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La Mar Peruvian Restaurant At The Intercontinental Hotel Doha

At long last there is a Peruvian restaurant in Doha, and I’m going to get straight to the point – IT’S FANTASTIC. Although I’ve never been to Peru, I’ve had my fair share of ceviches around the world and La Mar did not disappoint. I mean, is it even a good Peruvian restaurant if their ceviche is not on point with bucket loads of maiz chulpe?

So what’s the deal? La Mar Doha offers contemporary Peruvian cuisine by Chef Gastón Acurioin. Vibrant cocktails, fresh seafood and charcoal-grilled meats; all in the beautiful beachfront setting of the Intercontinental Hotel & Residence West Bay.

La Mar is an exciting new restaurant that opened their doors in October and most definitely has my thumbs up in all aspects!

Details

La Mar Doha
Intercontinental Hotel
West Bay
Doha Qatar

Daily
Lunch 12:30pm – 4:00pm
Dinner 06:00pm – 11:30pm

Call
+974 4484 4919

Cebiches, Causas & Tiraditos

Cebiche Clásico (60QR, USD$16.5)
An incredible cebiche with authentic leche de tigre and a generous amount of cancha… YUM!

Causas Nikkei (50QR, USD$14)
A tuna tartare with whipped potatoes, aji peppers, avocado mousse and tobiko. A whole lot of flavour and love in one dish!

La Mar Doha Tiradito (65QR, USD$18)
When the chefs created this dish, they had Doha flavors in mind and in my opinion they nailed it! A hint of saffron to give it that hint of Doha.

Para Picar

Para Picar basically means to munch on. So expect small morsels of munching goodness in this section of the menu. Which brings me to my favorite dish…

Conchitas (65QR, USD$18)
These are seared scallops with parmesan cheese foam, leche de tigre, fish roe and crispy garlic. Little bites of creamy goodness and is by far my FAVORITE dish at La Mar. A must try when you visit. You can thank me later!

Anticuchos

Pulpo (60QR, USD$14.5)
Anticuchera grilled octopus with chimichurri potatoes, buttered corn, olive aioli and piquillo chimichurri.

Anticuchos

Churrasco Norteño (220QR, USD$60)
Grilled NY steak with cilantro sauce, bean stew, rice with corn and roasted vegetables

Truly beautiful Peruvian comfort food that will not disappoint. You could say this is part of the main course section of the menu and definitely enough to share, as I couldn’t eat this alone. Such a generous portion with a little bit of everything – rice, meat, vegetables, beans and a whole lot of flavor.

Dessert

Suspiro Loco (QR45, USD$12)
Dulce de leche foam … enough said!? but seriously – vanilla ice cream, port infused berries and crispy merengues. THE PERFECT ENDING FOR ME!

Chilcano (QR45, USD$12)
If you’re into that bitter citrus alcohol flavour, then I think you’re going to love this one. Chilcano slush, drunken apples and green grapes and pisco foam.

Beverages

There is an extensive beverage list which includes; beers, wines, cocktails and mocktails. Here are two mocktails that were recommended to me by the waitstaff.

The Scene

Points In Focus

Food 5
Service 5
Scene 5
Value 5

Ratings are out of 5

Additional Notes

The menu is rather extensive and although the dishes are small, I became full pretty fast. I was only able to squeeze in one dish from each section of the menu and I honestly can’t wait to go back and sample more! Oh, and another point I wanted to make note of is the price. For the quality, as well as the exquisite setting, I’m really impressed with how affordable this place is for Doha.

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Chef In Focus | Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto

I’ve been stuck on how to write about Chef Morimoto for over a week now. How do you describe someone with so many talents? Entrepreneur, Iron Chef, Celebrity Chef, former hometown baseball star, secret (not so secret) singer, former executive chef to someone who shall not be named and beer producer – the list goes on! I suppose you’ll have to just read the interview below to really get a feel for the insightful and talented Chef that is Morimoto.

Question:

With all the success & recognition you’ve received throughout your career, what do you find most satisfying?

