classy decor including chic but cosy indoor seating areas (Earth), a breezy poolside outdoor lounge (Air), open kitchens (Fire) and a well-stocked bar (Water).
The food on the menu reflects different elements of Asian cuisine, including Indian, Arabic, pan-Asian and seafood flavours. If that’s not enough, there are also two menu concepts served up on every night apart from Saturday, including ‘Eat Food’ (a la carte) and ‘Get Food’ (tapas-style dishes on a roaving trolley to supplement your probably-already-enormous meal). For those like me who love all food and usually want to try everything on the menu, this variety is both a blessing and a curse.
Prawn crackers with deliciously hot and tasty dipping sauces were brought to our table while we began the gargantuan task of choosing our food.
I was happy to discover a good-sized list of interesting mocktails, and ended up opting for one recommended to me by our waiter, with a name which escapes me, but which contained passion fruit, was pleasantly sour, and was topped with half an empty passion fruit skin filled with delicious lemon sorbet.
After umming and ahhing (and receiving just a little help from the waiter), we eventually decided on a large selection of dishes to share.
Lobster Kebbeh, which were perfectly deep fried and crispy and dressed with radishes, pistachio, pomegranate and tahina. I enjoyed the complex mixture of flavours but found the Kebbeh themselves to be quite dry.
Stunning Spring Rolls (Po Pie Gai), which I selected at the last minute on a whim, but was so glad that I did because they were deliciously crisp and tasted amazing. It made me realise that I had never had a Spring Roll that wasn’t dripping with grease before, and it was a pleasant surprise!
Next up was probably the most disappointing dish of the night. I ordered the Bali Salad because I was craving some green to supplement all of the meat and carbs, and the description of the coconutty-tamarindy-chickeny-chilli concoction sounded great on the menu. However, a bowl of fairly uninsteresting, cold meat landed on the table. It would have been great in a sandwich, but in my book, it could hardly pass as a salad.
Fortunately from there, the food only got better and better. I ordered the Shrimp & Chilli Mayo Tempura Rolls because they were pretty much the only sushi-style food that I was allowed on the menu. The crisp, mellow-tasting prawn which was cut through with the hot and slightly salty sauce was out of this world.
Mr Sunshine had opted for the one thing on the menu which I know I would have chosen first if I wasn’t pregnant, and I looked on enviously as he polished off his Samurai Rolls, which were stuffed with spicy Tuna, topped with seared Cajun Tuna, and garnished with crispy onion and garlic ponzu.
We shared the Lobster Red Curry, which was quite spicy for our tastes, but not unenjoyable in the slightest. Pieces of Aubergine and Mango made for quite a surprising taste (although we had to fish around for the lobster and feel there could have been a few more pieces in there!) and I really enjoyed the combination of the sticky rice drenched in the sweet, coconutty curry.
The trolley inevitably arrived just as we were starting to feel a little full, but we thought it would be rude to turn the waiter away, so we selected a spicy Indian salad composed of bean sprouts, cabbage, green beans and coconut, with a peanut crisp; the Tilashmi Jhinga (deep fried sesame shrimps) and California Rolls.
All were delicious.
But the real star of the evening was dessert. A waitress stuck her head around our booth as we were perusing the dessert menu and said “I think Miss Polly might enjoy the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate!”. I only had to hear the name to agree with her.
Paired with a sweet cup of rose tea, it was the perfect end to a really enjoyable evening.
Our only real disappointment was that we hadn’t been able to try the Dim Sum which we had heard such amazing things about, but we are just taking this as an excellent excuse to go back…do you think I’ll have a chance to squeeze in another visit before the baby arrives?! I certainly hope so.
We were guests of the Four Seasons Doha this time, but as always all views are my own.