Wait…wasn’t it just February a red hot minute ago? April is here already and frankly I am not ready for it. Just a few weeks until Ramadan, Summer is looming and….Well, at least we have some amazing new restaurants, menus and dining concepts in Doha to ease us through the transition.Here is Life on the Wedge’s Doha dining hit list – your top eating and drinking in tips for April (new addition this month – a price guide) so there is no excuse not to eat well this month:
It took me two visits but this restaurant at the brand spanking new Mandarin Oriental Doha has grown on me. The menu of both upstairs and downstairs is drawn from the Mediterranean – Italy, France, Spain, Greece. Downstairs is a more casual all day dining (and dry), upstairs is more formal (and licensed). On a recent visit I devoured a well executed lobster pasta – huge chunks of the shellfish lightly coated in a tangy tomato sauce. a mushroom risotto that is both earthy and funky in all the right ways.
The Spanish style cheese croquettes were crunchy and the creamy filling steaming hot and a burrata salad is a fresh start to your meal. The service upstairs is old school white table cloths and I especially loved the touch of serving the bread with hunks of freshly cut and juicy tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.
There is also a secret bar up here, hidden behind an obscure door – it can fit maybe 12 at a squeeze and has all the speakeasy feels. The downstairs has an outdoor cafe that takes full advantage of the incredible open air square and the outside cooling system. While they have an excellent dessert list, I recommend you head to Gelato where the chefs there are shaking up the dessert scene. the icecream is made on premises and concoctions include medjool date, local honey and kiwi fruit.
Must eat: the lobster pasta and duck and quinoa salad
Price guide: starters from QR65; mains from QR90
A slice of Paris in Doha – this boulangerie has opened in the Intercontinental Doha the City and is an instant hit. All items – including croissants, pastries, elaborate cakes and concoctions and even quiches and pate encroutes are baked on the premises.
The space (located on the serviced apartment side of the hotel) has been given a makeover with fun belle epoche murals and service staff in black dresses and aprons. Kitsch? Yes, but the food is worth it. I love the custardy salmon quiche I tried and the croissants are perfect for a quick breakfast.
They have a range of special offers throughout the day – eg juice, coffee and two viennoiseries for QR49 for breakfast. And you want to know the kicker? Not only is it open until 10pm, it’s also licensed. Yep, you can have a cheeky glass of red with your quiche on the way home.
Must order: The decedent Paris Brest pastry and the traditional pate en croute
Price guide: Pastries start from QR12, the more elaborate ones from QR25.
If you are looking for a chilled place to enjoy a non-brunch Friday lunch, the new offering at La Mar is what you are looking for. It is a set menu and chef’s choice, meaning you might not get the same dish as your neighboring table. Hell, I love a bit of mystery.
The dishes I tried on a recent Friday visit were exceptional. Among the many highlights were a fish bao bun, served with a creamy and dreamy remoulade and of course the now renowned cebiches (seafood lightly cured in lime juice and spices).
But the knockout dish from the kitchen was a seafood masterpiece – each prawn, piece of fish or shellfish was treated to its own method of cooking be it fried or braised – finished off with a tangy Peruvian chilli sauce. We cleaned our plate. the price includes water but not drinks, but this is all about the food and THAT view of the beach.
If you have one Friday foray left in you before Ramadan, make your reservation here.
Must order: Just let the chef decide – you won’t regret it.
Price guide: The menu including all dishes and water is QR295. Drinks are separate.
So, there you have it – my guide to eating and drinking in Doha in April. I hope you have a delicious month ahead!