Have you ever had that moment when your day was so dragging you just want to go home, sit, and have a hearty bowl of soup to make you feel good? I previously shared that my usual comfort food is a heaping bowl of meatball spaghetti. But there are days that a bowl of warm chicken congee will do the trick. That thick rice porridge, the smell of ginger and shallots, the delicate flavor of that soft chicken meat falling off the bones. This is my idea of a soul food. Continuing the trend of offering comfort food, Intercontinental Doha The City recently launched the Soul in a Bowl at Hwang.
Popular to its unique Yum Cha Friday Brunch, Hwang is home to a variety of Asian dishes contrary to the usual impression that it is just another Chinese restaurant. They offer Thai, Japanese, Indian, Filipino and even Indonesian dishes aside from Chinese.
Soul in a Bowl
This unique theme is a collaboration of the entire culinary team at Hwang. It promises to deliver a different dining experience highlighting their passion and years of expertise through the selection of each dish being served.
That promise of a unique dining experience starts with an empty menu and a pen. We were told that our server will come shortly, explain the dishes and we will be asked to write them down in any order we wish them. Unlike most theme nights, the dishes will be brought to our table and have it shared. Yes, unless you are that hungry or you want to dine alone, it is better to go with a friend. Asian foods are traditionally meant to be shared anyway.
The menu changes every two weeks, and customer feedback is highly appreciated. The chances of you having the same dish again on your next visit are slim to none.
Asian Trip around the Bowl
The menu presented that night truly showcases the traditional Asian comfort foods: from the warm crab and corn soup, savory noodles, stir fried meat, and even the fried rice. That sense of familiarity being an Asian myself made me felt at “home”. If I have to name my top pick, and recommendation, that would be the Mongolian stir-fried chicken. It has that balance of saltiness from the soy sauce and that hint of sweetness from brown sugar and it coats each piece perfectly. The consistency of the sauce was just right, neither too sticky nor runny. The chicken and shrimp dumpling with the chili sauce is another hit. It has that slight heat while maintaining that delicate umami-rich flavor.
The crispy noodles, while nicely presented, were a bit salty for my liking. Those who are fascinated with really savory dishes, on the other hand, would definitely love the dish. While overall, the dining experience was great, I am looking forward seeing a more diverse menu in the coming weeks. The menu was still heavily Chinese and a little more representation of other Asian dishes would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps this is a great opportunity to introduce other dishes that may seem unpopular (for now) but surely delivers that same soulful vibe the general theme aims to promote. It is a high time to educate and broaden the public’s palette on Asian cuisine.
Those who are into Asian food and looking for a hearty dinner, be it with a friend or family, this new theme night is a definite welcome addition to Doha’s growing list of Thursday theme nights.
First Floor, InterContinental The City Hotel, Dafna, Doha
I was a guest during on this occasion. However, all photos used and opinions are my own.