Birthday Dinner at Maison De Sushi


Birthdays are a perfect excuse to binge in great food; in my case, that meant Japanese food.

I can practically name two places on top of my head that I wanted to try Japanese food. The first one was a newly opened and well-known Japanese restaurant, and the other one was a Japanese buffet restaurant, which was highly recommended by a former colleague.

It took me the last minute to finally made a decision, and for obvious reasons, the Japanese buffet won. What reason? It’s a B-U-F-F-E-T. I plan on bingeing, remember?

A lot may have heard and may have tried dining in this restaurant already. I, myself, have known about it since last year, but have yet to get the chance to try it. This is definitely a good chance to do so, and yes, it’s Maison De Sushi.

Firstly, let me share some food photos I was able to capture on my phone just to show how scrumptious our dinner was.

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Shrimp Tempura

The shrimp tempura is definitely one of our favorites. We ordered it twice and would probably have had two more rounds if we weren’t so full from the amount of sushi we’ve tried in between.

Sushi Heaven! Hear me scream people! I forgot some of the names though. I did mention before that I’m terrible at food blogging, I tend to forget important details. In any case, you can check their Tablet Menu to see photos of everything they have. Though not original, it’s pretty cool that they’re also using a Tablet. I appreciate it when I’m able to see what my food is supposed to look like, whether it would be an accurate representation or not.

The Dragon Sushi (It is not its exact name, but yes I’m calling it that), is a definite must-try. I highly recommend it. It was delicious. However, since it is part of their “special menu,” there was an added 25QR in our bill, but definitely worth the price. The Beef Teppanyaki was also part of the “special menu,” and we were told by someone (I’m going to assume he’s the owner or the manager) that it was a new addition they’ve created. I  have to say, it was kind of him to personally come to our table. I also ordered their Candied Chicken Wings just because I happen to love the taste of sweetness in chicken.

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Matcha/Vanilla Ice Cream with Banana Tempura

There’s not much variety on desserts, which I think is pretty standard with Japanese restaurants or mainly with Asian restaurants, so we just opted for their ice cream. Actually, we wanted to try their charcoal ice cream, but unfortunately, it is not available at that time.

Other foods we’ve ordered (that I have no photos of) are their Miso Soup, Pad Thai Noodles, and Tempura Rolls. Not much of a fan of the Tempura Rolls though. It has to be eaten as soon as it hit the table to appreciate the crunch of the seaweed wrap. It is not bad but still not as tasty as the others.

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Hmm… my face is shaped like a steamed bun. 😀

As you must know, my birthday happen to fell on a Thursday, so I had to make a reservation beforehand since I’ve been told it could get really crowded on Thursdays.  When we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by the staff and immediately sent to our table.

Since the staff was aware of my birthday, while we were waiting for our orders, the lights suddenly dimmed, and a group of women in kimonos sang me a birthday song as they clap their hands and twirl their Japanese umbrellas (wagasa). I was surprised that they have an official photographer for celebrations like this and took photos of my family and me with his SLR. He asked for my email afterward and sent me the pictures he took for free!

Furthermore, as seen in my photo above, instead of a cake, I was given 4 pieces of sushi with a lit candle. You didn’t read that incorrectly, there really were 4 pieces of sushi at that time, but I was so excited trying to hold it up while they were taking my photo that one fell off. Ha!

Anyway, I find the idea of an official photographer taking photos of their customers during a celebration like this pretty impressive and considerate of them. Added points for customer service if I do say so myself.

 

Maison De Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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New Year’s Eve Dinner at Carisma


New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite holiday second to Christmas. Mainly due to the stunning fireworks display you see during this time and the blaring sound from the television as we watch the exciting countdown to the New Year. Of course, such an experience happens when I’m home in the Philippines, and for 6 years now, I have not been home during the holidays.

I know… it’s sad. 😦

In my previous “L’Occitane” post, I’ve mentioned that my father will be home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with the family, leaving me all by lonesome self during the holidays. (Ok, not entirely alone since I have friends and my Beau is still here, but you get the gist of it.) Seeing as there won’t be an actual celebration at my place here in Doha, I’ve decided to have a bit of an exceptional dining experience with Beau on New Year’s Eve, and we chose to try the Italian Restaurant, Carisma.

