We’re a long way from France but there is a new enclave in the InterContinental Doha The City that houses just a small but significant little piece of Paris that was calling out to FACT’s Craig Ferriman. Enter La Parisienne and get ready for your 101 intro to the famous Parisian café culture…
The seriously impressive French cafe at Intercontinental Doha The City, La Parisienne has popped up seemingly out of nowhere making perfect use out of unused space in the lobby entrance of the residences. This gives it two additional plus points. It is accessible from the main road and it’s got outdoor tables and chairs so you can enjoy a coffee and sweet treat al fresco style.
From the moment I discovered it, I felt like I’d walked into petit Paris – a little slice of France yet here in the desert. Paintings commissioned by a French artist adorn the walls and got shipped over specially for the opening. I was rather dazzled by the authenticity. We sat down at tables that were custom made in Paris and as we took our seats, we had the distinct feeling we were in a classically archetypal Parisian café.
The InterContinental Doha The City has gone all out to make this a success, hiring David Girard from the Dorchester in London to come over as their Executive Pastry Chef. He told me he’s been given complete freedom to run it his way. And it works. The produce is fresh and the quality is very high. His team has sourced the ingredients and personalised their recipes. French customers approve of their macaroons because they taste so real and honest.
The menu is not long but quality is assured. I sampled savoury items first, starting with the Quiche Lorraine which was very fresh and the Pate en Croute which didn’t feature the obvious ingredients you might expect but tasted better than you might imagine. I’ll say no more than that – just make sure you order it! The Paris-Brest is puff dough filled with praline cream. They are very proud of it and I understand why. The cream is rich, the dough is exceedingly fresh and the bite is heavenly.
The Lemon Meringue tart was more palate cleansing but generously sized too. The Chocolate Eclair was rather large and oozed on the tongue and it was like there were layers to it as it sang on the back of my throat. Yummy! I can also heartily recommend the Peanut Chocolate Finger which screams out for attention at you. Edge the fork in and you break into a peanut finger that is laced in milk ganache and chocolate sauce. It’s exquisite!
This is an ideal spot for local residents who can swing by and grab on-the-go or stop for breakfast and enjoy the freshest pain au chocolat, croissant or brioche au beurre with a flavoured coffee. Three schools are located within walking distance and I can see many a parent buying a loaf or a naughty treat from the patisserie section while doing the school run.
This place is at another level when compared to the dozens of cafés around town and yet incredibly the prices are extremely reasonable. La Parisienne could definitely become a hit! ✤