November is here and if you get up very early the temperature is in the early 20s! Just kidding! We are at the business end of the year in Qatar – when the weather is glorious and the eating and drinking options in Doha plentiful.
Finally dining outdoors doesn’t require a personal AC. And we have some huge events – Arab Cup and the Formula 1 Ooredoo 2021 Grand Prix to name just two. So here is my essential guide to eating and drinking in Doha this November:
I’ve written about this place a few times, but it’s worth a visit or a revisit. Approachable yet beautifully executed Indian food showcasing the many cuisines of this great country. Add in engaged and well trained staff and some lethal cocktails and you have a worthy contender for best on ground in 2021. They offer everything you would expect a Doha restaurant to – a business lunch, a brunch and a happy hour. but it’s their a la carte menu where you will find some gems.
Must order: Paneer khairi with green mango and mustard; tiger prawn malai and mardana murgh (butter chicken but better)
Brunch Around the World at Bibo
Here’s another slow burner for me. I dined at Bibo pre-pandemic and found the food good but the menu unfocussed. A year and a bit later and this brunch is a good taster of their wider menu. Starters and desserts and shared and mains are picked per diner. Speaking of mains, there are some daring additions including an unctuous yet beautifully done squid ink risotto with a perfectly grilled squid tentacle positioned front and center. This is a brunch for foodies – while I suggest you order multiples of the starters (especially the crispy eggplant), it helps to remember the mains are hearty.
Must order: the squid ink risotto and and the famous Bibo oxtail sliders. The dreamy chicken cannelloni is the stuff of my foodie dreams.
I discovered tis little gem when getting my ramen hit at Ninja Ramen. A Malaysian style coffee house, the menu includes kaya toast (with coconut jam called kaya) and some cute snacky sandwiches. But ask for their special menu items including a pretty good rendition of Hainan chicken rice. Hainanese chicken rice has become a cult classic (possibly thanks to Anthony Bourdain) and its delicious simplicity. But it’s especially popular in South East Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand – the dish crossed borders along with Chinese migrant workers. Essentially it’s poached chicken with condiments.
The rice is cooked in the chicken broth – giving it a luxe taste. This version is QR45 for a generous half chicken. It makes this foodie happy to see small, pocket friendly places like this pop up in Doha – good food doesn’t have to be served in five star locations (although some influencers may disagree). while I do love fine dining experiences, I will unashamedly champion places like this.
Must order: the iced coffee and Hainan Chicken
Ding N Duck at Elements
I love me some Peking Duck so this offer from the Four Seasons Doha is a slam dunk for me. There are few places in the city that do Peking Duck well – Liang, Hakkasan and Elements – most other places don’t get the skin or the seasoning right. Chinese born Chef Ding knows his duck and this is a great way to indulge – it’s QR340 for a half duck or QR590 for a whole duck, It’s a set menu – starter is a papaya salad made tableside. The main event – the duck, is Chef Ding wheeling a cart over and doing the needful with a large knife.
The crispy skin is sliced off and the meat kept separate. He deftly fills the delicate pancakes with the duck, Hoisin sauce, spring onions and cucumbers. The rest of the duck is whisked away and appears incorporated into your mains – a luscious duck and lychee curry or wok fried with black pepper sauce. If you choose the full duck option you get both. A chocolate duck egg themed dessert is also included and is interactive.
Must order: duck, duck….well you get it
While this might not be Doha’s most pocket friendly pizza place (QR70 for a pizza), it does, in my humble foodie view, have the best crust in town. It’s also probably the only joint that uses the heavenly Italian cheese scamorza (it’s smoked and perfect for pizza) – so it gets my vote. Starters are largely OK but the pizzas are the star of the show – the sourdough crust with a lot of puff and a bit of chew are a rare find in Doha. Dine-in their Msheireb store and you can sample pizzas by the slice.
Must order: The Purple Pizza and the burrata pizza.
So that’s your essential guide to eating and drinking in Doha in November 2021 sorted. And we’ve started “the season” here in Qatar and here are some foodie events to get excited about in November:
- St Regis Doha is returning again with their Culinary Journey from 31 October to 2 November. All of their inhouse restaurants – 10 in total – will be showcasing their signature dishes at their first floor terrace. It’s a terrific evening and a chance to try all of these outlets in one place. Think of it like a night brunch.
- It’s baaack. Qatar International Food Festival is set for 26 November to 15 December at Al Bidda Park. Buckle up foodies.
- The Mandarin Oriental is hosting Michelin star chef Wolfgang Becker for an east meets west popup at Liang. Definitely one of the most exciting events this month.
- Celebrity Chef Daniel Green, an award-winning author of 12 cook books, with more than 11,000 hours of live television, Chef Daniel is going to visit Santa Monica Breakfast Club and prepare his signature cuisines during breakfast hours on 6 November
- November means Thanksgiving for many people in Qatar. Marhaba has an updated guide to the places offering turkeys to go.