It was a long, hot Ramadan and while it’s a time I really enjoy, I’m happy to be getting back into the swing of Qatar’s dining scene.
I wrote this blog post in April and because of its success, I thought an updated version was due. Call it the “Summer Edition” as all the venues around the city start to unveil new menus, concepts and ideas.
Luxury and budget, date night and family style, here is where I think you should be eating at right now:
I will admit, I was dubious – a Chinese restaurant chain hailing from India in an office block in Doha. But one look inside this newcomer, with all its rich colors and Chinese inspired designs, and you know it’s not business as usual.
The menu runs the gamut from well crafted and unusual dumplings (think endamame and also steamed seabass with truffle) through to favorites like General Tso’s chiken. But expect some surprises like lamb braised with five spice and crispy corn with broccoli.
The chef hails from the acclaimed Chinese restaurant at Grand Hyatt Mumbai and his finesse shows. Couple this with exceptional service and welcome additions like the picked vegetables and honey nuts and this is going to be of your regular haunts.
1st Floor, Barwa Towers, Suhaim Bin Hamad Street, Al Sadd, Doha
Again, I should really leave my prejudices at the door of the mall. Again, when visiting this places I was dubious – an Indian food chain restaurant from the UAE in an obscure mall. But one taste of their butter chicken and I knew I would be back. Again and again.
Speaking of the butter chicken, this is how it should be made. No added sugar and definitely no red food coloring, it’s lush and creamy and the chicken tender and juicy. The sag paneer is in a similar vein – letting the ingredients not the additives speak for themselves.
The starters like a tandoori broccoli also shine. If you love North Indian food, get in the car and head to Ain Khaled now…
First Floor, Zero One Mall, Wadi Al Shaheeniya Street, Ain Khalid, Doha
To my great shame, I hadn’t really stepped foot in this restaurant at the Intercontinental the City Doha until earlier this year. But this steakhouse, with its clubby feel and selection of knives, is now on my permanent rotation.
Serving up some of the most tender and well thought steaks in the city, it combines attentive service with with fresh ingredients.
Standouts are the beef carpaccio, which are perfect slivers of tenderloin and the traditional beef tartare mixed tableside served with all the trimmings. But the steaks are the heroes, ranging from the USDA prime cuts, Australian grass fed Angus beef through to the divine Wagyu all served with sides like truffle mashed potatoes and Roquefort sauce.
1st Floor, InterContinental The City Hotel, Dafna, Doha
All respect to my beloved Canadian bretheren, but I had never really imagined Canadian food beyond poutine and Tim Hortens. Obviously I am joking (I mean, I LOVE Justin Trudeau) but the lines at this Doha outpost of this Canadian chain lay testament to its quality.
With a menu including chicken and waffles (believe me, it works), pizzas, pastas, burgers and even a basic version of poutine (which does its best without actual cheese curds), it’s a winner with families and big groups.
The interiors are fresh and fun like the food and the location at The Pearl makes you feel like a bit of a mini vacation.
Al Hambra Street, Medina Centrale,Pearl Qatar, Doha
The W Doha are masters of reinvention and understanding what the dining (and drinking) public want. This is why they have hard core fans like me. Wahm, their poolside bar, was also a little bit too much for me – too many people, a little too noisy.
But the venue had a sophisticated summer makeover with muted blues and cream and a menu of mediterranean mezze as well as shisha. The nearby pool will re-open 1 August and is sure to become one of the city’s new hotspots.
You can check out the transformation video here
Wahm at W Doha
Phone: 4453 5000
This will always be one of the “Big Three” of Doha’s restaurant scene along with Nobu and Spice Market. As competition surges around it, this place continues to serve up innovative and sublime food in a sexy dining room with attentive and knowledgable service.
I tried the new-ish Summer menu recently and it’s obvious why it’s still at go-to for date nights and big events.
The dumpling menu continues to be a leader in the city – with delicate offerings like the swan made from potato pastry stuffed with unami-esque mushrooms.
Other dishes range from a lamb hotpot through to seared Wagyu salad. With a newly revamped terrace area off the bar for cocktails and bigger groups (the smallish bar inside has always been a bugbear of mine) and regular events for foodies like wine dinners and regular special menus, this will always be one of the trendsetters in Doha.
The St. Regis Doha, West Bay
Phone: 444 60170
This is a small (but perfectly formed) list is by no means exhaustive but it’s what is taking my fancy right now.
I’m sure you have your own “must dine” places at the moment so feel free to share them!
Happy dining and Eid Mubarak
*Life on the Wedge has previously been a guest of Kababs&Kurries, Eggpectation, Prime and Hakkasan