The Cellar at Oryx Rotana Doha has become somewhat of a foodie institution in the city. Shabana Adam heads over to the lively venue to try out its Wednesday offering, Pintxos Night. Here’s how it went down…

The Oryx Rotana Doha offers guests a number of fabulous dining options, and it’s also home to one place that’s managed to remain the talk of the town since it opened over four years ago. That place, of course, is The Cellar.

The Cellar really needs no introduction, but let us set the mood for those of you who are yet to visit this popular venue; as conveyed in the name, the restaurants décor is reminiscent of an underground wine cellar setting with its natural stone archways, large glass windows, and soft touches of dark wood. With edgy yet elegant chandeliers and cool art work on the walls, The Cellar is often packed with lively chatter from businessmen, groups of friends, colleagues having an after-work drink, and others for whom the venue was a pre-night-out stop for nibbles and drinks. We were in love with this place, instantly!

“This place stays true to its tapas roots and we fell for it, completely. Now, it’s your turn”.

On this particular evening, we were here to try out the brand-new Pintxos Night, which truly champions the concept of tapas. Set in a buffet-style, the Mediterranean-inspired tapas is plentiful in choice – there are 12 varieties to be precise. With everything from veggies, meat, and seafood, there was something for everyone, and, of course, as this was tapas, the portions were very generous.

We tucked into one of everything – there’s no way you’ll want to miss out on trying all the Pintxos Night menu options – and it was definitely the right decision!

Some of our favourite food items to go for include the Spanish potato omelette, a simple but very tasty dish; the beef galician pie, perfectly crisp on the outside and packed with a delicious beef filling on the inside; then there’s the shrimp and avocado rolled with smoked salmon, fresh and full of flavour; and the chilled tomato cream with eggplant chips, we absolutely couldn’t get enough of those!

By this time, we had quickly realised why The Cellar has become so popular; it’s all about the interactive and communal nature of tapas and vino (there’s a fantastic variety of fine wines and a wine tasting section too) teamed with excellent service, and friendly and efficient staff, that makes for an exquisite dining experience.

We weren’t done just yet. We couldn’t resist ordering something off The Cellar’s normal menu, and went for the Mussel Pot. When the sizzling pot made its way onto our table, napkins and spoons couldn’t have moved any faster – we tackled the steaming mussels like no one was watching! The mussels were gratined with diced tomatoes and bell peppers, and every bite left us with a mouthwatering zingy kick – winner!

For dessert it had to be the warmed chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream. To simply put it, this bowl of sweet goodness was the perfect ending to what will be a memorable evening for a very long time. The Cellar is a classy yet casual venue where it will be very easy to lose yourself in leisurely conversation, and great food and drinks, for hours. This place stays true to its tapas roots and we fell for it, completely. Now, it’s your turn.