IDAM - Your Healthy (Iftar) Option

 
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Have you yet pampered yourself with a treat at one of Doha's most chic and classy restaurants? If you haven't, what are you waiting for?

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Ramadan underway, every day we face the same kind of ''challenge'' how to break the fast. It is challenging if you are opting for a healthier choice or if you want to change your usual routines of having iftars at home, where to go and which restaurant out of so many in Doha, to chose.

I already wrote about benefits and healthy fasting, so you are familiar with my love and passion towards food. I also - once upon a time - used to love trying out different iftars every day, from one place to another, which eventually resulted in me putting on quite a lot of weight. Since then, nothing much has changed.

My love and passion for good food is still present, only now I chose my iftars wisely :) I still love to enjoy the ambience of a good restaurant and even eat something not-so-healthy, which is still fine, as long as we have in mind my favorite concept - ''the balance''.

So, this week I visited Alain Ducasse's  award-winning IDAM restaurant nestled inside and on the top floor of the Museum of Islamic Art. For those of you who love the Mediterranean cuisine a la francaise with an Arabian flair, this is a must-try. It is the Michelin-starred chef's first restaurant in the Middle East with the chef Frederic Larquemin creating the classics of local and regional cuisine with the ingredients that are mainly sourced locally in Qatar (If for no other reason, this can be one of the reasons why you would wish to experience IDAM).

Just like every year, IDAM created a specially designed menu with which it continues its Ramadan tradition for the iftar evenings. Other than knowing that the ingredients are sourced locally, it is also important to know that the ingredients are all fresh, bought on the same day and used the same day too. The food is based on healthy options and variation of fruits and vegetables, and the meat or fish is also bought locally, from certified suppliers. What more to wish for nowadays? Only those few reasons could be enough to inspire us on this gastronomical venture. But, wait until you see the menu.

What's on the special iftar menu?

Mezze Collection

My favorite one. I LOVE the bread they serve in IDAM (have I mentioned that bread is my weakest spot, especially when it is as delicious as in IDAM. Fresh and warm with so many different flavors. So tempting!). The variety of bread is stunning, as it is not only the variety but also the taste of it that makes you want more... and more. Of course, I could eat bread all alone without any dip to accompany it, but in this case, the bread is served with tasty - and healthy too - dips! They are served with so called binnies, that are like tiny, soft flatbread made of chickpeas or buckwheat which you can dip into one of the delicious and healthy sauces: chicken liver sauce, zucchini/parmesan and moutabbal. My favorite one - definitely chicken liver :)

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Main course

You have an option. A choice of two dishes including the finest imported produce or a local fish.

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IDAM Main course

In my case, I chose the delicate broad bean soup as a ''bissara'' with haloumi cheese and a local fresh hammour with ''tchatchouka'' marinated bell pepper. This was all accompanied by a vegetable and flowers salad based on green vegetables, such as asparagus, cucumber, beans with maltaise reduction (made of pomegranate and orange). This was all enriched with a touch of not-so-healthy-but-important-for-balance fava bean and herb fatayer (Not-so-healthy because it is deep fried). Delicious.

Desserts

For the grande finale, now that is where I ''sinned'' and I totally experienced amnesia :) I seemed to forget all about the affects sugar has on me and I just let go... And enjoyed every bite of it. I tried whatever was offered, how could I possibly miss it? I love sweets too (not as much as bread). Just because I am studying about food and nutrition, or because I am a health coach, it doesn't mean that I am not aware of what I like or how to indulge myself into not-so-healthy-stuff. As long as we feed our body with healthy, nutritious food on a regular basis, then indulging from time to time can really do no harm :) At least in my case. Hopefully. But, you should listen to your body, not me, always.

So for desserts... Are you ready?

A selection of desserts from IDAM's sweet trolley including contemporary signatures with Arabic twist and local desserts revisited along with the dates. But what I had was sublime. It was a  date soufflé with laban sorbet.

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IDAM is known to dedicating special attention to crafting non-alcoholic beverages, therefore the barman works alongside the chef in creating the perfect drink to complement the menu. The use of local flavors bursting with fresh chamomile and rosemary, spices and fruits offer a whole new tasting experience.

The drink that accompanied my meal was Red Harvest. A blend of cranberries, red grapes, tonic water and... tabasco! Refreshing, not too sweet, and not at all spicy. Must try!

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Overall, it was definitely an experience I had to share. I loved the fact that I could enjoy the chic and romantic ambiance with the stunning view over the Doha skyline, but at the same time I could treat myself with fresh, healthy, vibrant food, that not only tastes so good but looks amazing too. Nowadays, it is important to know where we eat, when we are eating out, and above all, what we eat. IDAM is definitely highly ranked on my list as one of, not only exceptional and chic restaurants with a romantic touch, but also as one of the restaurants where you can eat healthy and satisfy not only your taste buds, but you can feed your body, mind and soul... All at once.

Practical info:

Location: Museum of Islamic Art, 5th floor, Corniche Street, Doha

Reservation: +974 4422 4488 or email: idam@qma.org.qa

Ramadan (Iftar):

Wednesday-Monday (Tuesday closed): 6pm-11pm

Iftar Menu: 3 courses, dessert trolley - 285QR

Valet parking available

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