Hello May! You’re here and looking glorious. And with Ramadan behind us, the Summer stretching ahead, it’s time to explore some of the ever-expanding options around Doha this month. A new Aussie bar, revisiting a couple of old favorites and a shiny and fun Teppanyaki joint – something for everyone. So here is your May 2022 Doha dining hit list – the best places to eat and drink around town this month. Read to the end for some upcoming events and openings to take note of.
Isaan Friday Brunch
I tried to remember the last time I ate at Isaan and let me just say, it has been some time. The brunch remains intact and is as crowd pleasing as ever. Based on the famous Bangkok weekend food markets, the chef-assisted buffet set up lends itself to the nature food on offer. Think freshly grilled skewers of meat and seafood, fresh Thai-style salads, a selection of curries, noodles and stir fry dishes.
My favorites included an almost creamy take on Massaman curry made with chicken, the fork tender grilled satay skewers and the array of steamed dumplings. I found some dishes had the spice levels dialled down, but this can be adjusted with their myriad of sauces. Prices are QR390 with alcohol including sparkling and QR290 wth soft drinks and unlike many spots, they take discounts including QNB First and Qatar Airways staff (I paid for myself).
I had a rare visit to Royal Plaza in Al Sadd recently and framed it around dining at Oishi Sushi. The mall remains intact in all its 2007-style glory and that’s great for old timers like me and Oishi Sushi fans. I’ve always found the prices here at the high end but the serving sizes match that. On my self-funded impromptu visit, sushi is freshly made and serving sizes run to an almost over generous eight pieces. The tempura ramen also tasty with a decent plate of mixed tempura. Sunday and Monday evenings offer an all you can eat buffet for QR130 per person – which is excellent value. Worth a visit for the old school vibe.
Flat White Al Hilal
I’ve now had a chance to visit the Al Hilal location of this favorite coffee shop and heads up, I live here now. Aside from the spacious dining/chilling/coffee chat area, there is an adorable covered outside space with greenery, plenty of basement parking and they will soon introduce the full food menu (including brunch) offered at other branches.
True confession time. Until this week I thought the name of this restaurant was BeniHAHA. I also dismissed this restaurant as a gimmick. More fool me. It’s a rare thing to drag me to Villaggio on any given day let alone a holiday week. But there I was, visiting Benihana on a weekday. Yes, I did want to be snarky about it although you will all know, unlike some self appointed foodie experts in this town, I am no food snob, good food is good food. Frankly it was fun, and the food was tasty. On my visit there was a boisterous kids birthday group and the manager hastily moved our table to a private room – a nice gesture as these are usually an extra cost. While there is a small traditional dining section, the restaurant is based around teppanyaki grill stations.
You choose the package you want starting from QR180 for chicken through to QR345 for lobster, filet mignon, scallops and lobsters (we paid for ourselves). We went high/low choosing the luxe seafood and one with chicken and prawns. It turned out to be a good decision, giving us a sampling of what this place is about – fork tender filet, fresh and flavorful chicken and slightly sweet scallops. The lobster was a full, juicy tail and bathed in butter as it was lightly cooked on the grill.
Our chef Martin is a Benihana veteran and put on a great show but for me the quality of the ingredients deserved equal billing with his slicing and dicing skills. Each package comes with salad, soup and a prawn starter. Great for families and definitely a treat as this is not an inexpensive venture, but this skeptical foodie will be back.
Hive Aussie Bar
Hive at the Intercontinental Doha the City has been given a makeover by the folks who run the popular Curry House. Expect a sports bar with an Aussie twist and while this sheila could do with less of the slang (strewth! stone the crows!), it’s already garnering a legion of fans among my countryfolk and fellow travellers. Word is the management are looking to bring in some Australian beer. Happy hour is Saturday to Thursday from 2pm to 7pm and is 20 percent off the bar menu.
While you are here…
So there we are – a foodie picture perfect May! here are some other posts and interesting events:
- Follow my Temporary instagram @lifeonthewedgewithrachel
- The excellent Lobito De Mar officially opens this month. Read my first look at the menu here.
- Great news for fish and chip fans, as I revealed a while back, the Frying Scotsman at the Radisson Blu reopens on 17 May.