Little Adventures

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Golden Fish Restaurant: An Unexpected Delight

Mixed Seafood Grille. Actually there's only fish fillet and a few pieces of prawn. Served with green salad, rice and chips (french fries). I ordered mine without the chips.
It is a small restaurant that is just a stone’s throw away from our office in Doha, Qatar. I never considered having a meal there before because I had the impression that it’s just another Arabic eatery. Many of those I’ve tried seemed to have generic taste. Not that they’re bad, just similar. Also, the place does not look inviting enough from outside and parking space is very limited. Recently, an Australian colleague of ours, Jackie, has decided to call it quits with our company. She and her close circle of friends, which includes my wife, decided to have lunch together on her last day at work. It was supposed to be an all-girls lunch but I invited myself in because it’s an opportunity for a photoshoot and an opportunity for a little adventure with food.

They serve free Arabic bread with what tasted like mayonnaise dip. The bread is served hot.

They decided to go to Golden Fish. I was not thrilled but I didn’t mind. Hey, I invited myself so I had no right to complain. When we entered, there was hardly any interior décor but there was one nice corner. I liked the fake blue marlins hanged on one of the walls. Natural lighting from window was very good though. My wife ordered a soup called mixed seafood soup (QR 10.00 / US$ 2.74 / PHP 140.00) as starter and a grilled fish fillet (QR 22.00 / US$ 6.03 / PHP 308.00) for her main course. I did not ordered soup because I thought they’re just one of those instant soup sold in packets which you either just add hot water or cook within 3 minutes. I just ordered Mixed Seafood grilled (QR 30.00 / US$ 8.22 / PHP 420). I didn’t bother to have a look at what the rest of our group ordered. When the food was served, soup first, I was surprised because it was nothing like I expected. My wife’s mixed seafood soup had real shrimps, real squid, real fish chunks and real crab meat in creamy mushroom soup. I couldn’t resist it so I tried and it was nice. My wife and I ended up sharing the soup. Then main course was served and again, it was a surprise. The mixed seafood grilled was well presented and looked delectable, although there was only a fish fillet and some grilled prawns. The plate includes a little green salad, rice and chips (french fries) but I ordered mine without the chips. There was so much rice – enough for 2 people, I think. Anyway, I tried it and – it was actually, really good! I could not complain about the food, I think it’s wonderful and one of the best I’ve had so far in Doha.

These are not real fish but they do make an interesting feature on one of the walls.

But as a restaurant, I still have some complaints. The nice food did not change my impression of the restaurant’s overall appearance and because of that I think the food is rather expensive. I know another restaurant, a classier one, where I can order an equivalent meal for about the same price. Food preparation and service is rather slow. It took ages and a few follow-ups, one from me and a couple more from the ladies, before the soup was served. It took some time considering there were very few tables and only two were occupied. Then it took another 10 minutes before our main course was served.

My four lunch dates (from L - R), my wife Denden, Jackie, Pria and Lakshmi.

Conclusion – If you’re not very particular about the restaurant’s decor and ambiance, this is highly recommended simply because of the excellent food.

Anyway, I tried it and – it was actually, really good!

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