There’s a new restaurant in town, and I have an inkling that you’re going to like it. Mr Sunshine and I had heard that it was so special in fact that it was our first and only choice of restaurant to visit in celebration of my mother in law’s last evening in Qatar last week. One mind-blowing meal later, and Zengo is now firmly on my list of places to visit for an extra special date night – and when date nights are as rare as they are for me these days, I can afford to be picky!
Here are six reasons why I think you would enjoy a trip to Zengo for your next date too.
1. The views are breathtaking
Located on the 61st floor of Kempinski Residences and Suites, the city’s tallest tower, the restaurant boasts sweeping vistas over Westbay and The Corniche. This almost birds-eye panorama of the skyline is one of the most impressive that I have seen in my three years in Doha. It adds a large dose of romance and excitement to the whole experience, and I can’t wait to return in December when the restaurant starts to open for lunch to enjoy the view in daylight hours.
2. The vibe is chic
Inside the building, the view is no less impressive. The modern wooden and metallic interiors and cavernous ceilings create a feeling of elegance and space. Origami-style bird sculptures float above your head, reminding you that you’re way above the clouds and there are special spaces to be discovered, including an upper level for entertainment and parties; a long, open sushi counter; and open and more discreet dining areas to choose from in different parts of the restaurant, depending on your preference.
3. The menu has been thoughtfully developed to perfection
These days I wouldn’t expect anything else from Celebrity Chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval, whose other restaurants in Doha, including Isla (formerly Pampano) and Toro Toro are among my most frequented dining spots. The carefully-curated and extensive menu is an entirely unique take on Pan-Asian cuisine, inspired by Chef Sandoval’s travels across Asia, and it features everything from Sushi to Wok Dishes, and Curries to Dim Sum, each with its own special twist on the original dish.
4. The food is completely different to anything else in Doha
Chef Marko Maric, formerly of Toro Toro fame has been appointed to head up Zengo’s kitchen, and there aren’t many more qualified for the job. As all food bloggers say however, the proof is (literally) in the pudding, and boy is this pudding great! In fact, the Chili Chocolate pudding with burnt milk icecream (which takes half an hour to make, so order this with your mains if you want it!) and mini donuts really are two of the best desserts I’ve ever had.
Precede these with the Sashimi Platter, Shrimp Tempura, Chicken Karaage, Short Rib Dumplings, Pumpkin Curry, Stir Fried Noodles, Nasi Goreng and Wagyu Beef and you will be one of the happiest diners in Doha.
5. The waiting staff remind you of home
And by this I don’t mean that they’re like the waiting staff in your home country; they actually welcome you as if you’re family! Our waiter, Sone was knowledgeable and ever-present without being overbearing. We were politely and kindly talked through every aspect of each dish as it came to our table. A high chair, baby crockery and a pot of baby-appropriate vegetables were fetched at our request, and no judgement was passed as Sophia proceeded to throw the thoughtfully prepared food all over the floor. Sone answered our difficult questions without blinking and as we left it was like saying goodbye to an old friend. We promised to return soon. Yes, Zengo is fine dining, but with none of the stiffness that you would usually expect of such an establishment. Instead it is warm and just as surprisingly enticing as its food.
6. The night doesn’t have to end there
With Chef Sandoval’s highly acclaimed Z-Lounge just next door, there is no excuse not to pop to the bar for a celebratory post-dinner tipple. The cocktail list is extensive, and if you leave feeling anything like we did, you’re going to welcome a little sit down in a cosy armchair while you slowly disgest the feast you’ve just consumed.
Zengo is an excellent addition to the Doha dining scene, and I’m already planning our next date night there. See you back there in 2017 then Sone?!
Al Qassar Street, West Bay, Doha | 4405 3333
We were guests of Zengo on this occasion, but as always all views are my own.