By Courtney Trenwith
Sushi, gyoza and even rice will never be the same again after eating at the Four Seasons Doha’s new Nobu restaurant, set offshore with brilliant views of the city and three bars
The name Nobu has become almost the epitome of gastronomy, with the Japanese-Peruvian chef’s restaurants drawing hundreds, if not thousands of people, in various cities around the world every day. But there is only one Nobu restaurant that can be the largest in the world, and that honour has now gone to the Four Seasons Doha.
The circular venue, which looks like a winding spiral from the outside, is set at the end of a decoratively lit driveway circumnavigating a marina. The off-land location overlooking the Corniche gives the restaurant one of the most beautiful views of Doha, especially at night.
Welcomed as we stepped out of our car at the front door, we were escorted to the first level, home to the main dining area – a lively hive of activity. At 7.30pm – early by Qatar standards, even on a Wednesday night - it was already boasting atmosphere.
We chose to sit on the balcony, where it was quieter and with a view, and ordered our first sake, served in the traditional wooden box called masu.
The extensive menu covers a wide selection of traditional Japanese and Peruvian dishes, but all with the Nobu twist that makes you wonder if you will ever be able to eat ceviche or sushi at your local restaurant ever again.
Forget chicken or prawn gyoza, Nobu offers salmon and foie gras or wagyu beef. Rice is transformed with the addition of truffles, while sushi includes delicacies such as eel and cucumber.
With so much to choose from we invite the waiter’s recommendations and settle on: yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, octopus tiradito, shimeji (a mushroom) tacos, black cod yuzu miso, scallop and foie gras vanilla den miso, wagyu goyza, rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy sauce and truffle rice.
Needless to say, every dish elicited elation. The first bite of several of my favourites – the black cod and scallops in the lead – earned wide eyes as I urged my dining partner to hurry up and join me in the taste bud sensation.
The octopus turned out to be the only dish that I wouldn’t add to my favourites for another time but we finished feeling wildly satisfied.
The dishes were each spaced out and our ever-attentive waiter consistently explained them to us, and patiently answered every question about the sometimes unknown ingredients or the preparation methods, proving that the staff are well educated and informed.
The sake cocktails also were a nice change to the traditional bar offerings.
Following dinner we migrated to the bar on the same level, walking past the sushi station overlooking the kitchen. The level one bar is a little more relaxed, with lounges, and we marvelled in a cool lychee sake delivered in an ice bowl to ensure it remained refreshing – for the few minutes it lasted. A lovely replacement to a traditional sugar-laden desert.
Upstairs a DJ was preparing for the late-night crowd, while the rooftop was a must-see. Tables incur a minimum spend – why not, with those magnificent views – but even if you don’t want to stay outside it is worth a visit to the very top, where there is another bar and stand-up area also overlooking the city skyline.
With sensational food, views and atmosphere it is not surprising that Nobu has been booked out nearly every night since it opened on April 17 and has already served well over 20,000 people.
If you’re in Doha for a night or more and the budget permits, Nobu is by far the best choice now.