Answer:

As you said I am a success, but I don’t think that’s the case. People call me a celebrity chef but I don’t think chef’s should be called a celebrity. A celebrity is a celebrity. A chef is a chef. I’ve tried my best since I moved to New York. So what makes me the happiest is that I have sixteen restaurants around the world, this has allowed me to see different cultures, people, economies and different foods. Seeing diversity is what makes me happy.

Question:

Take me through a typical day of eating for you?

Answer:

For example, today I haven’t eaten anything except some cookies. I usually try to eat one meal a day. It’s difficult with menu tastings and menu creations to stick to one meal a day.

Question:

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

Answer:

A baseball player. When I was little, I was good! In my small town I was the number one baseball player. In Hiroshima, there is a team called the Carps. They almost selected me but I had a shoulder injury, so I had to retire from that.

Question:

A man of many talents. Describe yourself in one word?

Answer:

Hardworker.

Question:

Describe your cooking in one word?

Answer:

Break

What does that mean?

Breaking the rules. For example, breaking away from traditional food combinations and trying different flavors in a different way. Rules are rules, but my rule is “to have no rules.”

Question:

Favorite ingredient to cook?

Answer:

Seafood or meat.

Question:

Who cooks at home?

Answer:

I don’t cook anything at home. My wife cooks everything and I eat whatever she gives me. Mainly vegetables and no meat.

Question:

What DON’T you like to eat?

Answer:

I try everything!

Question:

Let’s end with a drink, what is in your glass?

Answer:

Definitely alcohol, but the doctor says please don’t drink a lot. I used to drink a lot… anything, vodka with a beer chaser [laughs]. Now, depends on how I feel. Who I am drinking with, where I am and what I am eating. TPO – Time, place and occasion.

During our interview, Chef Morimoto was drinking a coffee.

Dining At The Morimoto Doha Sushi Bar

Have you ever sat at a sushi bar before and had a Sushi Chef select and serve you the freshest produce of the day? If not, and if you like sushi (especially nigiri) then I think this a must try experience.

My husband and I recently had this sushi bar experience at Morimoto Doha and we both agreed it was one of the best night’s out and best sushi we’ve possibly experienced together in Doha. Each piece of nigiri was freshly prepared and perfectly seasoned. So perfect in fact, that we didn’t need the freshly grated wasabi, soy sauce or even the chopsticks. Yes, it is appropriate etiquette to eat sushi with your hands. Having said that, Morimoto’s number one rule is that “there are no rules’ at all. Which means, do whatever you feel comfortable with.

Here are some the delectable bites we tasted at the sushi bar. Thank you to Sushi Sous Chef Kenji Sakai for keeping us entertained and for preparing our fabulous sushi.

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Chef In Focus | Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa

Chef Nobu is everything you can expect in a Japanese celebrity chef, with over 30 restaurants under his belt knife. He is humble, charismatic, talented and extremely entrepreneurial. Chef Nobu’s story includes heartache, a burnt down restaurant, a Peruvian adventure that influenced his incredible dishes and an eventual success story, when he partnered with famous actor Robert De Niro.

His first restaurant with  De Niro opened in New York, in 1994! Now his vast network of delicious establishments can be found all over the world. Including his biggest restaurant, Nobu Doha.

I was fortunate enough to meet and interview Chef Nobu during his recent visit to Qatar, and as you can imagine, my excitement levels were high. With so many questions running through my head, I had to come up with a select few to ask him. Here is our conversation – I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed meeting him!

Question:

With all the success & recognition you’ve received throughout your career, what do you find most satisfying?

Answer:

In business a good team is very important. So, the team is like my family. I like to see the family growing and working with me. If the family is growing then the business is growing.

Question:

At this point in your career, what motivates you to keep going? 

Answer:

Cooking is my life. I like to cook with my heart, it is my passion. Not only with food but with everything, I like to try my best.

Question:

Take me through a typical day of eating for Chef Nobu?

Answer:

I travel ten months of the year, so it depends where I stay and how I feel. If I have jetlag, I try not to eat rich foods. I have fruits, juice & yoghurts. Sometimes I have egg or Asian style congee and noodles. It depends on the day.

