Most Memorable Dishes of 2016

As my bathroom scales will confirm 2016 has overwhelmingly been a year of eating well. So without further ado, as this year draws to a close, here in no particular order are my (our) most memorable eats of the year…..

Lobster cocktail, Bentley’s Grill, Radisson Blu

Chunks of fresh lobster with sweet mango and creamy avocado bound together in a light citrus mayonnaise. This recent addition to the menu is an absolute winner.

Pan fried foie gras, Prime, Intercontinental Doha the City.

Love it or loathe it this was melt in your mouth perfection. Rich, buttery and salty with toasted brioche and the sharpness of berries. Love, love, love.

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Bouillabaisse with rouille and croutons, Prime, Intercontinental Doha the City

Another winning dish from Prime. This rich, deep seafood soup with beautifully delicate rock fish was just one course from the Monday Prime Club menu.

Salmon miso, Zengo at Kempinski West Bay

A late addition to the list as I only had this a couple of days ago at Friday brunch (full post to follow). This salmon was a perfect balance of sweet, salty deep flavours from the miso and yuzu – it was my favourite dish from everything we tried at this outstanding brunch.

Mango salad, MRA Bakery, Markhiya

A side dish of fresh firm, sweet mango with the heat of red onion and lots of chili. It was so zingy and refreshing though I did have to pick out quite a lot of the chili as I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy food!

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Chocolate crepe, Mokarabia, Ezdan Tower.

Had a craving for something sweet and this fit the bill. Chocolate shavings, sauce and fresh cream on a crepe. Just don’t count the calories! Loved the interior and service too.

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Cheesecake, Iftar, St Regis 

I’m always on the hunt for a great cheesecake, this is the best one I’ve had in Doha. A crunchy biscuit base, thick, creamy cheese with a hint of fruit to cut through the richness.

And, because this list started as a conversation with Greg, here’s his list!

Rib of beef, Big Fat Late Brunch, Irish Harp, Sheraton

Served medium rare this beef was cooked and seasoned to perfection. Loved the Saturday brunch here.

Chicken platter, MRA Bakery, Markhiya

A variety of marinades made this chicken platter stand out. All the meat was tender and packed with flavour.

Nozomi, Marsa Malaz

A brunch consisting of dumplings and buns was always going to be a winner but my favourite were these melt in the mouth wagyu beef buns. I’d happily go back and eat these all day!


Triple burger, Fat Burger, Gulf Mall 

Juicy, tasty patty with salad, cheese and pickles. Just wish I’d ordered the quad!

Okonomiyaki, Street Food, Doha Marriott

I couldn’t get enough of these tasty Japanese pancakes. Crepe filled with veg, meat and sauce with herbs on top. Delicious.

Ba – mee menu, Isaan, Grand Hyatt

Served as part of the Ba-mee menu where you select 4 dishes for 100QR this soup was deep with sweet and sour flavours and had won-tons and pak choi to create a fantastic range of textures with just a hint of chili.

Zengo, Kempinski West Bay

Like Kathryn said we have only recently visited Zengo but the food was incredible. I loved these crunchy shrimp tempura rolls especially with the spicy mayo on the side.

So, this is our year in food – overall 2016 has been fantastic. Thank you to everyone who has read my reviews, liked, shared and commented it means a lot. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017………

Kathryn x

MRA Restaurant & Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 

 

 

My ’10 new places to eat’ challenge 

I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the number of places to eat in Doha! I follow various Doha Foodies on social media and started to jot down a list of new places that I’d like to try. To tackle this ever growing list I set a ’10 new eats challenge’ and these were the results:

1 – Nobu at the Four Seasons

I’m a year behind most foodies as this was my first visit. We went for the Summer Omakase Menu and it was superb. For me the stand out dish was the pulled beef rolls, absolutely divine. I felt it was a great introduction to the food and style of Nobu, all 4 courses were well balanced, we left satisfied and not too full. Throughout our meal the service was friendly and efficient. The restaurant has been well designed to take in the fantastic views of the city so make sure you ask for a window table! This promotion is running until the end of September, booking advisable.

Would I go again? Without a shadow of a doubt.

2 – Ipanema at the  Marriott Marquis

We’ve been to this Brazilian themed restaurant for brunch before but this time we headed there for dinner as part of the Food Fest promotion so it was newish. For 100QRpp you can eat unlimited salad, sushi, soup, oysters, beef, chicken, wings, cheese and dessert. Most of the food is buffet style but the meat and pineapple is carved at your table. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. This promotion ends Sept 10th but I’d recommend a visit, especially if you’re a meat lover and like a party atmosphere!

Would I go again? Yes, it’s perfect for a group brunch. 

3 – Hunters Grill at the Westin Hotel

I visited the Westin for an Iftar but not ate at their individual restaurants. I loved the design of the restaurant, so many different textures and with a choice of inside seating or out in the indoor garden it was spacious and relaxing. The menu, although not huge, left me spoilt for choice! We opted for starters of scallops and crab cakes and mains of steak and duck. The food was absolutely delicious, everything was executed very well. I also loved the butters with fresh crusty bread. Throughout the meal service was friendly and efficient however, at the end of the meal it took 25 minutes to sort the bill out as it was incorrect 3 times – not an ideal way to end the evening! Overall we had a great time, I felt the prices (even without the discount, we availed the 241) were lower than other steakhouses and this one felt a little more relaxed and contemporary.

Would I go again? Yes, great for a romantic meal especially when combined with a visit to Mix Bar.

