To take you on an Indian gastronomic journey, Jamavar Doha is offering a new set menu. Luke Bennett visited to try the tasty dishes in a memorable dining experience.
Arriving at the stylish and contemporary Jamavar at Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, I was greeted by Jayant, a pleasant and welcoming waiter who consistently exuded enthusiasm and passion for his craft. His warm greeting matched the impressive décor and the subtle music resonating throughout the restaurant.
As I took my seat, Jayant explained that the newly launched set menu provides a tantalising selection of dishes and suggested beverages for each course – there is an extra fee for those who opt for the sommelier grape pairing. To celebrate India’s finest creations, diners can select two appetisers, a main and a dessert.
My culinary journey started with two rose lassis accompanied by a single red rose and a small silver chai pot: the theatre had arrived. The rose was submerged in liquid nitrogen and the frozen petals were delicately crumbled onto each rose lassi. Pleasingly, the yoghurt-based drink had the substance to match the style and proved to be a refreshing, cleansing beverage throughout the evening.
After the stage had been set, the first entrée arrived at our table: Lucknowi Gosht Haleem. Tearing a piece of the accompanying onion seed naan, I scooped up a mouthful of the rich, saporous stew and I was instantly taken aback by the complexity and depth of flavour that had developed during the slow, 24-hour braising of the spiced lamb. I have previously found naans to be heavy and filling, but the bread served at Jamavar was refreshingly light and crispy – acting as a tasty ‘spoon’.
Within minutes, more spectacular servings were bestowed upon me. Firstly, a surprisingly succulent and tender Murg Seekh Kebab which consisted of lightly spiced chicken mince that had been baked in a tandoori oven, supplemented by a fresh sprout salad (this entrée proved to be my partner’s highlight of the Indian feast). Next, Dakshini Jheenga, a juicy selection of southern-spiced prawns paired with a peanut and curry leaf chutney, awaited.
It did not take long to wield my knife and smother the impressively sized prawns in the smooth, paste-like chutney. The Adraki Lamb Chops was one of the meatiest lamb chops I have had the pleasure of eating – tender and rich in flavour with a surprising, late kick of heat, which I was informed is a result of the royal cumin. The spicy sensation was instantly balanced by the clever addition of a light and refreshing fennel, carrot and ginger salad. The final appetiser – Edamame Bhel – was an elevated version of the Indian street food, Papdi, topped with edamame beans lightly soaked in date syrup. Due to the puffed rice’s crunchy texture and the syrup’s sweetness, this appetiser was my favourite from the impressive assortment served.
Taking a break from the feast, I wandered around the unique space. I found that my attention kept being drawn back to an imposing brass archway embellished with intricate, golden patterns that led the way to a sophisticated apothecary bar.
Before the main courses were served, Debdash Balaga (the skilled and personable Head Chef of Jamavar) downed his culinary tools to articulate his vision behind the set menu aptly named Celebration Menu (with a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian option). Beaming with enthusiasm and pride, Debdash explained how he aimed to develop a culinary experience that enabled clientele to savour a range of authentic Indian dishes. He explained how each of them is carefully crafted, radiating pleasurable levels of spice to be enjoyed by every diner – even those with a more sensitive palate.
It was time to return to the food; thankfully, I still had room for mains and dessert. An Old Dehli Butter Chicken brought nostalgic memories of my time travelling in India. But this was a more refined version, less oily, with cashew, tomato and fenugreek gravy that smothered the generous portions of succulent meat. The Calicut Sea Bass Curry, a perfectly cooked fillet of fish prepared with a less-familiar spice, Malabar Tamarind, brought just a pinch more heat to the table.
Despite not being an option on the set menu, Chef Debdash insisted that I should try his new main course: Kolkata Style ‘Lamb Chops’ Biryani. I want to note that biryani would normally be my last pick but, as you might have guessed, this wasn’t another dry mound of rice with a morsel of overcooked meat hidden within. No! Layers of fluffy, flavoursome rice surrounded by tenderised, melt-in-your-mouth chunks of lamb all housed within a deep bowl topped with a toasted, onion seed naan. For me, this helping of moreish food was a welcomed surprise and completely flipped my opinion of biryanis.
Last, but by no means least, the sweet stuff: dessert! You can select between two options: a soft, mildly warm ‘Poached’ Carrot Halwa that had the perfect balance of sweetness or a spongy Mango Rasmalai which was submerged in a sugary yet refreshing mango shrikhand and topped with a delicately swirled punchy mango pulp.
If you are looking for refined yet quintessential Indian cuisine, then make sure to add Jamavar to the top of your dining list. This establishment’s elegant décor, knowledgeable staff and flavoursome food exceed their selfproclaimed title as a ‘culinary jewel of India’.