Question:

If I go into your refrigerator at home, what will I find in there?

Answer:

At home my fridge is not my territory, so I will have to ask my wife if I can open the fridge. [laughter]

Question:

Off all your restaurants, which Nobu restaurant should I visit & why?

Answer:

We have restaurants in five continents. All the restaurants are like my kids, it is very difficult to choose one.

Question:

Describe yourself in one word?

Answer:

Passionate

Question:

If you weren’t a Chef, what would you be?

Answer:

I want to be an artist, like a painter.

Question:

Let’s end with a drink, what is in your glass?

Answer:

Tequila shot with salt and lime.

STAY TUNED 
A video of the full interview is coming soon!

Nobu Restaurant Blog Posts

Thank you Chef Nobu for taking the time to answer my questions. Thank you to Chef Andrew and the rest of the Nobu Doha family for your continued hospitality. Finally, thank you to the Four Seasons Doha team for making this happen!

The post Chef In Focus | Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa appeared first on Sally In Focus.

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Flying Food Ninja by Sally In Focus - 9M ago

Welcome To Sally In Focus

If you’ve been a supporter from the beginning, then you’ll know that I’ve really struggled with consistency. You’ll know that I was previously known as Flying Food Ninja. You’ll know that it’s more photos than it is writing on the blog – let’s be real my grammar is not really on point. You’ll know that I’m an expert at appearing for one post and then disappearing for three months. BUT… please know that since you are still here, still reading, still waiting for content, still supporting me and still hoping I’ll get my s*** together; then you have my sincerest GRATITUDE!

If you are new, then welcome to this new chapter. I was Flying Food Ninja and now I am Sally In Focus. The name implies that I am now ‘focused” (we’ll see) when it comes to creating content. Oh and the little pun that is related to photography. Focus, get it? Because what’s a blog name without a little pun, right?

Anyway…

I started blogging because I wanted to share my photography, my love for food and travel and as a way of documenting a little about myself before my memory disappears. I mean I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast. What was I saying? Oh yah…so I’d better start writing this stuff down before the memory bank is wiped clean. But seriously, I travel a lot, I eat a lot and I take a lot of photos, so why not share what I know about the world with the world. I have a feeling it will be helpful. hehe

If you have a curious palate like I do, then you are in the right place. I am focused on food, travel, lifestyle and photography! All presented in an easy, user-friendly format. Life is already complicated, let’s not further complicate it.

I honestly can’t wait to share my new ideas and content with you.

Thanks again for reading,

Sally Clark

P.S My motto is “You do you!”

To give you a little taste of what’s to come; here are four of my newest posts…

Enjoy and if you have any questions or comments please feel free comment below or email me at sally@sallyinfocus.com.

Don’t forget to say hi on social media…

The post Welcome To Sally In Focus appeared first on Sally In Focus.

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Chef In Focus | Chef Marko Maric

Quite often when it comes to food you can remember what you had, right? But have you ever stopped to think about the mastermind behind that fabulous dish you just gobbled down. This is why Chef In Focus was concocted. So that you could get to know the tasty information on who’s cooking up those meals you don’t have to prepare yourself. And of course, to pay tribute to the talent, hard work and love behind these dishes.

I’m starting with a favorite friendly face in Doha – Marko Maric. Have you met him yet?

Chef Marko is the head chef at Zengo; a Pan-Asian restaurant by Chef Richard Sandoval. He has been in the culinary industry for over 20 years with quite the repertoire under his knife belt. Executive Chef at a hotel in Mexico and experience in Serbia, Croatia and now Qatar. He claims that he doesn’t believe his skills come from what he learnt at school but through long hours and hard nights in a commercial kitchen leading a team.

Question:

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?

Answer:

I’m curious and very open minded when it comes to cooking. I don’t know how I would even choose my favorite cuisine let alone ingredient. I could probably count over 100 favorite ingredients. I’d say best color ever is beetroot, best fragrance is galangal, and best flavor….hmmmm. This is impossible to answer, but if I’m forced to choose, it would be tomatoes in all forms and varieties. I admire the perfect natural balance of the strong acidity and sweetness from ripe tomatoes. This creates one of the best natural and deep Umami flavors.

