A Pan-Asian Odyssey

SD satisfies her Asian cravings with a culinary trip in the heart of Doha.

It’s a Tuesday night and we’re craving some Asian, but we just can’t narrow it down (a common dilemma, we’re sure). So, we decide to hit up the pan-Asian eatery, The Asian Kitchen at InterContinental Doha The City.

We head up to the second floor, it’s been a while since we last dined here. We are pleasantly surprised with The Square’s swanky new upgrade. From what was a very casual diner to a stylish, sophisticated and more upscale restaurant, The Square’s transformation is noteworthy.

The Square has four mini venues, and tonight we are dining at The Asian Kitchen or TAK. The interiors are sleek with rose gold sections on the wall partitions. Dark toned light fixtures with metal casings hang from above the dining tables adding a luxurious feel. An open kitchen dominates the space (in a good way) and makes it clear that this venue is all about the food. Perfect, because we’re famished!

The menu features a full page of Southeast Asian classics on one side and a drinks menu on the other. Bubble tea lovers will appreciate the dedicated section with options such as Thai Milky Tea and Matcha Green Tea.

A delightful touch is the presence of little flags next to every dish, making its origins known to the reader. So, we’re definitely going on a little trip around the region.

We start off with a passionfruit iced tea while the chef greets us. We go with his recommendations – beginning with a selection of his best-selling salads. The Crispy Duck Salad from China grabs our attention and we’re rather impressed with the freshness of the dish. We’d generally expect a bit of a gamey taste when there’s so much duck, but this has been through a 48-hour fermentation process. The chilli plum dressing further enhances the flavours.

We try the Yam Neua Yang, or the traditional Thai Beef Salad, next, and admire how the chef has pulled everything together. The dish has fresh lychee, adding a light and subtle sweetness, with some crunch from the cucumbers and bell peppers. The Tom Yum Goong soup features our favourite lemongrass and spicy prawns. This soup is warm and comforting and we now realise that when in doubt, nothing satisfies more than a delicious bowl of Thai soup. We eye a Vietnamese Pho on the menu and it’s very tempting, but we haven’t even dusted the surface yet, so we’ll keep this one for our next visit.

TAK have sushi nights every Monday and their best sellers include the Dragon Roll which the chef kindly prepares specially for us. A platter of maki rolls sits beautifully with so many colourful options and after tasting all, we understand why the Dragon Roll is the most popular. It’s got the right hit of umami, crunch and everything you’d want in an indulgent helping of sushi.

On to the mains, and we start with a delicious Sweet and Sour Chicken, followed by a bowl of Massaman Curry with Rice.

The chef informs us that even though Mi Goreng is Indonesian, he’s prepared a Japanese style Mi Goreng for us today with sweet and salty notes. We’re satisfied with everything so far. The Pad Thai that follows is authentic and a Kung Pao Chicken cuts all that sweetness with a touch of spice.

We’ve really taken a long train through flavour town and from sweet and salty to spicy and sour, we’ve pretty much covered all the stops. We sip on some of that delicious passion fruit iced tea as we take a digestion break and prepare for the last leg of our pan-Asian adventure – dessert.

The Korean Bingsu is the clear winner – and we proudly smirk with our excellent choice of dessert as two smoking bowls arrive. Mango chunks are generously distributed over shaved ice and coconut flakes and this is easily our favourite. The Chocolate Bingsu is richer with brownie bites over shaved ice and the combination of both is winning.

The service is attentive, and that attention extends to the meticulousness with which the food is prepared and presented as well.

For an excellent midweek dinner or a lively evening out at the weekend, TAK is a top choice. ✤