4 – Mokarabia at Ezdan Tower 

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this cafe situated underneath Ezdan Tower. When we walked in I was taken aback by the stylish design and comfortable feel. Yes, it’s been designed to within an inch of its life but I loved it! After drooling at the desserts on display we placed our order after checking out the menu on an iPad. The Caprese sandwich was fresh, full of flavour and tasted pretty healthy. On the other hand the chocolate shawarma was a rich, sweet, chocolatey, creamy, calorie fest. Amazing. Service throughout was absolutely top notch.

Would I go again? 100% yes especially for a sugar fix. 

5 – Fat Burger at Gulf Mall

I recently wrote a post the best burgers in Doha and many people commented that I should try Fat Burger. Located in the food court we when we arrived it was fairly quiet and we were served quickly. It took just over 5 minutes for our food to be made and it was very hot and fresh and looked delicious. I was impressed that our order was correct as I wanted different fillings to the regular burger. The burger was well seasoned and juicy, the bun was soft and salad was fresh. There was also a large portion of fries. I really enjoyed this burger, I didn’t find it as greasy as Shake Shack and it was very filling. The triple burger was very messy to eat – I still can’t believe people can eat the quad burger!!

Would I go again? Yes, the burger was good. However, I think the food court would be very noisy at peak times so I’d prefer more of a restaurant setting so I would probably go to the Pearl. 

6 – MRA Bakery at Television Roundabout

As soon as we saw the menu we were reminded of our recent trip to Kerala and the amazing food we had there. It’s a pretty comprehensive menu and we chose mango salad, a medium kebab platter, paratha plus water and a mango lassi. Our food arrived quite quickly considering how busy it was, however I think most people had opted for the 35QR buffet. The kebab platter consisted of chicken and fish in various marinades, the mango salad certainly packed a punch with thinly sliced green chilli and the paratha was soft, chewy and not too greasy. Half way through our meal we were enjoying the food so much we decided to order more dishes to takeaway for dinner! The butter chicken, aloo gobi and ghee rice was delicious. As you can see from the bill everything was reasonably priced and service was efficient. My only criticism was how humid and dark it was inside. We were tucked away in a booth in a corner and it was very hot and stuffy probably because it was very busy, next time I’d ask for a table near the window.

Would I go again? Absolutely, we loved it! 

7 – Eggspectation at the Pearl

I’ve heard so much about this place I wanted to try it myself. We arrived about 9am and it was already busy, we were seated quickly and given the menu. I was shocked at how much there was on offer, you could take the pickiest eater there and they’d be happy! I ordered steak with eggs (substituted the potatoes for fruit) and Greg ordered High Rise pancakes. Food arrived fairly quickly and looked very appealing. My steak was well cooked and seasoned and the eggs, though cooked as requested,  were cold. I was also a little unsure about egg yolk on fruit?! Greg’s pancakes were HUGE and, for the first time in a long time he was defeated and left some! I liked the style of the restaurant – light and airy, the food overall was good and service friendly.

Would I go again? Yes, if I was on the Pearl but wouldn’t drive there specifically to eat here. 

8 – Olive Oil at the City Centre Rotana

Thursday night is Sicilian night and offers a range of Mediterranean dishes. We booked a table for 7pm and it was fairly quiet when we arrived but got busier as the evening went on. There is an excellent range of breads, salads,cheeses, roast meat, hot dishes such as slow cooked beef, lasagne, roasted veg plus pizza, desserts and ice cream. In addition the chefs come to your table to serve fresh pasta and gnocchi. I personally loved the chicken liver pate, cheeses, lamb porchetta, seafood salad, gnocchi and lemon flan. Throughout the night service was very good. They offer 2 packages – food with soft drinks 119QR or food with unlimited beer / wine 219QR – which I felt offered excellent value for money as we were there for several hours.

Would I go again? Yes, it was a lovely evening and I’d definitely go back on a Thursday evening and try their other theme evenings. 

9 – Three peppers on Old Airport Road

This small Chinese restaurant was recommended to me many months ago and has been again several times since. We placed our order over the phone (minimum 125QR order for delivery) and waited. And waited. After several phone calls it was clear the delivery man had no idea where we lived and by the 7th call we were about the cancel the order but then he appeared! Amazingly the food was still really hot. Lamb ribs were tender with crispy fat, the broccoli was crunchy, sweet and sour was tangy and the steamed dumplings packed with beef and chicken though they were slightly stodgier than I’m used to. It was definitely enough for 2 people, probably too much but it kept for seconds later in the day. I can see why this place is popular.

Would I go again? Yes, we’d order from here again but we’d whatsapp the address to make delivery easier. You can also eat in but I think the restaurant is pretty small. 

10 – Harry Ramsdens 

I was invited to try the new menu here and was suitably impressed. I think I’ve always assumed it was gimmicky and not very authentic but after tasting the food I admit I was wrong. The fish n chips were very authentic, closing my eyes I was back at the seaside in Whitby, the Yorkshire Puddings were spot on and I had my very first deep fried mars bar. So bad it was good. Service was excellent and the staff were lovely. As I said I was invited here so I tried out lots of mini sized dishes but I hear the portion sizes are epic. If you fancy a classic British dish this is the plaice to come – sorry I couldn’t resist that one!

*please note on this occasion I was a guest at Harry Ramsdens, however opinions and photos are my own*

Would I go again? Yes, but it’d need to be In conjunction with a visit to the gym! 

To view locations,opening times and menus visit the individuial websites or Zomato Qatar

Olive Oil - City Centre Rotana Doha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato