Qatar Eating was treated to flavourful South American cuisine at Latino by their Argentinian Executive Chef Luciano Carobini. After an expensive refurbishment Sheraton Doha Hotel has updated its F&B offerings and introduced new seafood restaurant Al Maskar, which recently wowed diners with their theatrical seafood towers. We were looking to be similarly impressed by Latino Doha, which has been described as the only South American restaurant in Doha.
The restaurant reigns in some of the Latin energy of its live Latino house band, and artefacts of South America are dotted throughout Latino including wall displays of traditional ceramics and colourful hats. The dining room is rather dark and also has a smoking-section, and is well suited for evening dining.
However, the standout within Latino Doha is the open kitchen which takes pride of place – there is something to be admired about restaurants that have the confidence to allow diners to see the inner workings of the kitchen. For Chef Luciano the open kitchen is a chance to get first-hand contact with diners and instant feedback is appreciated.
If we can take a moment to point out that South America has 12 independent countries with their own unique food history and flavour profiles. Chef Luciano has harnessed his experience to provide a taste adventure, showcasing the authenticity and flavours of the different regions of the world’s fourth largest continent.
The other important point to mention is the pedigree of the Chef and his hand-picked culinary team, all of who are from different areas of South America. He takes pride in the teamwork and comaraderie between his colleagues (Luis Villarreal, Diego Armando Mamani, Laura Angelica Zavalo, and Romel Tizon). He emphasises the importance of their skills and knowledge which adds to the authenticity and flavours of the menu at Latino Doha.
Latino Doha – Chef Luciano Carobini
There is something energetic about Chef Luciano as he talks about his home country and the experiences he has amassed over a 17 year career. Emphasising the regional differences between North and South America, he also talks with passion about Peruvian chillies and Mexican chipotle. He wants to take diners on a food journey with him in the relaxed dining room of Latino Doha. Always experimenting with the many flavours of South America, he changes up the menu every three months.
Born to Italian immigrants Chef Luciano Carobini’s first food memory is of his grandma making pasta and potato gnocchi by hand – whcih he would eagerly eat as fast as she made them! Food was an important part of his childhood and has helped form the chef he is today. He describes the cuisine at Latino Doha as ‘food of colour’ made with fresh ingredients. Dishes come out of the kitchen with accompanying sauces that add colour and vibrancy to the plate. It is not all meat and potatoes either as his menu also highlights chicken and seafood.
His depth of culinary knowledge and understanding of the various cuisines of South America is extensive. What is interesting is his desire to learn about food cultures from across the globe. It is this that inspired him to move halfway across the world to start a new culinary adventure in Doha, Qatar. When he is not busy at Latino, he is exploring the region and preparing for his upcoming marriage, which he has described as an ‘Argentinian/Mexican fusion’!
His parting words to aspiring chefs is to remember that the kitchen is an intense and real environment – ‘it is not a TV show’. Most importantly, he advises to never forget your roots, and that you should always believe in yourself.
Latino Steakhouse Doha – Menu Review
Latino Steakhouse celebrates the varied culinary cuisines of four main regions from the North-west, North-Central, Brazil and Southern South America. It highlights the art of churrasco too, which can be described as an ‘all-you-can-eat’ traditional Brazilian barbeque. Skewers of sizzling meats are served directly off the churrascaria grill, juices dripping. Diners are provided with cards to let their server know when they are sated!
The a la carte menu is compact but varied with a range of proteins and the option to choose side dishes and accompanying sauces. Reflecting the street food traditions of Latin America, we are served Mexican Quesadillas (filled corn tortillas), and Empanades which were perfectly little fried parcels of cooked meats and vegetables. A zingy ceviche hides a lovely surprise of dried maize which adds texture and crunch, whilst the vibrant tomato salad is an architectural masterpice – plating is on point!
Chef Luciano showcased a variety of grills and meats, with Chicken, Hammour and Beef Sirloin Steak. The steak was cooked beautifully, and the two different preparations of chicken will keep non-red meat eaters happy. Grills are served with a selection of two side dishes and two sauces. The lemon-butter and mushroom sauces stood out, whilst the new potato chimmichurri and steak fries were excellent.
Dessert offered up Dulce De Leche Cheesecake which is made to a secret recipe, with traditional homemade caramel that has been cooked for almost five hours. Sweet and silky smooth with accompanying fruits that help add a much needed tang to the experience. As a dessert more dulce de leche would have been appreciated, but now we are just being greedy!
Gracias to Chef Luciano for taking us on an insightful journey across the regions of South America, with authentic tastes and depth of flavour. A memorable experience for those with an adventurous palate!
For booking and more information call +974 4485 3000 or email F&[email protected]