Craig Ferriman indulges in a swirl of flavours as he tucks in to an Asian feast like no other at InterContinental Doha The City’s Hwang restaurant.
It’s hard to sum Hwang up. A friend I took for dinner there thought we were going for Chinese which is not entirely false as they cook cracking Chinese dishes but I was sure I’d emphasised the great Indonesian items they have after I went to the highly successful Indonesian festival there earlier this year. It’s not actually an Indonesian themed restaurant either. Or Thai. Or Vietnamese. It is a much more holistic celebration of south east Asian cooking and it is not elite. Yes it’s located in a five star restaurant, the service and the staff are utterly superb and the decor and quality is five star but the design of their menu is actually inspired by good old fashioned street food so you can actually tuck into the grub of the people.
My mission on my visit to Hwang was to sample their greatest hits if you will. I tried a couple of their appealing appetisers but they taste even better than they sound. The Lumpia Medan was served to us and the easiest way I can describe them are like Indonesian spring rolls, though that doesn’t quite do them justice. Deceptively small but oozing with flavour, they consist of minced chicken, bamboo shoots, spring onions and tonnes of other healthy stuff. The other starter of note are the Wasabi Prawns which are very good. There are lots of enticing excuses to Hwang these days. Tuesday is the dedicated curry night and you can tuck into a rage of curries all for QR128! I tried their Malaysian Chicken Kapitan Curry and their hot and spicy Chicken Gulai but the real winner, and for that matter, Hwang’s most popular curry is the Beef Rendang which is pretty darn hot but rich in flavour and the meat is so tender and succulent.
Another hot new promotion filling the place with punters now is the Soul in a Bowl deal. I tried their steamed dumplings which tickle you in the mouth. The Mongolian Stir Fried Chicken is the stand out bowl with a lot of soul for me but the gimmicky dish that is worth a go is the Chow Mein fried noodles. I say gimmicky but not unkindly because they use dry noodles and have a great sauce at the bottom so we were shown how to mix the noodles in with the soy sauce. They do good stuff with fish too as the Fried Hammour in Thai Chilli sauce excellently exemplified.Desserts are authentically Asian and decently varied. Hwang is great for groups because it offers intimate little partitioned areas for half a dozen or so people to have a get together in semi-privacy while still getting waited on by extremely friendly and attentive waitresses. I sat in the heart of the restaurant and saw plenty of people around me from families to couples and the vibe was relaxed and it was not too noisy. It seems word is spreading that Hwang is the place to hang!
GO:CALL 4015 8888 FOR RESERVATION AND MORE IMFORMATION.