Doha,  Qatar,  Restaurants

Seven Places You Should Be Eating in Right Now – Summer 2017 Edition

Don’t be alarmed…but it’s nearly August. Hard to believe we have survived nearly two months of the #QatarBlockade 2017 (although there appears to be a lucrative black market in Diet Coke hoarding and coriander swapping) and one of the swampiest Summers on record.

But…here we are. Stronger. Sense of humor intact. And still HUNGRY.

I thought it was time to revisit my now regular twice yearly look at places you should be eating at right now. To be fair, many of these places are old favorites that have maybe fallen off the radar (well mine anyway) but have returned with a new vigor and one out of left field.

All are worth a visit.

  1. Little Yee Hwa

The baby sister of Korean dining institution Yee Hwa, this venue is pumping out some quality food in Bin Mahmoud. While on a recent visit the Taiwanese fried chicken was a a little floury, the Korean national dish Bi Bim Bap was spot on with flavors and textures. With tables full of Korean expats, cheerful and engaged servers and a thriving home delivery business, they must be doing something right.


2. Zaffran Dining Experience

This fine dining restaurant on C Ring has some of the most inventive Indian food in the city. They have taken that innovation and created a “Made in Qatar” menu with dishes from ingredients sourced locally. Make sure you check out the “Made in Qatar” Butter Chicken Biryani – a fan favorite.

zaff one
Zaffran’s tea

3. The French Olive

After nearly a year on the bench,  this cafe is back on my dining roster. Why? A refreshed menu, a lovely space and consistently good service. Their breakfast menu is bigger and, dare I say better, and while the location can be a little confronting traffic wise, it’s worth it for the fresh food. Their Breakfast of Champions includes a tender piece of steak plus the usual eggs and beef bacon. Sweet toothers will also love their made-to-order mini cronuts.

Yassss at The French Olive

4. Paloma

I can feel the looks of judgement being cast in my direction even as I type this. But stick with me. I recently visited with a couple of girlfriends for an early dinner and happy hour priced margaritas as big as our heads. Truly I wasn’t expecting much in the food department, but I was more than a little impressed. A lobster bisque was silky and studded with hunks of perfectly cooked meat. Their shrimp tempura tacos, while they could have benefited from more sauce, arrived crunchy and steaming hot. A plate of jalapeno poppers was stuffed with melty cheese and were very addictive. Service is efficient and charming and the crowd eclectic (before the band comes on). You know you want to…

Let’s taco about how good these were

5. Spice Market

While it continued to pack in the drinkers and the diners, this perennial favorite had underwhelmed me for a while in recent months. It was a little ‘play by numbers” and missing that special “something”. But a recent visit has renewed my affection for this place. Every single dish (including a luscious Vietnamese style prawn curry) we ordered was on point as was the service. The restaurant and bar area were both full and the vibe back to its best. This makes me happy.

Back to its best at Spice Market

6. Spanish Theme Night at City Centre Rotana

I’m a fan of this hotel, which has quietly been doing its own thing for a while now. They have a great online presence and a loyal following thanks to their popular Boston Bar (come for the happy hours, stay for the meter long sausages…). But they have some solid foodie credentials at their other venues. Their Spanish Night at Olive Oil is a great example of this. Stand out dishes are the paella and some Galician seafood dishes all for QR159.

7. The hot food counter at Lulu Hypermarket

Surprised? Don’t be. This city truly lacks a great food hall concept with freshly cooked food for take away. This more than fills that gap. The samosas and other small eats (pakoras, sambousek, pizzas and more) are the secret behind some of my best parties. The other hot food options – including curries, stir fries, rice dishes and more – are also of the highest quality. Order and pick up later or head over and see what’s cooking, another insider secret is their excellent lasagna. Their fresh food is consistently good across all of their stores but the D Ring Road is the original and the best.

The best kept secret in town

Where are you eating this Summer? Any new finds?

For more suggestions check out some of my recent blog posts here and here.

Qatar's favorite food and travel blogger.

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