Champions, Marriott Marquis

Brunch on a Saturday for some may sound like a dangerous concept, especially for those of us who have an early start on a Sunday morning! After the long summer break we decided to take advantage of a Monday start and try the Saturday Brunch at Champions. This sports bar is well known for its great sports coverage, decent bar food and lively atmosphere so this (newish) brunch sounded like fun. As usual we were I.D’d at the door and, as we were having brunch, given a wrist band to show we’d paid our 225QRpp.

When we arrived just after 12 noon a handful of tables were taken, we grabbed a place in the non smoking section and checked out the menu. Basically the brunch offer allows you to order unlimited food from the brunch menu and unlimited drinks. I was happy to see favourites such as fiery wings and cheesy fries but also items I hadn’t tried before such as the wasabi prawns and chicken sliders. There is also a dessert option and a rather healthy sounding fruit platter. The drinks selection was good choice of bottled or draught beers, wine, spirits and soft drinks.We decided as a table to order a few dishes to share – wings, sliders, fries, prawns and onion rings. Everything is waiter service so you don’t have to keep getting up and down!

Soon the band started playing, the room got busier, drinks flowed and the food arrived. We all agreed the wasabi prawns were delicious – we ordered them several times, the sliders were juicy and flavoursome, the wings were fiery and the cheesy fries as moorish as ever. The only thing we were disappointed by was the onion rings as they weren’t very tasty, we’d have preferred them to have been in the same tempura styled batter as the prawns rather than breadcrumbs. It was also felt that the nachos needed more cheese, salsa and sour cream as they were dry and lacked flavour. We did have to tell the staff to stop bringing out food as it just kept coming!!

Up until about 2pm the service had been good but as the bar got busier it was clear that standard of service started to slip. We were having to wait a long time for drinks, the table wasn’t cleared and it was difficult to get anyone’s attention. I did notice that there were some new faces among the staff so maybe they are new to their roles but it did seem they were understaffed. Lots of people had arrived to watch the football and most tables were full. Staff were having to take food and drinks orders from people who had paid for the brunch package as well as those who were ordering from the main menu.

At 2.30pm we were told it was last orders for brunch and we were told to order 2 drinks each, unfortunately it was almost 40 minutes later when those drinks arrived. We asked about our order a couple of times and I then asked a manager to chase them up. He agreed it was a long time to wait and they extended the brunch time for us so we could have 2 more rounds which was a nice gesture and appreciated by our group. It did seem at times that the staff weren’t sure what they were bringing to the tables as the orders weren’t always right.

Brunch runs for 3 hours but many of us ended up staying for happy hour which starts at 5pm. We all had a brilliant afternoon, the atmosphere was fun and lively – we enjoyed the band. The food overall was good, the service was friendly and it represents value for money, especially for those using an entertainer voucher which meant it was 241. The one frustration was the service towards the end of the afternoon. This was not due to staff being lazy or inattentive they were just rushed off their feet. If this Saturday brunch becomes as popular as it should – its a very good deal if you plan to stay for a few hours – staffing levels need to increase to provide acceptable service levels as this is the only aspect that was missing but perhaps one of the most important.

*On this occasion I was a guest of Champions. As always my review is completely honest and the photographs are my own. The 241 Entertainer voucher can be used until the end of September 2016.

Champions Sports Bar -  Marriott Marquis Doha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Quick Bites, Marriott Marquis 

In an attempt to get a little fitter I’ve joined the gym at the Marriott Marquis. I decided after my first visit to reward my commitment with a take out from Quick Bites located on the ground floor. I now realise I have set a dangerous precedent because the food is really good! I’d describe it more of a cafe than a restaurant – it has a lovely light, bright, spacious feel to it with a fantastic long counter displaying sweet and savory items.


The varied menu offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to eat in or takeaway. The first time I called in I ordered a BBQ chicken pizza, shrimp coleslaw salad, a sugared donut and a cronut to take out. The pizza was freshly made while I waited and everything was ready in about 10 minutes. The service was really good, very friendly and helpful. The food itself was also good however I did feel the desserts were a little dry.


As we enjoyed this food so much we chose to go there on Friday but this time we ate in rather than taking our food away. Greg was delighted to see a Cornish pasty on the menu but he couldn’t decide between that and a pizza so he ordered both! I liked the look of the fresh salads of which there are some wonderful combinations of ingredients. I chose an apple, watermelon and rocket salad with balsamic dressing and Parmesan. Once again our food arrived quickly and it was hot and fresh. I did think there was a little too much balsamic on my salad but luckily this didn’t overpower the delicious flavours. The Cornish pasty was excellent – flaky, buttery pastry with a well seasoned filling. The pizza was light and crispy.


I really recommend you try Quick Bites, the cafe is thoughtfully designed so if you’re there for business or leisure it’s a relaxing place to enjoy some delicious, freshly cooked food. We’ll definitely be back purely to try a freak shake!!

