Hot and new venues in Doha, Qatar to add to your must-visit list, plus some places to add to your must-revisit list. European comfort food, tapas for days and even a gin tasting class. These are my top picks for you this August.
Polish comfort food at Polka
Food from eastern European is still having an extended minute in Qatar and I am here for it. Polka is a cute as a button spot in Madinat Khalifah that is serving up Polish dumplings and other comfort food. Believe me, the Polish version of a pizza, a late night post party snack involving a baguette piled with meats and cheeses and toasted until the perfect combo of crispy and gooey. Prices are pocket friendly (salads from QR30 and mains from QR45) and the interiors beyond instagrammable.
Must try: the dumplings of course – stuffed with potato and home made cheese.
Spanish tapas and great cocktails Ambar at Mandarin Oriental
Tucked away inside the Mandarin Oriental is perhaps my favorite bar in Doha. Ambar’s interiors are as sleek as you would expect from a hotel this caliber but it’s so welcoming and the menu goes above and beyond what you would expect from a hotel bar. Cocktails and tapas as re the order of the day here, all well executed and designed to share. An aromatic bowl of Gambas Rojas Al Ajillo QR120) – sautéed Spanish red prawns in garlic oil served with red chili, garlic and crispy baguette is the perfect foil to some of their thoughtful botanical driven cocktails (QR70 each).
A Wagyu Tenderloin Sandwich is bathed in a tomato paprika sauce with caramelized onions, roasted Piquillo bell peppers and a fried egg served on a sourdough bread (QR65). Perfect to share but I really don’t want to. Wine by the glass ranges from QR50 to QR70 and beers QR40.
Must try: The steak sandwich and the truffle fries.
Enjoy some pub grub Hamilton’s Gastro Pub
The Pearl residents get another pub, this time in Tower 26. While the set up doesn’t push any boundaries in terms of similar spots around town, it has a great menu of pub classics and comfort food. We loved the saucy, crisp buffalo chicken burger as well as a trio of moreish beef brisket sliders. They still don’t have a happy hour but I hear one is in the pipeline so keep a watch out for this development. Kids are welcome and they do have a dedicated children’s menu.
Must try: the buffalo cauli wings and the signature charcuterie board.
A slice of Aussie cafe life Toby’s Estate
I’m admittedly biased, but it’s an actual fact Australians, we know how to do coffee and a proper cafe. Toby’s Estate hails from Australia and comes to Qatar via Asia and the Middle East. And thank god. They take their coffee seriously but the interiors are lush and stylish. Toby’s ethically sources its’ beans from around the world so be sure to check out the daily suggested brew. The Msheireb location is perfect for a weekend or after work drop-in.
Must try: A proper flat white. You’re welcome
I may have been personally victimized by tequila in the past, but gin has always been my friend. This botanicals masterclass at the ever-more-impressive Jamavar is a chance to try six different gins. Attendees are also given a bit of history about each gin, what they pair best with and how to drink them. And, the best part? Each lesson includes a huge platter of their tasty kebabs. at QR275 per person, it’s the perfect afternoon with gin loving friends activity. Bookings are essential and limited to four people per session – the restaurant’s bar is bijoux but gorgeous.
Must try: the Indian gins are fantastic!
A taste of Italy 999 Cafe at Firestation
The much beloved 999 cafe at Firestation has been given a retro makeover and turned….Italian. While I do miss the casual, dog friendly spot it used to be, the menu, specifically the pizzas, gave me reason to hope. the Alain Ducasse team have gone the traditional Italian route and the menu runs the gamut from a beautiful eggplant parmigiana through to a proper cacio e pepe served tableside. The pizzas though, fired in mural bedecked pizza oven that dominates the new, smaller space, are the heroines of the menu. Prices Thin, crisp and with the right balance of ingredients. The prices reflect it’s evolution to a fully fledged restaurant. Pizzas sit between QR70 and QR125, mains Qr80 to Qr190 for the wagyu and pastas QR60 to QR120.
This isn’t fine dining rather, smart casual and the plan is to open out to the outdoor seating areas when the weather gets cooler. I can easily see the venue packed with a crowd on a winter weekend afternoon (hopefully there will be live music).
It’s open from 9am through to dinner and they do serve coffees and pastries for breakfast, with plans to bring in a full menu for the morning soon. Good news for dog parents – when the outdoor seating is installed our furry friends will be welcome. Mamma Mia.
Must try: the Napolitana pizza (anchovies are involved) and the dessert.
While you are here:
There it is, your Doha hit list August 2022: Hot, new and just-reviewed places and offers to check out, right now. With a slew of new hotels set to open around town pre FIFA, expect lots of action on the dining front. Some happenings around town and things to watch out for:
- My instagram is baaaack. Check me out @rachelannmorris71
- After months of threatening to do so, I am now on TikTok @rachelannmorris
- A Cantonese style brunch complete with dumplings? See my experience here.
- My Summer Dining Guide can be found here.
- Love some hot pot? Check out my essential guide here.
- Also Time Our Doha has put together a list of Ladies’ Nights.