Ahhh September, my favorite month! We’re emerging from Summer and on the gentle slope to the end of the year. OK, with the World Cup, maybe not so gentle. Soooo…expect a frantic two months on the dining scene with a slew of new openings and announcements. But, for now, I have you covered. This is your Doha hit list September 2022: Hot, new and just-reviewed places and offers to check out, right now…
Pan-Asian flair at Saturday Brunch at Satsuma
What a gem this place is. Lurking inside the Magnum Hotel and Suites, Satsuma has a kitchen team that knows their way around the Pan Asian classics. I checked out their Thursday offer back in March and had high expectations for this Saturday brunch. And it delivered. The brunch is unlimited and I suggest you sit back, take a deep breath and let your stomach take over. Highlights include the well made dumplings and a rich and lush mapo tofu. The maki rolls are also very good ad are the fresh and fun poke bowls. Mains also include very generous and umami laden Mongolian beef. Numbers are currently kept low as it’s in soft opening phase (for the brunch) so book ahead. The menu is unlimited and priced at QR195 for soft drinks and QR295 for alcohol, kids under 12 are QR49 and under fives are free.
Must order: all of it!
A legend returns at BiCE
Back in The DAY, and by The DAY I mean 2010, BiCE was The PLACE in Doha. Great food, great atmosphere and well, we missed it. But it’s back and frankly, it’s better than I could have imagined. It now calls seriously impressive Pullman Doha home and the menu includes some spot on renditions of Italian classics. I mean, even Italians I know like it and they are a VERY tough crowd. Highlights include their Roman style pinsa, a square, light as air pizza with a variety of fresh sand interesting toppings. Real pasta lovers will rejoice and enjoy a lush take on duck ragout with handmade pasta. Soon they will launch events and a wider menu and an Italian-style happy hour in the lovely bar area.
Must order: the truffle and artichoke pinsa. You’re welcome
Fresh and playful Japanese classics at Sumosan
This Msheireb-based pan-Japanese spot opened in a blaze of glory a few months back. I wanted to let the excitement settle before I ventured forth. I’m glad I did because it was worth it. Thoughtful and beautifully presented, highlights from the menu include a delightfully tangy and fresh yellowtail with yuzu (QR130) and slivers of truffle. Also a surprise is a crispy duck salad, studded with pomegranate and finished with hoisin (QR148) – fresh and clean, it had me wanting more and the super savory/spicy chicken karage (QR68) answered that craving. A platter of sashimi and maki rolls comes festsooned with plumes of dry ice. The Japanese chicken sando is a playful touch to the menu and to Japanese street food but it is a butterflied grilled sea bass (QR108) that is the showstopper. Msheireb needs more spots like this to draw diners into the area. the food is accomplished, familiar yet also some ore daring dishes. Price may be high, but they do have a very good business lunch deal.
Must order: the crispy rice pizza topped with fresh tuna
Stunning views and elevated Indian food at iksha360
Perched high above the tower at the entrance to The Pearl, Iskha360 has arguably the best views in the city. Stretching as far as Lusail and beyond and of course, West Bay and The Corniche, it’s perfect for a sunset meal or just because. Celebrity chef Rohit Ghai, known for his Michelin star London restaurants, has injected real flair into the menu. Highlights on my recent visit include a Keralan style prawn curry – so rich and coconutty. The chicken biryani is done Hyderabadi style, the chicken cooked in the spiced rice is tender and bursting with flavor as is their lamb seekh kebabs. A word on these two dishes – people will know I’m not a huge lamb or biryani fan but chef Rohit’s versions had me thinking twice about my aversion. Great cooking. The three level restaurant now hosts a cigar bar on one floor, clubby and comfy you can also order off the menu while enjoying the view. the restaurant has settled nicely into its menu and location. Good for a family dinner or to watch the sunset.
Must order: The chicken or the prawn biryani. From me, that’s a huge compliment.
Curry and happy hour at Monday Curry Night at Isaan
Once more for those in the back – Isaan is one of the unicorn restaurants in Doha. Almost mythical. For more than a decade it has consistently been one of the best and most underrated restaurants in the city. So rare! If you haven’t been yet, their Monday curry nights are a perfect introduction and for QR111 per person, cracking value. Served family style, the curries include favorites like a deceptively spicy green curry, their famous duck curry and a moreish Massaman beef. They also offer more unusual combinations like a mussel curry; a light but zingy prawn dish as well as a take on northern Thai khao soi spicy noodles. Now, some may find the curries milder than usual but they offer an option to amp it up plus a selection of chili based sauces for more Drinks are a la carte and a Monday night curry night happy hour helps take that edge off – beers QR35, wines and cocktails QR40.
Must order: bring it all! But do try the light and tangy prawn curry.
The sports bar Doha has been waiting for at The Score Sports Bar
The Score Sports Bar at the Pullman Doha opened its doors in August and alresdy kicking goals (groan). Lots of natural light (unusual for a bar here). Spacious and fitted out booths, tables or stools, it’s great for groups. There is a bit of a rugby bias with the interior de rustic. More specifically NZ Rugby gets a very big showing with the posters and wall art. Regardless, the management have BeIn sports on the numerous TV screens and the dedicated rugby channels to follow very soon I’m told. Happy hour wise, they have a great concept. The earlier you come, the cheaper it is. Beat the Clock starts at 5pm where drinks are QR30 then at 6pm it’s QR35 and 7pm QR40 (ending at 8pm). The food menu is full of bar food favorites with a few standouts – a zingy tuna tartare (QR60) on crispy rice was a surprise as was an oozy chili cheese fondue served on a lava stone (QR60). Burgers are as expected the MVP. The Score Burger (QR90) comes with a teriyaki glaze and soft shell crab. Shout out to the bakery section. The bread on the burgers was excellent. Smoke free (I didn’t sight any ashtrays) and with good food and a decent happy hour, other sports bars in the west Bay Area should be a little concerned. This one is a winner.
Must order: the crispy calamari and any of the burgers
Excellent value and quality at Thursday Seafood Night at Centro Doha
C.taste at the Centro Capital Doha may actually be the best value seafood night in town. Every Thursday from 630pm to 1030pm they offer an extensive selection of seafood – buffet, grilled, fresh, fried the lot. We loved the sushi and salad selection, which included some Asian favorites like fresh spring rolls, glass noodle salad and more. There is also antipasto style skewers of meat and cheese, seafood cocktail and other goodies. The star of the show is the grilled seafood, plucked from mounds of fresh crabs, prawns and lobster. We devoured plates of the freshly grilled prawns bathed in chili and garlic (you can ask for whatever style you want); lobster and crab. I loved the fillet of white fish fillet simmered with a coconut and garlic sauce as well. So lush. The best part? It’s QR199 per person and it’s on The Entertainer which makes it QR100 each for that selection. They also offer Qatar Airways staff a 30 percent discount. There is no drinks package but happy hour is form 5pm to 7pm. Service was charming and engaged. And for the record , I have returned to try this again (self funded) and it was excellent.
Must order: grilled lobster and the fish in coconut sauce
While you are here:
There it is, your Doha September 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:
- The new Jean Georges venue at the Four Seasons Doha is taking shape. With a South American menu, a terrace to die for and a much loved Doha chef on the case, it will be epic. Watch out for my sneak peek on my Instagram soon.
- A Cantonese style brunch complete with dumplings? See my experience here.
- Love some hot pot? Check out my essential guide here.
- Also Time Out Doha has put together an essential reading list of Doha happy hours.