• Cheese,  Cheese in Cooking,  events,  Mexican Cheese,  Middle East,  Qatar

    Let’s Taco About It – Cinco De Mayo

    I have to admit, until very recently I thought Cinco De Mayo had something to do with mayo – as in the type you put on potato salad. Now I know it has a lot to do with tacos. And enchiladas. And pinatas (hitting things – I’m all for that!) Mexico is a long way from Doha. But this weekend the Marriott Doha is hosting a Cinco De Mayo party and frankly, if it involves tequila, hitting things and cheese, I’m there.

  • Artisan Cheese,  Cheese,  Food,  Lebanon,  Middle East,  Sheep Milk,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Home Grown Heroes

    By now, three quarters of the free world know I have been growing tomatoes on my terrace. No big deal you say? Well, I am not known for my green thumb and also, I LIVE IN THE DESERT! So now, the tomato vines, tended with love during our short and sweet Doha winter, have started to bear fruit. What to do with this bounty? Today a friend passed by for coffee so I whipped up a quick Middle Eastern style bruschetta. I used one of my favorite cheeses, a labneh from Laiterie Jarjoura in Chtoura, Zahlé, Lebanon. It is a famous mountainside stop en route to Baalbeck and the Bekaa…

  • France,  French,  Middle East,  Qatar,  Restaurant Reviews

    Let Me Entertain(er) You

    It’s a pretty well known expat fact that Qatar is one of the more expensive places to live in the region. And of course, at the end of the day, everyone loves a bargain. Especially me, the week before payday. Well, actually any time. So that’s why you can always find my purse stuffed with Entertainer vouchers. The Entertainer has been offering great value offers for everything from Michelin-star restaurants to casual dining and cafes through their two-for-one vouchers books since 2001 and this year they have gone digital. They have launched an app that makes it easy to use at outlets spontaneously. It’s GPS based so you can source…

  • Cafes,  Cheese,  Media,  Middle East,  Oman,  Restaurant Reviews,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Restaurant Review – Manis Gourmet Cafe Muscat Oman

    It would be fair to assume that I do spend a lot of time in five star hotels – either lounging around, terrorizing their chefs or drinking heavily. The reasons for this are twofold – in the Middle East hotels are generally the only place a gal can drink in public and frankly, my handbag collection demands a stage. That said, I don’t mind a greasy spoon joint (hangover helper) or a quality cafe. Anywhere with good coffee, magazines and decent people watching/judging opportunities. On one of my most recent trips to Muscat, my regular partner in crime GF and I ventured out of the rarefied confines of five stardom…

  • American,  Cheese,  events,  Middle East,  Restaurant Reviews,  wine

    Beefed Up – Review of The Anvil Rooms

    I had a phase (and by phase I mean 18 months) at university when I became a vegetarian. I’m not sure what prompted it, seemed like the thing to do at the time. Like wearing Doc Martins and raging against “The Man”. One day, about 18 months in, I decided to start eating chicken again. Then the floodgates opened and I have been making up for that 18 month lapse for the last 25 years. I love a good steak and especially love a good steakhouse, there is something about their warm, clubby environment, their comfy chairs and the proliferation of onion rings that make me very, very happy. This…

  • British,  British cheese,  Cheddar,  Cheese,  Comte,  European Cheese,  events,  Food,  France,  French,  Media,  Middle East,  Restaurant Reviews,  Travel,  wine

    Fromage to Eternity

    As we slide (or stagger) into the business end of the year, I find myself looking for distractions. So when I got a message via the Twitter that went something along the lines of “We have a new menu Market at W Doha, there are 20 new items. There is lots of cheese”, I declare a “Distraction Action” and head westwards. And the Twitter doesn’t lie. The new menu has cheese. Lots of it. And other amazing things as well. Starting with these balls of deliciousness. Cheddar chilli fritters. Give me cheddar and add some green chilis then deep fry it? Yes please. This is what I like about cheddar,…

  • events,  Food,  Middle East,  Restaurant Review,  wine

    First Past the Post – Melbourne Cup Brunch in Doha

    I love dressing up, in fact my shoe and bag collection demands it. But combine that with brunch (and hats), and you have an irresistible combination. The Melbourne Cup is one such excuse to dress up. And while it’s not until next Tuesday, they are starting celebrations early at the Grand Hyatt Doha with a Melbourne Cup Brunch. There will be prizes for best hat and best outfit and of course the usual lavish award winning brunch offering (check out the cheese….to die for). Essential information: What: Melbourne Cup Brunch Where: The Grill, Grand Hyatt Doha When: Friday 1 November, 12.30 to 4pm How much: QR280 with soft drinks; QR395…

  • Cheese,  Middle East,  Travel,  Unusual Cheeses,  White Cheese

    Feeling Ropey – All Wound Up About Shelal Cheese

    Something had me doing a cartoon-like double take in Spinney’s supermarket this week (and it wasn’t the bill, altough I do tend to leave this place feeling violated and not in a good way). While cruising past the olives and nestled next to the pickles in the deli area I found this interesting sight – Closer inspection revealed it to be a cheese of some description, but the guy behind the counter was unhelpful – “It could be a cheese, I don’t know”. So I took a punt, bought a hunk and set off home to investigate. Turns out this is shelal cheese (Jibneh Shelal), known now amongst hipsters and…

  • Cheese,  Feta,  Food,  Middle East,  Sweden,  Travel,  White Cheese

    For Feta or For Worse

    My love of the salty goodness of feta is well documented on this blog and my waistline. So I was the happiest traveler in the sky recently when I had the chance to fly from Stockholm to Doha on the Qatar Airways Dreamliner and the menu featured this tasty little morsel. A moist piece of feta cheese, rolled on sesame seeds. For once also served at the right temperature, along with a tomato salsa. I am learning that feta, in some for or another, is made in countries around the world. It is simply a farmer’s cheese and I have tried varieties in Turkey, Central Europe and of course, the…

  • Cheese,  Food,  Middle East,  Restaurant Reviews,  wine

    Best of the Brunch – Opal by Gordon Ramsay at St Regis Doha

    I have written before about the concept of brunch in the Middle East – it’s an art form. Hotels compete for the most elaborate buffet, ladies buy new outfits, drivers are booked, mayhem is guaranteed. I love a good brunch – a chance to catch up with friends, gossip and yes, wear the occasional new frock. And this is the thing, buffets drive me crazy. Call me a drama queen, but I like to have my food brought to me. And the idea of dozens of people pawing the prawns before I get to them does make me a little uneasy. Opal by Gordon Ramsay is an outpost of the…