Cafes

Future State – A Round-Up of New Doha Restaurants to Look Forward to in 2017

So that escalated quickly. The year 2016 I mean. There I was, all fresh faced and excited on January 1 and now, here I am, bedraggled and bereft at the end of December.

A lot happened in 2016 on the Qatar foodie scene. Some great,some not so great, and some a little bit of both.

While it was a stellar year on the opening front, we have a lot to look forward to in 2017. Even Frommers has listed Doha as a top destination in 2017, citing its diverse dining scene as a reason.

Here is my round-up of what I am excited about in 2017 (besides Netflix new schedule):

  1. The New Belgian Cafe

I have to say I have a real soft spot for the Belgian Cafe at the Intercontinental Doha. Good atmosphere (seriously, single ladies, this is where all the blokes are!), well done comfort food and a great drink selection. BUT it’s far too smoky for me and I leave feeling a little like I have been in a Parramatta nightclub circa 1988 (cough,,,so I hear). The new look bar has been relocated to the ground floor of the hotel and has an outdoor terrace which I am tipping will be one of the most popular in the city. Due to open any day now, even I am excited. Cheese people! Cheese!

2. Celebrity Favorite Katsyua

We love a little glamor in Qatar and this chain hailing from California will bring a bot of bling (albeit in a mall). Two branches of this celeb hang are opening – one at Villaggio and one at Festival City in coming months. It’s LA cousins are labelled some of the best spots for celeb sightings but their Cali fusion take on sushi and other dishes will be a hit.

We love a little glamor in Qatar and this chain hailing from California will bring a bot of bling (albeit in a mall). Two branches of this celeb hang are opening – one at Villaggio and one at Festival City in coming months. It’s LA cousins are labelled some of the best spots for celeb sightings but their Cali fusion take on sushi and other dishes will be a hit.

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Sexy sushi at Katsuya

3. Opening of the Mondrian Doha

Located where architecture goes to die (next to Lagoona Mall), this hotel has been delayed several times but looks likely to open in 2017. While little has been revealed about their offering except for a rooftop bar, it’s part of the very sexy and stylish Morgans chain who also own The Royalton in NYC as well as other properties in Miami and Europe. Expect lush interiors, on trend food and a sense of humor.

3. Doha Festival City

Slated for A February 2017 soft opening, you may groan at another mall to add to our collection. But there are a couple of foodie destinations to keep you happy and interested, including the welcome return of Dean & Deluca to Qatar (yaaaassssss), the world’s largest Monoprix and 800 Degrees Pizza.

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Doha Festival City (image from their website)

4. Suan Bua Thai Restaurant at the Centara Grand

Nestled in a golden mile of real estate in West Bay, this hotel opening has been a well kept secret. Centara is a Thai brand which hasn’t made much a foray into the Middle East, it’s known as a solid option in Asia. However, one of their offerings in Doha will be a Thai restaurant with a “contemporary” twist. In a town with a huge appetite for Thai food, this will be one to watch. Also keep an eye open for the opening of the Dusit hotel mid-2017. Another Thai brand, it’s bringing it’s excellent Benjarong signature restaurant with it.

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Suan Bua – image from Centara website

5. Al Hazm

While I am still unsure what exactly will happen inside this imposing structure just outside the city limits, one thing did catch my eye – it promises “slow and sustainable food” and fresh food market. Also this: “The culinary core of Alhazm is an original Italian pole where cooking classes, demonstrations, tastings and promotions of sustainable food culture are a major draw for Doha’s food fanatics”. If you know what that means  (it’s a “lifestyle destination”) let me know. I’m not entirely sure my Kia will be welcome in the parking lot, but stranger things have happened.

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Slow and sustainable (photo from Al Hazm website)

 

7. Revamps a plenty

Expect to see some old favorites revamping to keep competitive with newcomers in this market. One to watch is Grande Dame Ritz Carlton Doha who recently reopened their top floor restaurant as an excellent and well priced French bistro. They are also undergoing a renovation so expect big things.

So, there it is, all that’s new and shiny to look forward to in Qatar’s foodie world in 2017. I know this is only a short list -there seems to be a new restaurant popping up every week!

To all my readers, thanks for your unwavering support in 2016. There have been ups, downs, tears and triumphs and frankly I’m exhausted. But I wouldn’t want it any other way! Happy New Year and see you for more foodie adventures in 2017.

 

11 replies »

  1. Sooo many more places to add my list. It’s growing so fast I can’t keep up. Thanks for this lovely post!

  2. Kia will be welcome in the parking lot ..hahaaha That made me chuckle. I have been wondering the same about Al Hazm whether everyone will be welcome😆

    I live opposite Festival City and I am dearly looking towards its grand opening!

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