I had planned the evening with precision, right down to the minute detail, from what time I served Sophia her supper, to how long I rocked her to sleep for, in order to maximise my chances of being able to slope out of the front door while she was still in blissful slumbers. I decided that the restaurant we were going to had to be befitting of the occasion, and luckily my date of choice, a friend as stylish and sophisticated as she is discerning, approved of my choice.
I had opted for New York Steakhouse in the Marriott Marquis, an oldie but a goodie on the Doha dining scene. I was craving a classical setting and style of service, somewhere we could have a good chat without being drowned out by background music, and a really decent steak, plus I'd heard they had a truffle promotion running, and was interested to find out which decadent delicacies Chef David Dahlhouse would be serving up.
Based on his reputation for attention to detail, I had a sneaking suspicion that whatever it was, it was going to be good.
The special truffle menus, which are running from the 12-28 February in both New York Steakhouse and Cucina around the corner are simple yet interesting, drawing inspiration from classic truffle dishes, with special twists from the restaurants' innovative chefs.
After the wine was poured, our meal began with a crispy organic egg.
The egg nestled within a deep fried nest, on top of truffle potato cream and a rich slither of Wagyu Bresaola. The Périgueux Black Truffles in this dish gave it a rich and interesting flavour, and the satisfying array of different texture combinations made it a satisfying dish to eat.
Next up, came a stunning plate of Rangers Valley Beef Tartare.
With a perfectly cooked confit egg yolk on top, and a little jug of Bloody Mary, some truffle shavings and all of the traditional garnish as accompaniments, this was probably the best beef tartare I have ever eaten.
Before our main course came out, our waiter popped over to our table to see how we were getting on, and to ask whether we might want to sample one of the dishes from the Cucina menu. Never ones to turn down the offer of extra food, we nodded emphatically, and five minutes later, a risotto arrived at our table.
Drizzled with truffle oil, with large shavings of black truffle, this rissotto was creamy and nutty, glutinous, comforting and moreish, and even though I knew we still had two courses to go, I couldn't help but wolf it down in a matter of minutes. It made me wonder what other delights Chef Marco was serving up across in Cucina, and made a mental note to head back before the promotion ended to find out.
The main act of the evening was the Slow Cooked US Beef Short Rib.
While I would never usually opt for ribs on a menu, this one was meaty and tender, paired beautifully with the fermented truffle jus, and was complemented by the cassoulet of haricot beans and root vegetables, and the crispy kale.
Finally, earlier in the night, as is customary at New York Steakhouse, our waiter had brought over the box of steaks and described each choice cut to us in detail, from the beautifully marbled Kangers Valley Australian Wagyu, through to the Autralian Black Onyx, a very special steak which can't be found anywhere else in Doha.
He had asked whether we would be interested in sampling any of them, and even though we'd already decided that we would be ordering the entire truffle menu, so as not to appear rude (ahem!), we agreed to go for a Trio of Tenderloin to complete our meal: the US Omaha Natural (grass-fed beef), Mulwarra Australian and that intriguing Australian Black Onyx.
When the three of them arrived at our table, we didn't think we would be able to eat another morsel, but after one delicious mouthful, we somehow made space!
A good cut of beef is only good if it's cooked correctly, and all three of these steaks were as soft as butter, juicy and delicious. Take it from me, New York Steakhouse isn't widely considered to be the best steakhouse in Doha for nothing!
It had been a wonderful evening; just long enough for me to start missing Sophia, but not so short that I didn't have time to savour every course that had been brought to our table. The company had been top notch, the wine free-flowing, and the service and ambience immaculate.
I couldn't think of a better or a more relaxing way to spend a night away from my baby. Do you think my husband will let me make this a regular thing?
Where's your favourite place for steak in Doha?
The Truffle Extravaganza is running from 12 - 28 February in Cucina and New York Steakhouse. Book soon to avoid missing out!
Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha, Omar Al Muktar Street, Doha, Qatar
(+947) 4419 5000
I was a guest of the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha this time, but as always all views are my own.