A TASTE OF ANDALUSIA

Simran Kapoor headed to Lobito De Mar for the promise of fresh Mediterranean flavours.

Celebrated as one of Andalusia’s most renowned, Chef Dani Garcia makes his way yet again to the ultimate culinary destination hotel, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, with his first branch of Lobito De Mar outside of Spain. As the name suggests, the restaurant is devoted to the innermost world of the sea and beyond; promising the finest Mediterranean cuisine in Doha. It is much more than just a beach restaurant, it’s also a seafood tapas bar, making it the latest sunset spot in the city.

Lobito is a two-storey restaurant with large terraces showcasing unparalleled views overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Diners have the option to experience an all-day eatery in the main room downstairs or fine dining by the sea for that perfect romantic escape. There’s even a lively ambience with a resident DJ on the decks after dinner, for whatever the mood may be.

The moment you enter this establishment, the atmosphere is a tranquil oasis, with wide windows maximising natural light at lunchtime. Typical Mediterranean interiors, all white and high-quality wooden furniture give a spacious serene look and relaxing vibe.

Inspired by the beautiful coastline of Marbella, Dani’s moto is “think local, cook global” – he describes himself as an artisan of flavour. His originality and imagination to be able to combine the products of his homeland together with the techniques and ingredients of such an international cuisine will suit a variety of palates and are the reason his food is unique.

A quick glance at the expansive menu, and our friendly server Martha, the Restaurant Manager, suggested my favourite fresh-out-the-oven rustic-style bread with humble tomato pulp spread. It is one of the simplest, most well-loved appetisers from the country and makes for a perfect snack.

Dishes to look out for include the Tuna Tartare on a bed of crushed potatoes and extra virgin olive oil. It arrived on an ornately patterned plate not only a feast for the eyes but the taste buds as well. A rich and creamy texture broken by the fresh and flavourful tuna loin.

Next up, for seafood lovers the breaded, deep-fried calamari and fried hammour spread is the perfect recommendation. It was accompanied with roasted garlic aioli, overall each bite was crisp yet tender on the inside with a hint of lemon.

The crockery is in keeping with the theme of earthy and fresh island colours, I felt as if I was on holiday with the rugged, turquoise blue plates and decorative shell pieces around the restaurant – it makes it easy to forget where you are.

The real hit of the day was the grilled seabass with caramelised onions; underlying notes of sweet, salty and a burst of simple flavours – paired with a glass of grape and I was on cloud nine.

Pace yourselves, because the portions are meant to be shared, especially the Paella De Mariscos, also known as the seafood paella, which was absolutely cooked to perfection. The shrimp left me speechless, it melts in the mouth, almost like butter. I couldn’t help but goody bag the rest for home.

Do, however, keep space for dessert, which is visually delightful in its service. The consistency of the chocolate tarte is a rare find. Finally, we signed off with one of the creamiest tarte de queso, yes, a Basque-style cheesecake but not as we know it. More savoury than sweet, the wobbly custard-like cake was finished with a generous shaving of Manchegocheese. Heaven for any cheese lover and truly the best I’ve had to date.

Submerge yourself in a range of dishes inspired by the traditional cooking of southern Spain, created with love by the very special three Michelin-starred Chef Dani Garcia. Lobito De Mar is a must visit for an exquisite culinary journey from beginning to end. The quality of produce is most definitely the star of the show; delicious, fresh, and worth the hype! Take a culinary trip to the Costa Del Sol, experience the sea view and feel the breeze without leaving Doha.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call Lobito De Mar on 3100 0373. @lobitodemar_doha

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