I actually don’t like the term “date night”. It kind of makes me cringe a little on the inside. But call it what you want, it’s a catch-all phrase for spending some time with your significant other.
With work, werk, Netflix obligations, life and everything in between, AZ and I struggle to find time to just sit and catch up. So, we designate a time every couple of weeks to go out for dinner or drinks – sometimes we go somewhere new, but more often than not it’s one of our regular haunts.
Sometimes they are fancy, mostly they are comfortable and easy to get to. So here is a guide to our go-to places for a quiet dinner – and hopefully something to match all budgets.
Yep, the big daddy of date night destinations that begs you to dress up and show up. Hard to beat in terms of food, location and general fabulousness. An excellent option for a full budget busting dinner or for a more frugal (but no less glam) daily happy hour with drinks and snacks (all of which come from the real Nobu menu). We often go for the happy hour option – it’s relaxed and great value – and sit upstairs with the view of the city.
2. Wine and cheese at Prime
Date night doesn’t have to be a full extravaganza. In fact, nothing screams romance to me more than a couple of glasses of cheeky red, some French cheese and a cosy dining room. Taking place every Tuesday, for QR199 including three glasses of wine and an unlimited cheese and bread buffet, that’s all I need.
Thursdays can be a difficult prospect. Usually I’m counting down the hours until I can be horizontal on the sofa with Netflix and lots of chill. But this new weekly event on the beach at the Four Seasons has me rethinking my commitment. Family friendly and remarkably couple friendly (it’s a big, well organized space), it’s casual, unpretentious and dare I say fun. Go for the BBQ dinner (QR350 which includes drinks or QR250 with soft drinks) and feast on freshly cooked seafood and steak. Shoes are optional but having a good time is not. You can also just hang out at the adjacent beach bar.
With it’s warm wood tones, low lighting and traditional Thai menu, this restaurant is a regular on our dinner circuit. Thai food is made for sharing and this restaurant’s menu of favorites and a few surpirses encourages it. The deep fried whole sea bass is a revelation and the green papaya salad will have you crying tears of happiness. Not just a special occasion restaurant.
Not as fashionable or buzzy as it once was, this restaurant continues to deliver good food in one of the most beautiful dining rooms with a view in the city. With views across the Corniche to West Bay, this place comes alive at night and is perfect for a dinner for two. The well-priced Euro-centic menu changes regularly, but the off-menu burger remains it’s most popular dish.
Sometimes you just want to have a good time and forgo the dim candlelight and dessert sharing. This is the place to come for a fun and delicious evening out with your beloved. A Brazilian churrascaria (meat, lots of meat), the food comes to you as does the cocktail cart. Hic. Seriously. No judgement.
7. Toro Toro
Price aside, this is one of the most seriously sexy dining rooms in the city. The view at night across the water is also beyond romantic but be prepared to pay. More of a special occasion restaurant than a regular date night, this Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant has something likely to please every palate. Standout dishes for us are the empanadas and the addictive savory Venezuelan pancakes. The bar upstairs has a party vibe and maybe a good option if you want a lively night out.
I can’t stop talking about this place located in the Souq Al Wakra. Okay, so calling itself an “artisnal” bistro may border on the pretentious, but the focussed menu and charming location make this a must-visit. Date night wise, you can wolf down one of their excellent burgers, a pulled beef sandwich or the fluffy Japanese cheesecake while sitting in the Instagram worthy dining areas straight out of the Pinterest board of your dreams. This is date night fodder because it’ a destination for most people – take a walk along the Al Wakra Corniche and after dinner go for a gelato or dessert at one of the neighboring outlets.
I’m biased, this is literally 500 meters from my house. But this Spanish-inspired bistro serving unpretentious food keeps us coming back again and again. With comfy chairs and excellent, personal service, the menu is studded with good, honest food including paella, churros and more. The restaurant is always busy but noise is never overwhelming.
Do you have a go-to place for Date Night? Also, any suggestions on a new name for it (maybe just…dinner?).
*I bet you are expecting me to say…”I was a guest of…” but…PSYCH! Guess what? Rare moment! A Qatar food blogger PAID for their meal. In fact, I dined here twice and paid both times. So, view are, in actual fact, MY OWN.