I know, it’s hot, it’s humid and the dust permeates everything. But for foodies, there is a lot to love about being here in Doha in July.
Restaurants and hotels are working overtime to get you to spend your cash and there are even some new concepts popping up.
Here’s where I think you should be eating and drinking this month:
It’s been a rocky road for this restaurant at the Mondrian Doha, but I’m pleased to say it seems to have hit its mark finally. It always was a bit of a hard sell – a high end restaurant serving Qatari inspired food. But they have found the balance. I was blown away on a recent visit by a perfectly spiced Chicken Machboos.
Sometimes this dish can taste “samey”, overwhelmed by one spice. But the chicken was tender and spiced to perfection and the rice, for once, had equal billing to the protein. Food is beautifully presented and service discrete but knowledgable.
Must order: chicken machboos, mixed seafood grill and the mezze.
My last visit to their sister restaurant at Zero One Mall was a disaster, so I entered the gleaming new branch at Tornado Tower with trepidation. Let me know from the first moments the experience was polar opposite.
A spacious and naturally lit dining room, staff are warm and welcoming and the QR130 all you can eat “buffet”, which is served a la carte, is a winner. everything is prepared a la minute, which means dishes are fresh on arrival at the table.
The mammoth menu stretches from maki to sashimi, noodles, curries and several Asian-inspired dishes in-between. By the way, the price also includes soft drinks refills and water. You’re welcome.
Must order: Pad Thai, green chicken curry and tempura prawns.
I’m a creature of habit and rarely move beyond my circle of comfort in the Old Airport/Najma nexus. But when a couple of fellow coffee lovers recommended Eden Coffee at The Pearl Qatar, I filled the car with petrol, opened up Google Maps and headed north-ish. Located on the cruising circle at Medina Centrale, this cafe has some serious coffee cred, giving customers information about beans, regions and other information completely lost on me.
My flat white was decent (I asked for an extra shot) and the accompanying honey cake a decadent treat. The decor is simple, verging on hipster, and the staff friendly. The only issue, at busy times, is a problem.
Must order: Cold brew over ice and the honey cake.
An oldie and still a goodie, this place is powering on and serving up family friendly Tex-Mex favorites and margaritas the size of your head. BUT, thanks to a recent visit from a chef from W Mexico City, it has a refreshed menu and a new attitude. This revamp includes a guacamole made tableside (extra chillis please!) and some new fresh seafood dishes. They have a live band and a selection of tequila. Taxi!
Must order: The guac – obviously – and the sizzling fajitas.
BIG caveat. OK foodies, at the time of going to press, this place was still pending. They hope to open before the end of the month. Let’s hope so. I’m giving it the thumbs up so you can keep an eye out.
The concept is simple – a dive bar with good food. And the team at Claw BBQ Doha (inside the Doubletree by Hilton on the Corniche) have executed it well. Staff are enthusiastic and well trained, drinks are free flowing and the food, well, that’s another (good) thing. As the name suggests, crab features heavily. Not just any crab – king crabs and snow crabs. Those gigantic beasts stuffed full of sweet meat. The team gives you the equipment to ensure you make the most of this bounty – a hammer, scissors and crab picks. Order them steamed or fried, they come with steamed corn cobs, fries and a myriad of dipping sauces. The menu is also packed with comfort food options including burgers, nachos and more. Rock up, order some food, play a song on the juke box and just have fun. You know you want to.
Must order: Any of the king crab dishes, the spicy chicken burger and the beerarita (just trust me on this one).
That’s me done foodies – I have some interesting travel planned this month (more details to come!) but otherwise you will find me at any of the above!