February is here and it feels like Winter never really happened? Your February Doha Dining Hit List is here and I feel we all need to make the most of the few cooler days we have left!
And honestly, it feels a little like deja vu as we see our COVID-19 case numbers rising. So with this list comes some words of caution – wear your mask. Practice social distancing. Be sensible!
Here are my recommendations for where to eat and drink in Doha this February:
It’s been a long 10 months but The Cellar at the newly rebranded Hyatt Regency Oryx is back open and serving up what they do best – Spanish tapas. Unpretentious, tasty and just a great place to hang out, they are starting slowly with a limited menu of Spanish favorites including paella, a range of tapas and mains. You will see old favorites on the menu including their slow braised beef cheeks (now a smaller, more manageable serving) and new items will be added in the future.
Best for: an after work catchup or a casual weekend dinner. They have a current offer – QR169 for unlimited tapas and wine from 5pm to 7pm daily.
Must order: the crispy cauliflower and the braised beef cheeks.
You have to hand it to the Nobu team, they know how to come up with offers to keep rusted-on fans like me coming back as well as entice new ones. This is a Tuesday night offer that gives you a chance to try three of their signature dishes. Unlike other offers, this isn’t meant for sharing so each diner gets their own sushi platter (featuring a a huge range of their best selling items including tuna belly and a tempura roll), as well as full-sized black cod as well as Nobu cheesecake for dessert plus two glasses of wine (or mocktails) per person for QR350 per head. If you were to order this separately it would be more than QR920 per person – so the value is clear.
Best for: Nobu Newbies
Must order: All of it!
I haven’t been to the W Doha as often as I used to so it was nice to pay a visit to try their Wellington Wednesday. The beef Wellingtons are so beautifully done – two large discs, perfectly pink and super tender and served with baked veggies and a silky gravy. For QR590 for two (including starters, a wellington each and a plate of desserts and two glasses of wine) it’s a perfect midweek treat. The starter platter does need a tweak as it seemed a bit lackluster, but the welling is, as it should be, the star.
Best for: Midweek treat
Must order: That Wellington tho…
If you have been following me for a while you know I love two things – cheese and a great deal. This offer from Seasons at the Movenpick Doha (the one on the Corniche) combines these two great loves. For QR99 you get a beautifully presented and very generous platter of cold cuts, cheeses (eight different kinds!), accompaniments, a bread basket AND two glasses of wine. ALL OF THIS. You would be hard pressed to find better value or even do it yourself at home for this price. Perfect as a mid-week catch-up with friends or a way to kick off the weekend, it’s offered every night from 5pm.
Best for: Drinks with friends or just because.
Must order: No need to choose.
The award for “Makeover of the Year” (Made up awards by me) must go to the Four Seasons Tea Lounge which has been transformed into one of the most lovely spots in Doha. Now with a vaulted atrium area and an outside terrace, it’s become one of the most popular spots in the city. Their breakfast menu is tailor made to experience the new look as well as the revamped menu. The breakfast menu runs the usual gamut from eggs of all kinds through to French toast and healthier options. All served with that Four Seasons signature style. On weekends you can plump for a lavish Turkish breakfast. Book ahead, this is a popular spot.
Best for: A lazy weekend breakfast (or cheeky mid-week day off) with friends.
Must order: the eggs benedict and the house made hashbrowns
Speaking of great deals, the weekend brunch at Indochin at The Doubletree by Hilton Al Sadd falls squarely in this category. Underrated is an understatement. Offered every Friday and Saturday from 12.30pm until 5pm, the set menu takes you on a tour of pan Asian favorites. Each diner gets a small serving of each dish – favorites include a perfectly pitched green curry chicken and a moreish sweet and sour fish. For me the best dish on ground is their chicken and beef satays – straight out of Malaysian street food heaven. At QR149 per person – including unlimited soft drinks and QR245 including unlimited bubbly and house selected special beverages – this is great value. Kids are QR85 (6-12 years old) and under-sixes free. Brunch seatings are 12:30pm -2:30pm & 3:00pm-5:00pm.
Best for: families and Asian food lovers
Must order: Don’t leave without trying the satay
With its stunning views, fine dining menu and white gloved service, it’s easy to pigeon hole Idam as a “special occasion” restaurant. But the six course Experience Menu makes for good value as well as a chance to try this very unique restaurant. Chef Leo has created a new menu, melding local flavors and French cooking techniques, that is accomplished yet very approachable. Highlights include a chestnut flour pasta with lobster and a berry jus and a light and fresh local sea bass with burnt limes. The Experience Menu is QR350 for six courses (including mocktails and water) and being Idam, expect lots of little extras such as additional courses, petit fours and more.
Best for: Those who appreciate great food
Must order: The light and airy chocolate souffle
I am an unabashed fan of Pan-Latin resto Toro Toro – it has the perfect combination of well executed food, lovely location and a crack service team. Their monthly Mistura menu is offered in addition to their main menu and changes regularly – they can be ordered together or in addition to the main menu. This month’s menu is a mix of seafood and meat dishes and have the same flourishes we have come to expect. A starter of cured salmon with rocket leaves, padano cheese, candied pecans and avocado is dressed with “Peruvian Ranch” sauce and is a real Umami hit. Another starter of small, perfectly formed chunks of slow cooked beef short rib with parsnip is fork tender and silky smooth. Mains include a perfectly spiced rack of lamb chops with Korean spices and a leek puree. This small menu ranges from QR60 to QR175 per dish.
Best for: Those wanting to change up their dining out routine
Must order: I’m not a lamb fan but the chops were a revelation