Carisma Restaurant is an Italian restaurant located on the first floor of Warwick Doha Hotel. It is basically next to the lobby and very easy to spot.

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Given that it’s New Year’s Eve, the Menu was not the usual. There is already a set of food choices prepared for a full-course meal, and all you had to do is pick between two options of appetizers, entrée, etc. The full-course meal, including drinks, is worth 199 QAR per person.

As always, I feel like clubbing myself for not taking a photo of the Menu. This must be one of the reasons why I won’t be an effective food blogger (especially one that does restaurant reviews). I simply forget to take the required pictures. Ha!

Anyway, I was looking forward to trying their pizza beforehand, but seeing that there was no pizza in the Menu, my beau and I asked if it’s possible to just order one full course meal for only one person plus one order of Pizza Carisma (even if it’s not on the night’s menu). The staff was very kind to accommodate us with the request.

So here are photos (and some appraisals) of our dinner.

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Focaccia Bread

The meal started with this focaccia bread. It was an excellent start to the meal and actually feels light even after finishing 3 of them.

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This one I am calling the shrimp salad since I have no idea what it was called on the menu. The shrimp in itself isn’t exactly packed with flavor, but the overall dish has that slight sweetness and zesty taste to it, which makes it delicious.

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Saffron Risotto

I was a bit disappointed with the Risotto, we didn’t like it very much, and is the only dish we weren’t able to finish. I guess this type of risotto just wasn’t my taste.

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Beef Tenderloin

I’m afraid to say that by the time we had the beef tenderloin we were so full we thought we’d explode. Ha! Anyway, I can’t accurately judge the taste of it, all I know is that it wasn’t as juicy as I wanted or expected it to be while I was cutting it in half.

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Our pretty dessert

This dessert was beautiful and festive-looking. However, I’m not jumping up and down for it. For me, it was a good enough dessert that balances out the taste of everything we’ve eaten that night. It wasn’t too sweet, which was good, but for some reason, I felt something lacking with it that I’m not sure of. Anyway, we still enjoyed it. 😀

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Pizza Carisma (Tomato sauce with buffalo mozzarella cheese, chicken strips, spinach and truffle oil)

The pizza was served together with the risotto, which we were thankful for after realizing that we didn’t like the risotto very much. The pizza was slightly thin crust and tasty without overpowering sauce or toppings.

Overall, the dinner was a 3.5 out of 5.

So that ends our New Year’s Eve dinner! Believe when I say that we were so full we ended up sleeping straight away right after the clock strikes 12.

Oh! Before I forget, the kind and very attentive staff gave us these…

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Carisma - Warwick Doha Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Colorful World of Popcorn Girl


For the first time last February 20, me and my colleagues went to check out Popcorn Girl at Ezdan Mall. I’ve been so excited after hearing the news that Popcorn Girl will soon open in Qatar in a matter of days. Who won’t be?

Popcorn Girl, as you may know, is a Las Vegas-based gourmet and confections store. With over 50 flavors of gourmet popcorn, chocolates, candies, fudges, ice cream etc. to choose from, the place is one kid’s own paradise. Of course, someone who is also young at heart would totally appreciate the wonder of Popcorn Girl, just like I did.

POPCORN GIRL at Ezdan Mall
POPCORN GIRL at Ezdan Mall

The store’s interior is vibrant with color. Like the rainbow puked on it. Everything is sweet and delightful. I felt like a child let loose on a playground. My eyes are practically dancing… wanting to take everything in and not wanting to miss anything.

Giant Popcorn seen at the store's Entrance
Giant Popcorn seen at the store’s Entrance
Gourmet Popcorn Galore!
Gourmet Popcorn Galore!
Look at all those candies!
Look at all those candies!

Another thing about the store I liked is that part of it is like a mini cafe of sort. There’s a selection of coffee, milkshakes, tea and fudge cakes. I would love to try them on my next visit.

So what's on the Menu?
So what’s on the Menu?

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Of course, a tour at Popcorn Girl won’t be complete without meeting Popcorn Girl herself!

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Popcorn Girl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato