Choices Restaurant at Oryx Rotana is one of the popular places for buffet dining in Doha. It has been recommended to me time and again whenever I’m looking for a Friday brunch deal. I’m not quite sure why but it hasn’t piqued my interest as of yet. Just my luck, an invitation came to my twitter inbox to try out their famous Surf and Turf night which happens every Monday. If you ask me, it’s a genius idea to focus on two of the great dishes to be served – seafood and steak. I’m a seafood person while The Greek Mister is a steak person, sounds like a great arrangement for us.
Oryx Rotana houses some of the best restaurants in Doha – The Cellar and Chi Zen are a favorite of ours. Choices is their all-day dining restaurant located at the second level of the hotel overlooking the beautiful lobby cafe. It was empty when we arrived but considering that it was a Monday night, I wasn’t surprised at all. To be fair, an empty space in Doha does not necessarily mean a bad restaurant. So don’t judge a restaurant by the number of diners is my motto.
They had the usual on their buffet spread – salads, sushi, hot station which is focused on seafood and steak of course and desserts. I do love the little cups of appetizers that they had, the mussels with pineapple salsa was my favorite. They also have an extensive selection of sushi which I of course didn’t skip and filled my plate with all assortments.
At the live-cooking station, you get to choose what kind of fish and steak you’d like to be cooked for you. They also have a live noodle station which also offers either meat or seafood along with the vegetables that you’d like to be included in your dish.
Service was great but I was there as a guest so I’ll have to try it again as a normal diner to see if the service would be the same. The staff at the live-cooking station however lacked the same service training that the waiters had. I’ve witnessed three people trying to order from them and were ignored. It’s one thing to be ignored completely but it’s another thing when they acknowledge your presence, asks what you want and as you’re speaking – they’ll turn their head the other way and speak to their colleagues in their own language. It would’ve been acceptable if they’re talking about the food that was being ordered but I’m sure they’re not because they haven’t even heard the order yet and they’re already speaking to each other. One of those three diners got so upset that he just left the live cooking station when the chef asked him for the third time what he wanted.
They have also messed up The Greek Mister’s steak, he ordered a well-done and got a medium-rare. He too had the same problem when placing his order – they were too busy ignoring what he was saying which is probably the reason why he got a medium rare. I have to admit though that the steak was good, although The Greek Mister isn’t a fan of bloody steaks he was able to finish it all. I had to refrain myself from having a portion for myself as I already placed an order of noodles which was also very good. They were able to capture the true flavors of a Filipino-style pancit which I’ve been craving for.
There were a few other dishes which were not done very well including the fried beef spring rolls which was not cooked thoroughly and the filling was so soggy and wet. I have to say though that the dishes they were good at were done close to perfection. All in all, the Surf and Turf was not a perfect dining experience but I do have the inclination to try it out again. I want to give them another chance as the concept of seafood-and-steak-centric buffet is something I think The Greek Mister and I would love.
Surf And Turf Night
Mondays, Choices Restaurant at Oryx Rotana
QR 270 per person food only
QR 360 including unlimited selected house beverages
QR 390 including unlimited sparkling vino, house spirits, selected digestives and aperitifs
Tel No. +974 4402 3333
I was invited to try Surf and Turf Night at Choices Restaurant as a guest however as always, photos are my own and opinion stated are genuine and in no way influenced.