The old cliche would say: Nothing is impossible.
The same is true with food. Just when you thought that a rather odd combination will not work, a clever chef is busy in the test kitchen trying it out.
Let’s take Japanese and Arabic. Never in a million years would you expect that the delicate flavor of Japanese cuisine and the rich spices of Arab region will go together. Not until you try Cactus Senshi, one of Doha’s new restaurants who would like to challenge those adventurous foodies to go against the norm when it comes to food combination.
I first tried Cactus Senshi during their first month back in October and was excited to see how the concept of fusion cuisine will work out. I guess this is to address the need for the majority of their clientele (Qataris and Arabs in general) to get a chance to try Japanese food but still with that familiar Arabic flare.
Location and AMBIANCE
It won’t be hard to locate the place being along C-Ring road and right beside La Cigale and Al Sadd Intersection. Valet parking is available so it won’t be an issue to secure a parking spot should you decide to come on rush hours (lunch/dinner time). The overall vibe is hip and non-traditional Japanese minimalist. It is not your typical Japanese restaurants that would have a red and black color palette. Instead, you will see a spacious, high-ceilinged, two-tiered restaurant painted in green and the brightly lit LED screen will greet you as you enter. I liked the originality. At least, I would remember it as a Japanese restaurant with a twist.
I tried their Arabic bento which was one of their bento boxes on promotion during their first month. Regularly priced at 95QAR, you can avail of these boxes for 50QAR if you’d dine in from 1-4PM. It was an interesting choice seeing Beef Yakitori, Arabic-flavored rice served with Sashimi and sushi. I thought this fusion would rave mixed reviews especially for those Japanese food lovers (like myself) as nothing tasted Japanese. What was Japanese was just the bare concept of the dish but the taste is a completely different region (Middle Eastern). I completely understand that the main concept is fusion and perhaps I am just being a purist.
Last week, I went back to try another bento after hearing that they have launched a new variant of these bento boxes. I am happy to know that the 50QAR promotion still exists and the timing was even extended from 1 PM to 6 PM. Sweet! The catch though is that there will be only one bento choice (under promotion) which is the Senshi Bento.
Senshi Bento is a modified Asian Bento which comes with tom yum soup, chicken katsu, salad, sushi, sashimi, chicken satay and fried rice. It also comes with churros con caramel for dessert. The quality and taste of the food remain the same. I’m glad they have retained the consistency and the quantity would suffice everyone’s appetite. You will really get what your money’s worth is for 50QAR.
What I am more excited to try going back is their green tea crepes which are an absolute treat! I would personally go back again and again just for this crepe alone especially that green tea flavored desserts are not too common in the country.