Most days at work (yes, I DO have a day job), around 1pm-ish, my office colleague Penny and I have an important and in depth conversation about what we will be eating for dinner that night…or where we will be eating.
Often we trade advice and experiences about where to eat after work, when we just can’t bring ourselves to create another kitchen masterpiece.
Whether it’s catching up with co-workers, friends or your significant other, an afterwork drink is great to take the edge off. But nothing beats a great meal to go with it.
So, I searched the city for some of the best options for after work sustenance. Some of these places are restaurants that also serve alcohol, while some are bars with great menus. All are delicious.
I’m a little bit disappointed with myself that I have waited this long to try this place. It’s a streak restaurant with a separate bar area. The bar’s happy hour (5pm to 10.30pm – yep you read that right) has QR25 cocktails, wines and beers plus a “bar bites menu” including nachos and tempura. But slide into the restaurant before 8pm and indulge in an excellent burger menu.
The “Burger Hunt” currently has three burgers and will be expanded to more, priced between QR75 to QR95 with one side.
The Huntsman – with two Australian beef patties, onion rings, cheddar and a BBQ sauce – is the righteous star of the show. The patties don’t have that watery taste many burger pretenders have in this city. The Tex Mex is a close second, with a crumbed chicken fillet, salsa and all the guacamole.
A bonus is the indoor/outdoor terrace where you can stretch out and digest before heading home. The Burger Hunt is available daily between 5pm and 8pm.
Where: Hunters Room and Frill at The Westin Doha, Freej Bon Mahmoud
What: Happy Hour followed by Burger Hunt
What to order: The Huntsman burger – more than a handful
Vibe: Relaxed, good music and a little luxe
Good For: Anyone you know REALLY well aka friends and signifiant others (those burgers are big and messy).
2. Boston’s Bar and Olive Oil at City Centre Rotana
Again, I’m another late adopter here, bit there are few after work venues better than this place. A few drinks and a quick snack at happy hour in Boston’s Bar (5pm to 8pm – the onion rings and waffle fries will take the edge of that hunger). Then, head to their best kept secret – Olive Oil their all day dining buffet restaurant.
I had heard a lot of good things about this restaurant from friends with solid foodie cred and a record of actually paying for meals.
They have regular theme nights and their Spanish night is so popular it had to be moved to Thursdays die to crowd demand. That’s foodie democracy people.
The chef is Spanish and the attention to detail shows – heavy on seafood, the paella had the required crispy bottom and the sangria was lethal. I was also taken with the croquettes – crunchy on the outside and filled with chicken, prawns or cheese.
Where: City Centre Rotana, West Bay
What: Happy Hour at Boston’s followed by dinner at Olive Oil
What to order: Onion rings in Boston’s and the paella in Olive Oil
Vibe: Boston’s is a little pubby and smoke free before 10pm. Olive Oil very bright but relaxed. The concepts are innovative, eg on Spanish nights they have a Sangria Bar.
Good For: Friends and colleagues for afterwork drinks in Boston’s then dinner with the family in Olive Oil.
This was the original after work drink and meal place in Doha. When Supper Club first launched a couple of year ago, it was a revelation. But, and it pains me to say this, the hotel lost its way for a bit.Yeah, I’m going to say it – service dropped off noticeably and food in some outlets – markedly Spice Market – seemed to “by the numbers” and honestly, meh.
That’s the problem when you set the bar so high in an increasingly competitive market. I will say that in my recent experience Market was immune to this, the food and service always solid.
But a couple of recent visits to other outlets has gone some way to start to restore my battered confidence and loyalty. Recalibration is slowly happening and it may be time to put this place back in regular rotation, especially for something like their well oiled Supper Club.
A great after work option, Supper Club is three courses at La Spiga, Spice Market or Market for just QR120 between 5pm and 7pm. You can feasibly have a quick drink at any of their happy hours (Wahm, Market, La Spiga or Spice Market) then head to another of their venues for an early dinner.
Where: W Doha
What: Happy Hour at La Spiga or Spice Market followed by Supper Club in any of their three signature restaurants,
What to Order: Burrata at La Spiga and the signature chicken dish at Market.
