Ahhh…September. I can almost see the end of the year from here and it looks…cooler. Now we are at the business end of 2018- school is back, vacations over, life resumed – it’s time to check out all of the new goodies being offered by restaurants and bars in Qatar.
There is a LOT going on – some revamped menus, openings and new mojos for some old favorites. So buckle up, grab a snack and here is my essential guide to where to eat and drink in Doha this month:
It’s not in a five star hotel or in a “glam” part of town, but I can assure you the food is delicious and made with love. From the family who brought us the cult Snackhouse Sizzlers in Al Khor, this Malaysian/Indonesian/Filipino joint is freshly minted and serving up some great food without fanfare.
Servings are generous and well priced and the noodles are not to be missed. The new branch is in Muntaza next to Three Peppers and has expanded seating. It’s still in soft opening phase, so go after 4pm and pray to the parking Gods as well.
Must order: Nasi Goreng and the stuffed tofu.
I had always placed this cafe in the “never lived up to its potential” sub folder. But with new management and a refreshed menu, there is good reason to pay a return visit to one of their two branches. Breakfasts have gone from meh to interesting and they have also beefed up their serving sizes. Later this month they will also had a Weekend Brunch buffet.
Must order: This is a great place for breakfast, go for the eggs benedict.
Shamefully, I always seem to ignore the Sheraton’s restaurants and I also realized I hadn’t been to their Friday brunch since my inaugural weekend outing in Doha in 2007! With a new chef on deck, there is a refreshed energy in their offerings.
A good example of this is their Friday Brunch, which has had a complete makeover. Unlike some of its neighbors, this is more like a “family” lunch – no DJ and no party vibe.
Rather groups of friends and families enjoying the food. On a recent visit there was a “World of Hummous” stand with six kinds of the dip as well as a caviar bar and a live show of meringue making with liquid nitrogen. The day we went they also had a burger tower. Yep. You heard me.
Must order: The legendary Umm Ali as well as indulging in the freshly made Japanese tempura.
Yet another restaurant that has been overtaken by newer, shinier things around town, but also worth a second look. Personally I felt this place lost its way for a while there, but I recently checked out their Saturday brunch to find things were back on track. An a la carte concept, you can order as much as you like and the menu heavily favors English comfort food – fish and chips, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding – you get the drift.
But a “true” brunch, they also have a very tasty selection of egg dishes. Another highlight is their long list of bloody mary cocktails (a St Regis tradition) and gin bar. Saturday is the new Friday!
Must order: The fish and chips is perfectly battered and crispy and the Opal burger (served mini style) is as moreish as I remember.
If you can handle the kitsch decor and hourly “Doha’s Got Talent”-style formation dance performances by the staff, this is a fun place for seafood lovers. And I have to say, I found the quality of the seafood on offer excellent.
The mussels were plump and juicy, the crab sweet and tender and the prawns cooked well. My only gripe was the seasoning (we opted for cajun) was a little on the salty side, but that didn’t stop us from soaking up the sauce with the baton of garlic bread it came with.
They encourage you to get down and dirty with the crab by providing gloves and a bib. Another big tick for their bottomless refills for soft drinks.
Must order: Any of the crab dishes of course but mussel lovers will also be pleased.
So foodies, that’s September covered! Have a delicious month and stay tuned for my vegan/veggie guide which will drop soon.
*Click here to read my small print (go on)