I’ve been craving Mexican food for such a long time that when the opportunity came up to dine for lunch at Isla Mexican Kitchen by Richard Sandoval (which I must say is one of the best Mexican outlets in the country), I just had to jump into my car and drive to Katara.
Yes, Katara and not The Pearl Qatar although the outlet is actually located at The Pearl Qatar (TPQ). Confused? Well see, the lunch took place during the recently concluded UCI Road World Championship that resulted to a lot of road closures at the said man-made island. In order for non-Pearl residents to get to the island, like myself, I had to park my car at Katara and take a free 15-20 minute dhow ride to TPQ then take a golf cart from the dock to the outlet.
For this lunch however, I was joined by other local food bloggers and not my usual partner in crime.
My companions and I were immediately directed to a long table upon our arrival and shortly after we were all disbursed exploring the place. Honestly, I particularly liked the overall aesthetic of Isla due to the dark / rich color tones used as it is indeed reminiscent of modernized Mexican flair in terms of interior design. Isla looked sophisticated & the imposing lighting fixture really amazed me due to its very intricate shape.
We were provided the food plus beverage menus after everyone was seated and our amazing server, Natasha, explained to the group the concept of the outlet plus what we could expect regarding Mexican cuisine since some were new to Isla. It was decided by the majority to share the food amongst ourselves then just order whatever Natasha would recommend.
By the way, in case you didn’t know, Isla Mexican Kitchen was previously Pampano hence some of the food items served at Pampano were still present on the current menu. Because of this, those who were familiar with Pampano knew that the best appetizer to order was the Pomegranate Guacamole and Natasha suggested to include an order of Queso Fundido. The guacamole had some sweetness & crunch to it. Pomegranates plus strawberries made it sweet and the caramelized walnuts added that bite but the mixed in thinly sliced strips of shallots balanced it out. Personally, the Queso Fundido was unfortunately too oily for me though the others seemed to like it.
Main Courses were also in abundance as the table was filled with Tacos (Beef & Lobster), Encillada de Queso Con Rajas & one of their specials called Chicken Zarape. The Lobster Tacos were stellar and although I don’t gravitate towards red meat, I had a taste of the beef tacos which were quite good too. The beef was tender plus it wasn’t chewy and didn’t have that “meaty” taste that I dread. Since the enchilada was so creamy due to the cheeses incorporated in the dish, the taste of it surprisingly didn’t tire me out because the peppers used aided in cutting the richness off. Sadly, due to a very full stomach, I skipped on having a piece of the Chicken Zarape. 🙁
Moving on to the last course which is dessert, Natasha really spoiled us by providing our table a plate of Churro Split (basically almost like a banana split but with churros, ooohhhh yummy!) and a tasting platter comprised of all their cakes like Chocoflan, Pastel de Elote & lastly, Tres Leches. My recommendations of course are the Churro Split in addition to the Pastel de Elote (warm corn cake topped with ice cream). The corn cake was of a different flavor which my taste buds were not accustomed to but which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I think I’ve put enough highlight on the food and this time I should mention the treatment we received. Definitely Natasha’s performance as our server is the ultimate reason why we had fun at the outlet. From the get-go she set the tone of what would be an awesome dining experience. First off, she took time to explain the concept, provide great recommendations for us to try, gave us time to really savor each dish prior to serving the next course and entertained us with her knowledge of the outlet. She was always checking up on us and made sure all of us were comfortable plus pleased with what they provided us. Don’t think that I am saying this just because our lunch was sponsored because I’m not. I’ve been served by Natasha numerous times at different occasions when the outlet was still Pampano and I can say from my own previous personal encounters with her that she hasn’t changed. She is still the same Natasha that has been so accommodating ever since I had the opportunity to be her guest.
Sometimes it truly is the outstanding service that sticks with you first & foremost than the great meal you had at an outlet.
If you want to see more, you can click the video below for some footage of our lunch but feel free to jump to the 2:38 mark.
Hopefully after reading this & watching the video, you are encouraged to venture to The Pearl Qatar and try out spectacular Mexican food at Isla Mexican Kitchen. They truly satisfied my craving that day! 🙂
**Disclaimer: Our lunch was free but all thoughts & opinions stated above are 100% genuine (based on my own experience). Click the link for the full disclaimer http://lifewithkarlly.com/disclaimer
Location: 2 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl Qatar, Doha – Qatar
Tel. no.: +974 4409 5285