Question:

What ingredient do you hate the most?

Answer:

There is no food or ingredient that I hate. I would say there are some ingredients that can give me a hard time when I’m cooking with them. Strong flavors or ingredients with a particular flavor makes pairing with other ingredients very hard. Therefore, a risk of not having the right balance is higher.

For example cooking with spicy ingredients, you need to be very careful. Once the ingredient releases too much Capsaicin , the level of spice that a guest feels will be so high that it will cause them not to enjoy or appreciate the other flavors of the dish. The balance will be gone and your hard work along with the composition of flavors is destroyed. On the other hand, if you add the right amount of spiciness, it will literally elevate the dish from 3D to 4D.

Question:

One cook book that you can’t live without?

Answer:

Actually, it’s a book that consists of 5 books.

Definitely “Modernist Cuisine” by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet. This series of books changed the standard of cook books forever. The book was developed by a team of a few brilliant culinary minds. They spent 5 years in an experimental kitchen in Seattle. Together with physicists, chemists, professional photographers, varied technicians and bunch of Michelin star chefs , they co-authored the ultimate guide on how to cook almost everything.

Most of the things in cooking that were classified as “magic” or “touché ” in previous cookbooks, are explained thoroughly through microbiology, thermodynamics and chemistry in “The Modernist Cuisine”.

This is something that I really appreciate – the right answers to how and why!

Question:

Describe your cooking in one word?

Answer:

Intense

Question:

How old were you when you decided to be a chef?

Answer:

This is a tough one! Honestly, I think I became a Chef by accident. Back in the day, when I decided to go to culinary school, the cooking profession was not popular (like today) and schools didn’t have difficult requirements to apply. So, I decided to take the “easy road” by going to culinary school. At the time I didn’t have any love or passion for cooking. As the days went by, I became more and more sure that I was in the wrong place. It was not until I stepped into a professional kitchen for the first time in my life that I realized I had the passion. Heat, tension, stress and long hours – in some bizarre way I felt like this is everything I needed to be happy.

After this breaking point, I was more curious and more eager to learn about the true hard work required to endure life in a professional kitchen. 20 years later and I’m still curious and still willing to improve myself and learn more. I must be a masochist; there is no other explanation! If I could start my life from scratch, I wouldn’t change anything! [smiles]

Question:

If you weren’t a Chef what you would be?

Answer:

By this time I would probably be a retired soccer player or an active soldier. I can say that both would be good alternatives to what I am now.

Question:

What would you have for your last meal?

Answer:

The transparent pill from the movie “Limitless”. Then I would make sure that this is not my last meal. [laughs]

Question:

What’s one piece of advice you would give to a home cook?

Answer:

“Do not try this at home!” [laughter] joke… Ok, all you home cooks out there, recipes are just guidance! Execution is your love, skill and passion that is guided by the recipe. So, whatever you cook; Just love it and it cannot be bad!

Question:

Let’s end with a drink, what is in your glass?

Answer:

Southern Comfort, orange zest, huge piece of hand crushed ice and oak smoke – touché!

Photo Credits:
Feature Image of Marko by Nigel Pearce Photography
Other Images from: Marko Maric

The post Chef In Focus | Chef Marko Maric appeared first on Sally In Focus.

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CUBAN RICE WITH PORK ALA EFREN

2hrs

4 – 6 people

Cuban

Welcome to my very first recipe on Sally In Focus! This recipe is a special one to me because it belongs to my father in-law, Efren. A man who could most probably compete with my mother in the cooking arena. Most importantly, a man who has inspired me to broaden my horizons when it comes to cooking.

This recipe is a traditional Cuban rice with pork dish; with a little bit of a twist of course. You see, in Cuba they didn’t (still don’t) have access to the finest cuts of meat or extravagant vegetables. They learnt to make do with what they had. Making a little bit go a longggg way. Transport yourself to America, Miami in particular, where the selection of meat and ingredients is plentiful. Now you can take some solid home-cooking concepts and flavors, to a whole new level. Kick it up a notch you know?