Vibe: While each venue is different in terms of clientele and offering, the vibe is still very W – busy and a little brash. Market is always a good option for any crowd.
Good For: Meeting your significant other for an early post work dinner.
4. Four Seasons Doha – The Library Bar
I may get hate mail about revealing this venue. But come at me people!
Tucked away in the ornate lobby of this hotel is an great little bar – plush but also friendly and excellent service. I’ve actually been coming here since my first week in the country and have always found it a little haven.
They have a range of happy hours throughout the week (hellllo Martini Sundays), so you will always find a a well priced drink. But it’s their food menu and bar snacks that really get me worked up.
Their truffle fries are crispy and earthy while their Wagyu beef burger (comes with your choice of cheese including Rebluchon or blue cheese) is a rendition that only the Four Seasons could deliver. Guinness beer batter fish and chips and octopus tostada round out an interesting and frankly delicious menu.
Where: Four Seasons Doha
What: Happy Hour at the Library Bar daily
What to Order: The truffle fries are the stuff of my dreams, but the burgers are also juicy
Vibe: Five star hotel with a more interesting crowd.
Good For: Meeting friends, colleagues or business contacts for a drink and a bit of food.
This is literally hot off the foodie presses. So new Dear Reader, you are the first to hear about it.
Hwang, the underrated Asian restaurant at Intercontinental Doha The City, has started a new concept called “Soul in a Bowl” on Thursdays between 6pm and 11pm. For QR256 for two people, you get six bowls of Asian comfort food – think steaming bowls of noodles, dumplings, spicy stirfries and more. The menu will change every two weeks to keep it fresh. For an additional QR198 you can also get unlimited wine pours for two hours. I will let you do the math…
Where: Intercontinental The City Doha
What: Soul in a Bowl at Hwang
What to Order: Everything!
Vibe: Serious eats in a beautiful space
Good For: Catching up with foodie friends without the ambient noise.
*I was recently a guest of City Centre Rotana and the Westin Doha but have since either returned or booked return visits as a paying customer. They are that good. In any case please read my disclaimer.
I am confused, on previous post you were saying really nice things about W, specially spice market, now your comment are the opposite.
Do you know how hotels work? Are you a professional on the field? Are you in the back of the house or having meeting with the sales and marketing or chef de cuisine to check how they work, market strategies or making menu?
Most importantly, do you give the feedbacks to the affected people while you’re on the outlet or you just write it on your blog from home? Do you tell them what your expectations are?
Perhaps it would be good if you give your feedback in person and then you can write if you want, but you should be aware of the power of your words and blog, you can really help outlets to shine or to fade so please be professional on this.
I’m sure the hotel / restaurant people will be really very thankful.
Spice Market is one of the best restaurants in Doha (South East Asian cuisine under the twist of Jean George, in case people is not aware), but like all the F&B outlets in Doha has it ups & downs, perhaps they’re having issues with shipments? maybe changing standards? did you talk personally with the chef or f&b manager? did you double check if they “play by the numbers”?
For the record I am not a hotelier or a chef and I enjoy any types of cuisines and restaurants. Should not enjoy it I give feedback to the professionals on the field.
Rachel Ann Morris
Thanks so much for your comments and for reading. In my previous post I had said I had some issues previously and my my recent visit these seem to be rectified.
Just quoting: But, and it pains me to say this, the hotel lost its way for a bit.Yeah, I’m going to say it – service dropped off noticeably and food in some outlets – markedly Spice Market – seemed to “by the numbers” and honestly, meh. That’s the problem when you set the bar so high in an increasingly competitive market. I will say that in my recent experience Market was immune to this, the food and service always solid. But a couple of recent visits to other outlets has gone some way to start to restore my battered confidence and loyalty.
My more significant beef is actually with La Spiga which has had a slide in service in recent times.
I gave my feedback in person to several people actually and that is my chosen method of dealing with any concerns – although in this case they were not followed up.
I have said in years gone by that Spice Market WAS the best restaurant in the city and I think, as you say, they have recently had ups and downs and specifically changes of personnel. Let’s hope they are back to their best again for the rest of the year.
I’m not a hospitality professional as you say, I have been writing about food for a while and as a consumer and one who spends her hard earned salary in these places, I do think we deserve better.