Yes, it’s fair to say that I have been focusing on the big, glam and expensive end of town lately. But a conversation with a fellow foodie recently had me thinking – are there some places in this fair city that deserve a little more praise?
I think so! Here is my (arbitrary and non-exhaustive) list of the eight restaurants you should consider putting on your dining rotation right now.
Sure it’s a little old school and the interior is gloomy, but this was one of the first places I dined at in Doha many moons ago and the food is good, solid Italian fare. In fact last year, I ranked one it its dishes the best I had tried all year. The hotel is undergoing a full revamp, so I hope this place gets a little more time in the sun.
Speaking of first dining experiences, way back in 2006 when I came here for a week for interviews, I stayed in this hotel and dined here. I loved their Italian night then and the food has remained consistently good. Friends with kids rave about their family-friendly Friday brunch and their Asian food is excellent.
Dwelling on the less fashionable side of town(I live there and call the area “Bohemian”), this Spanish inspired restaurant has great food being served up by some dedicated staff. their tapas nights are some of the best value in town. The space itself is casual and unpretentious, the service excellent. Sink into the comfy chairs, try their potato croquettes and a big jug of Sangria.
Fine dining this is not, but when you need a big bowl of steaming ramen and maybe some fried squid on the side, this is the place to come. I usually frequent the Lagoona outpost and it’s my go-to when I need some peace, quiet and noodles.
Once, in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, this was a Mexican Chinese restaurant. I kid you not. You could get sweet and sour tortillas. Now, this hole in the wall is just serving up well known Chinese favorites and has recently revamped their menu. This is not going to set any culinary trends, but when you wants a plate of steamed beef dumplings, a sweet and sour chicken and some morning glory, this is your place.
With branches around the city, the menu is concise, but the food is excellent. The chicken mandi is by far their best dish in my view and is rarely dry or overcooked. I am also partial to their mixed grill with their mixed salad on the side. You can also order a whole baby camel cooked to your liking (I leave that to others).
Again, harking back to the dark ages, this was the place to come in Doha for a good meal. It’s consistently served up fine dining worthy meals with one of the most charming locations in the city. I recently rediscovered it and wondered why I had neglected it for so long – a fresh seafood “market” as well as excellent sushi. This place should be more popular.
It arguably has one of the best terraces in the city and the food, especially when you stick to the Mediterranean style fresh seafood and salads, is very good. Order a table full of mezze like grilled feta, taramasalata and grab a glass of chilled white wine, and you could be anywhere in the world.
So as I said, a mix of high and low but always good quality. I’ve deliberately left a couple of “hidden gems’ off the list at the request of regulars (you can ask me offline!).
Do you think there is a restaurant that deserves a shout out? Let me know in the comments below.
In the interim – enjoy!