Quick Bites - Marriott Marquis Doha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New York Steakhouse, Marriott Marquis 

Hearing the New York Steakhouse was running ‘ New York Restaurant Week’ promotion we quickly booked a table. We’ve eaten at all of the outlets at the Marriott Marquis and they are very good but this was our first visit to the Steakhouse. I thought at lunchtime on a Monday it would be fairly quiet but was surprised that several tables were occupied. We were quickly seated in huge, comfortable leather chairs and given menus. The restaurant is very nicely designed with dark wood, an open kitchen and a bar area. It felt like the kind of place you could spend a good few hours with good food and wine.


  
Lloyd, our waiter came over to take our orders and explained that the steak on the promotional menu had not been delivered so if we ordered steak we would be served an Argentinian cut instead – fine with us! Orders placed the bread basket arrived swiftly. A warm, soft, thick sliced loaf and deliciously crunchy rosemary bread sticks. Just enough to whet our appetites.

For starters we ordered french onion soup and salt and pepper calamari. The portion sizes were quite large. The soup was delicious, piping hot, well seasoned with soft onions and a cheesy, soggy bread lid. The calamari was also good, really crunchy from the semolina however it lacked the salt and pepper seasoning.



After a suitable wait our mains arrived – ‘ wows’ all round. An impressive thick cut of tenderloin steak, a slice of lyonnaise potato and a little pot of pepper sauce. The plate did look like it was missing some green though, perhaps some spinach or broccoli would add to the presentation. All of our steaks were cooked perfectly, my rare steak cut with no bleeding onto the plate but I felt mine needed a bit more seasoning – everyone else felt theirs was perfect. The potato was really soft, again well seasoned and full of the taste of fresh herbs. I didn’t have the sauce ( I’m not a fan of sauce on steak) but everyone else said it was subtle and delicious.



Dessert was a bit of a disappointment for me. Cheesecake is one of my favourites and when I ordered it I was told it was de-constructed. Mmmmm, OK……but it was odd. A very thin biscuit on top and bottom with a filling of what tasted like whipped cream. A single strawberry, a ‘soil’ of perhaps chocolate brownie and strawberry sorbet. To be fair the cream was fantastically light and the almost caramelised brandy snap like biscuit was crunchy and moreish but the sorbet didn’t work. Although I enjoyed the biscuit and cream it wasn’t, in my opinion, a cheesecake.

The sorbet and ice cream ordered for other desserts was good quality, I can recommend the peanut butter one!


Overall I think the menu is very good value for money and despite a few niggles it was very nice and we will try to go back for lunch before the promotion ends this week. The 3 course lunch is 95QR each, so for four people including water and a tip the bill came to 450QR which considering the quality of the food, excellent service and and the lovely surroundings is an absolute bargain.

New York Steakhouse - Marriott Marquis Doha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ipanema, Marriott Marquis


‘ Brunch is a marathon not a sprint’  was the pep talk I overheard from one of the tables at the Ipanema brunch on Friday, I wish I taken this advice. I had read good reviews of this Brazilian Churrascaria styled restaurant and we were keen to try it especially as we can see the restaurant from lounge and involves very little effort getting there ( our car had broken down that morning). The atmosphere when we walked in set the scene nicely – a lively bar area, carnival head dresses on display and a samba band. We received a warm welcome and the concept of the Rodizio service was explained to us as were the different price options available.

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Drinks swiftly arrived and so did a bread basket with delicious warm cheesy rolls, a small pair of tongs and reversible cards to indicate whether you wanted more food bringing over (green) or if you wanted a brunch break (red). We headed to the buffet first which was well presented with an array of Brazilian inspired dishes, sushi, oysters, salads, breads, soups, desserts and cheeses. The buffet is available throughout brunch and you can just help yourself to whatever you want.

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As we returned to our table we had been served tapioca, fried bananas, beans and polenta in small dishes to compliment the meat then, the stars of the show arrived, and continued to arrive at regular intervals throughout the next 3 hours. Huge skewers offering various cuts of lamb, beef and chicken cooked and seasoned perfectly, bowls of braised short ribs, plates of lobster and cinnamon roasted pineapple. Wow, it was meat heaven! I particularly liked the deliciously tender braised short rib and the garlic infused beef. As the meat was sliced you caught it with the small tongs provided and, at first,  it seems a bit odd only being served one slice,  but you soon realise it is very filling and the staff are constantly checking if you want more by looking at the green and red cards on the table.

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After a bit of a meat overload I had a dessert break, the carrot cake was fantastic especially the frosting and I shamefully admit to eating a couple of spoonfuls of Dulce de Leche sauce on its own it was so good. After a short rest we chose the cuts of meat we had liked the most for a final plateful – by now we could barely move, and after the last plate, both quickly turned our cards to red.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our brunch, the quality of the food was excellent, the service was fun and friendly, the atmosphere was very lively, it had a nice buzz. Even though we went as a couple it would also be great for a bigger group and families – the children seemed happy trying on the carnival head dresses and dancing to the band.

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Brunch is priced at 260QR which includes soft drinks or 335QR for a package which includes wine, beer and cocktails which I thought was good value especially as neither of us ate anything else for the rest of the day! If anyone is planning a Christmas party this would be a great place, we will definitely go back.

Ipanema - Marriott Marquis Doha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato