Offering “authentic” Italian cuisine, Carisma reopens at Warwick Doha with a bold promise of serving nothing but the best Italy has to offer. Over the weekend, I joined a group of social media people and try their best sellers from the menu and to say the least, it was promising.
The Red Room
I haven’t been to Carisma prior to this invitation although I have been hearing about it since last year. Reviews were mixed and though I was curious, it remained on my “to-visit” restaurant list for so long. My Warwick weekend staycation in late July was untimely as the restaurant was closed due to Qatar Summer Festival. But they say, better late than never, I got to have a closer look in Warwick Doha’s Italian Fine Dining restaurant.
I’d like to call it the Red Room. Upon entering the chic restaurant, you will be greeted by scarlet red cushioned sofas that scream quintessentially Italian. The room has a decent size and on a regular day, diners will get to enjoy a rather laid back dinner with this classy ambiance. That night, it was arranged specifically to accommodate a number of guests, hence, a pair of high tables were set and canapes were handed out prior to dinner proper.
As the dinner starts, we were asked to select from the Chef’s Choice menu on our table. For starters, I had Bresola al timo con tortino di funghi, rucola e Parmigiano (cured beef Bresola with Rocca salad and parmesan).The Rocca leaves are fresh and crisp and the shaved parmesan is generous. However, it was a little under-dressed for my liking and although I tossed it the best that I could, most of my Rocca were just plain and no dressing at all.
For the main course, I had Tagliata di manzo all’ aglio e rosmarino con patate arrosto (Beef rib eye braised with garlic and rosemary served with roasted potatoes). This is where things got quite interesting. Compared to my salad, the greens that came with the steak were well-dressed. It is enough to coat everything. The beef tasted well. It is well-seasoned and the color is impressive. However, the cut wasn’t the best choice that night. My piece was a struggle to cut and having a knife (that is more like a love-child of a butter knife and a real steak-knife) didn’t help.
I think, have I had my cut as rare (like I always prefer my meat), it could have been a less “struggling” situation on every bite. All of us were served with a medium-well that evening.
Capping the dinner was the classic Tiramisu for dessert. It has the right balance of sweetness and bitterness from the custard and coffee-dipped biscuit base which in most cases are often too sweet or too bitter. But what was lacking with the Tiramisu that night was the body. The custard mixture was too runny that it was like scooping a melted coffee-flavored ice cream. I am no culinary expert but perhaps there was something with the eggs or the mascarpone cheese that made it runny as suppose to that “whipped” consistency.
While the entire dining experience was a bunch of hits and misses, it doesn’t ruin the chance for me to recommend this charming restaurant. As Carisma reopens in Warwick Doha, I look forward to trying other items from the menu in the coming weeks and hopefully, some tweaks were done with the presentation of the food. While I have no complaints with the taste of the dish, it would definitely help if the presentation will be improved. With a bold promise of delivering nothing but Italy’s best, it poses a tall order to a top-notch fine dining presentation. But surely, Carisma deserves a second chance or even more. As for me, the warm focaccia bread served along with starters is one reason to go back.
Ground Floor, Warwick Doha Hotel, Al Sadd, Doha
Phone: +974 44563352/ 44563351
Open from 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM
I was a guest during this occasion. However, all photos used and opinions are my own.