For example, the traditional Arroz Con Carne Puerco doesn’t contain hearts of palm or sherry wine. The sherry wine adds that little bit of extra flavor and the hearts of palm has a neutral flavor that adds a little bit of crunch. Efren really knows what he’s doing! So, I hope you try this recipe and love it as much as I do.

INGREDIENTS
DIRECTIONS

1. Brown the pork ribs and pork chunks in a wide pot with olive oil. Once browned, remove the pork and set aside.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onion and peppers in the same pan and oil, until translucent.

3. Add garlic, sazon con azafran, oregano, cumin and olives. Cook for 1 minute until aromatic and then add the hot sauce and sherry wine. Cook off the alcohol from the wine and then add 4 cups of water, bay leaves and salt. “Don’t forget to use your hands with the salt and throw the leftover salt over your shoulder into the sink; for goodluck!” – Efren

4. Add the pork and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes or until the pork is just tender.

5. Add 2 cups of rice and cook covered for 20 minutes. Add the hearts of palm about 2 minutes before the rice is ready.

6. Once the rice is al dente, remove the cover, stir the mixture and let rest for 5 minutes.

7. Serve with salad of choice and platanos maduros (sweet plantains).

NOTES
  • Qatar Residents: One 500g packet of pork collars and one packet of baby back ribs from QDC is the perfect amount for this dish. Sweet plantains can be found at Lulu Hypermarket and are called “Big Bananas.”
  • The best side salad with this dish is sliced tomatoes, sliced avocados and sliced red onions. Season with salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil. [Blog post on side dishes coming soon]
  • If you do not consume products with pork or alcohol, then this dish can also be made with chicken. Omit the alcohol and replace the pork with a whole chicken, quartered.

Most importantly… ENJOY!

The post My Father In-Laws Cuban Arroz Con Carne Puerco appeared first on Sally In Focus.

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I hate to admit it but there was a time in Doha that I didn’t leave the confines of my apartment. I always thought, why make friends and meet people when I am going to go home soon. At the time I didn’t realize that there is a whole Doha out there, full of friendly and most importantly, talented people.

Luckily, I eventually came to this realization and started making friends in Doha and trying new activities. One of the activities includes what you are reading right now… my blog! On this incredibly educational journey, through the blog, I’ve met some inspiring, talented and kind-hearted women who have made me proud to call Doha my home. They have a passion for what they do and they do it well. If you’ve met these ladies then you’ll already know what I am talking about; if not, then here they are…

Question:
What kind of artistic services or packages do you offer?

Answer:
My forte is mainly watercolor and gouache. I do custom illustrations, branding, wedding stationary, live events and workshops. And I also love doing unique stuff so if it’s got anything to do with watercolor, I’m usually game.

Question:
How did you get into watercolor painting?

Answer:
By chance really. I was always into dry media using pencils and colored pencils. And watercolor for me seemed like such a wild medium difficult to tame. But I was mesmerized by it. So I took it up as a challenge to push myself and actually gave up a couple of times. But it always drew me back and three years later, here I am!

Question:
Where did you learn?

Answer:
I'm self taught but I do read a lot of books and I take a lot of courses from other watercolor artists. I find that it’s always good to keep learning because you almost always learn something new.

Question:
What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn?

Answer:
Just keep at it. Practice makes progress and it may take a year, two or even five but if you persist, you will be able to do it. You will see a difference and don’t compare yourself to anyone else but you.

Question:
What kind of artistic services or packages do you offer?

Answer:
My forte is mainly watercolor and gouache. I do custom illustrations, branding, wedding stationary, live events and workshops. And I also love doing unique stuff so if it’s got anything to do with watercolor, I’m usually game.

I met Zakkiya in my first ever Hobby House Qatar workshop - watercolor florals. I was instantly impressed by her her watercolor paintings and her ability to teach. Whatever you picture, she can bring it to life with her paintings or teach you how to do it yourself.  In just one class I learnt so much, yet walked away wanting to learn so much more (in a good way).

The post Talented expat women in Doha you need to meet! appeared first on Sally In Focus.

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