I just love it when a restaurant replies quickly to information requests. I know a lot of places put their opening hours, menus and prices online but as its summer and some places are restricting their hours and menus I Facebook messaged InterCon to check what time their happy hour was. Almost immediately they’d confirmed timings and booked me a table, fantastic customer service. I was surprised at how long the happy hour is at the Belgian Cafe 12.30 -6pm, surely one of the longest in Doha? The Belgian Cafe is a place I’ve only visited a handful of times since living here but always had a good time. We were meeting up with friends after the long summer holiday and wanted somewhere informal with pub style food and drinks and the Belgian Cafe came to mind.
To be fair our greeting on arrival could have been friendlier. Greg gave our name and after a bit of mumbling and computer clicking the member of staff said ‘oh, your booked under a brunch but we don’t have a brunch’ I replied that I’d not booked for brunch (it was a Thursday), I had a reservation for 1pm and, as it was pretty much empty, asked if we could have a table for 4. I was assured it was fine and we were seated at a non smoking table. The design of the cafe is typical of the chain – dark wood, chalk boards, drinks on display with a long bar and wooden floor. A great escape from the heat of an oppressive Doha summer.
Menus were quickly brought over and we placed our drinks order. A selection of beers, spirits, wines and cocktails were on offer priced at about 30QR, I was impressed with the choice as I know in some places happy hour drinks can sometimes be limited. We then ordered food. The menu is varied and obviously has a Belgian / European theme. We ordered pasta with mussels, chicken vol- au -vent x2 and a Flemish stew. I was a bit annoyed I’d forgotten my entertainer voucher as its 241 on main courses but it’s pretty reasonably priced with the mains in the at 85QR range. After a few minutes we were brought a cute paper bag stuffed with bread rolls and portions of butter. The bread was delicious with bits of walnut, the herb and sundried tomato butter was also tasty but it was difficult to spread as it had clearly just come out of the refrigerator and couldn’t be cut through. I think I’d prefer the bread warm and the butter soft!
Shortly afterwards our meals arrived. My stew was delicious, slow, tender braised beef (like my mum used to make) with veg, fries and thick mayonnaise. I really enjoyed it. The pasta was packed with mussels in a rich tomato herb sauce and the vol -au -vents were cheesy and creamy, full of chicken and mushrooms. Portion sizes were good and everything was hot and well cooked. Proper, filling pub grub!
Even though were sat in the non smoking area but we could still smell cigarettes. I appreciate that they are making an effort to have separate sections and I really like this and it’s a lot better than some places where there’s no segregation. Also, take a moment to look at the art work on the way to the bathrooms because it’s fabulous.
We all really enjoyed our meals, every plate was very clean at the end! Service throughout was good – friendly and efficient. Our bill came to 900QR for 8 cocktails, 4 vodkas, 4 whiskies, 5 mixers and 4 main courses which we felt was reasonable. It would have been less if we’d remembered our Entertainer vouchers but I’m in no doubt we’ll be back as we had a lovely time. Overall, if you’re looking for a long happy hour, comfort food and good service I’d recommend the Belgian Cafe.