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).
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.
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.