We made it to December. Really. We did! Who would have known this year would have all the twists and turns that it did? But after a short break I’m back with your December Doha Dining hit list – where to eat and drink this month.
From beautifully presented Indian cuisine to elevated comfort food, I have it all here:
This restaurant has really come into its own since it reopened after the lockdown. The menu has ditched its steakhouse pretensions allowing chef Justin Yu to broaden its appeal and serve thoughtful, well executed American comfort food. Steaks and seafood are still there, but expect some surprises. They have also opened up the dining room (thanks COVID) which gives it a brighter yet more cosy feel. With a new happy hour (QR60 for 60 minutes) and the terrace re-opened, this place will become very popular in coming months. Special mention to their Friday brunch, which gives a snapshot into their new menu and how far they have come.
Must order: the smoked golden Trevally with almonds. Trust me.
I admire the St Regis’ new strategy of ditching the moribund ballroom at once stood at its’ Al Gassar complex and putting in a clutch of imported restaurant brands. Riyasat is one of these and one I have been wanting to try for a long time. The interior is what you would expect – lush colors and textures but the food is really the star. The menu is a tour of Indian cuisines – from North to south and both coasts. This could be a stretch too far but it actually works. The flavors are rich and the presentation dramatic, but this complements the strength of the kitchen team rather than hides any flaws. Their take on street food classic pani puri for example is at once familiar yet also interesting – a real collaboration of flavors and textures.
Must order: the weekend lunch Thali is the perfect taster starting from QR165.
With a wintertastic pool side location and a menu of comfort food favorites combine to make this chilled Friday brunch a real option. Served as a plated meal over four courses, it’s generous without being overwhelming. You start in breakfast territory with egg dishes like a moreish pulled beef eggs benedict or silky scrambled eggs with burrata. Next course focuses on salads and also offers a charcuterie board laden with meats. Mains include a crowd pleasing seafood pasta and a cooked to order rib eye. Packages start from QR259 for soft drinks and QR375 for house beverages. They have a kids club as well.
Must order: aged beef rib eye with chmichurri
Paper Moon is like a little slice of West Bay over on the south side. Now licensed, the restaurant has a new energy and is finally showcasing some new offers. Their Saturday brunch is right up my alley – served on their terrace and al la carte, it includes favorites and a few surprises. Starters are all served to share on the table and include their arancini which comes with a lovely spicy omato sauce and a full burata with a balsamic reduction. There is a choice of three mains – the most surprising being the salmon with a caponata of eggplant and balsamic. Desserts include their trademark tiramisu. the vibe is relaxed and the service attentive – which makes for a good saturday afternoon. Prices start from QR265 for soft drinks, QR385 for house beverages and QR475 including prosecco.
Must order: Go for a taste of everything.
Speaking of new energy….when it first opened, the insanely instagrammable Boho Social faced criticisms of being more show than actual go. Now they have settled and the chef has been given free reign to put his stamp on the menu, this place has changed dramatically. Yes you still get the instagram sunsets from the now open terrace, but you also get innovative and daring cuisine from the kitchen, incorporating South American, Asian and Arabic flavors. Case in point their soft tacos stuffed with spiced prawns and purple potato. a treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. Book early for an outside seat.
Must order: Ask the waiter for recommendations…the new menu rarely puts a foot wrong.
So foodies it’s December. That means festive things as well as my annual list of best dishes of the year – keep your hungry eyes peeled for that!