Are you on the lookout for a variety of food that is both quality and filling? We came across Panache and immediately booked a table for two. The foodie in FACT’s Anushay Taimur Khan prayed for a miracle for this place to offer more than just burgers or coffee… and they were truly answered.

Panache gives very elegant vibes from the moment you step in. Mimicking the colours of its logo, pastel green walls, white and gold interior, cutlery that matches the entire setup – all of it gave a luxurious vibe to the restaurant. Since it was raining that day, I decided that I wanted the best view in the room; I sat next to the window, watching the skyline from the centre. The delicate table arrangement simply fit into the scenario, making it the best spot for taking pictures – because if we don’t Instagram it, did it really happen?

The menu had a variety of dishes, some of which the manager promised I will never have had in Doha, and actually fit into a very reasonable price range, considering the prime location and the chic look of the restaurant. I settled for a mix of ‘safe’ options and a couple of new things to try from three different courses and sat for the most difficult part of it; the wait for the food. I had just started sipping on my mocktail (which totally gave Hawaiian feels) when the starters got served – impressive timing, especially if you’re starving and already fretting over the timing of your next event!

The first bite of Panache salad had me say ‘ahhhh’ as I felt like the weight of the foodie world was lifted off my shoulders. Something new and this fantastic? YES, PLEASE! King fish mixed with the creamiest mayonnaise-based sauce, tossed in with pickled onions and light salad; probably the first time I’d ever say that it was a salad of everyone’s dreams. I was hardly over this dish when the sizzling spicy seabass tempura was served on a plate of shredded crackers, a sight that already made your taste buds jump. So, the second dish looked fabulous as well – who were these people and why didn’t I know about this magical kingdom before? The hardest choice for me was ordering the harees pancake because even when I write the name, it just sounds peculiar. So, a traditional local dish merged with a very panache style of cooking was served with a fried flat harees pancake, pulled lamb, spicy onions and some light greens. Three words: this was love. An apparent favourite of the locals, and I could tell why, the harees pancake was a soft blend of spices, fitting right into the ‘modern take’ of the experimental cooking style that Panache has. For me, the pulled beef was not the ‘must-have’ of the dish but I do get the culmination of the two for the taste that it was giving.

The lamb neck stew had my name written all over it and I did not even need to think twice before making sure it was served immediately. I was ‘warned’ that it was a tad bit sweet but when is stew not the perfect fusion of just that? When a dish that sort of looked like a local dish, the machboos, was served, I was made to double check my order – umm, what? Did it taste like a machboos? A big no. The lamb stew had a distinct taste of its own, where the tuhchin harmonised with the entire dish so well that a second serving was the only choice to make this experience perfect.

As much as I have loved my share of desserts over the years, I was not really sure about my choices for the night. The Tiramisu came highly recommended from the staff, and I really could not think of the ways this dessert was over-done but I still ordered it. The Moroccan milk bastilla was something that I had not tried in Doha so that was the only dessert that I had my eyes on. I was not expecting a crunchy pastry topped with cream and honey to show up on the table. Toasted almonds on top and the orange milk pudding used to enhance the flavour made this one of my favourite new finds in Doha. I couldn’t see how an ordinary tiramisu cake could top that. If only the cake had been ordinary. Dipped in chocolate milk and decorated with rich chocolate mascarpone and the creamiest chocolate ganache, the tiramisu cake won my heart. Brazillian coffee was poured on it and the balance of the two different ingredients simply made me believe that my fairy Godmother had come to bless me. When a dessert that has this much ganache does not make you go on a guilt trip, that’s when you know that the chefs have nailed it.

To be simple, my verdict is very to the point; you have to come here at least once and give it a shot. Since the restaurant hosts international cuisine and has a very distinct style to it, I believe almost everyone is bound to find something for themselves on the menu. Classy and delicious; a combination that we love! ✤