Nozomi, Marsa Malaz

For a dumpling lover, the question ‘shall we just bring you all the dumplings on the menu?’is music to my ears. Yesterday was our first visit to Nozomi and we arrived rather late and a bit wet due to the heavy rains that had hit Doha. For me dumplings are a bit of a comfort food, so it was nice to sit inside a lovely restaurant with wonderful views over the Arabian Gulf watching the rain fall.

The Saturday brunch is a very simple concept; on your table there are a selection of sauces and you chose which dumplings / buns you would like. You can then reorder as many times as you wish. The dumplings and buns are served in 3’s and brought out in stages with each dish expertly explained by the wonderful staff.

We decided to try all of the seafood and meat dumplings then choose our favourites. Each dish was freshly cooked to order and were delicious.

Our favourite dishes were the sweet Kobe beef bun which was like pulled beef with a hint of ginger, the duck rolls with spring vegetables and the deep-fried black cod dumplings which were a perfect balance of flavor with a great hit of salt.

There are three choices of sweet dumplings for dessert. We opted for the white and milk chocolate with a chocolate orange dipping sauce. They looked very festive when they arrived and each one was a parcel of chocolate heaven and devoured in one bite.

 We enviously watched another table eating  the berry and apple dumplings and we decided we had room for more so ordered those too. Little bite sized, deep-fried, fruity dumplings with a cool vanilla ice cream. Perfect.

 We absolutely loved our first visit to Nozomi. In a city where customer service is sometimes a letdown, the service here was spot on. The staff were warm, friendly and knowledgeable so credit to them. If you love dumplings, good service and a lovely view you don’t want to miss this. I enjoyed it so much I would happily drive to the Pearl on a Saturday to go again and that for me is saying something!

The recently launched Kozutsumi Saturday Brunch at Nozomi is priced at 120QR pp and for that you can eat unlimited savoury and sweet dumplings and buns.  The package also includes water and soft drinks. Book now for Saturday! (40355089)

Nozomi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Big Fat Late Brunch, Sheraton Grand 

Now that the colder weather is arriving, the dark nights are drawing in and we are preparing for winter in Doha (ok I may be slightly exaggerating) my mind turns to comfort food and I think about where in this city I can get a decent roast dinner. I had spotted an advertisement for a new Saturday Brunch at the Irish Harp which had wonderful photos of Beef Wellington and joints of meat, I thought I’d make a reservation but the Sheraton beat me to it and invited me to try it out. Of course I said yes! As you may have seen from my previous post I like the food and the atmosphere here. When we arrived we were greeted by the hotel staff and the restaurant chefs who talked us through the dishes available.

The band were playing some classic tunes and we got stuck into the food.

What we liked/loved;

The presentation of the food, I felt it was quality over quantity. The staff were helpful and service was swift.

Roast rib of beef, served quite rare was melt in the mouth delicious. Absolute perfection.

Beef short ribs, juicy and meaty.

Crunchy, crispy schnitzel.

Surf and turf burgers with tender beef and plump shrimp.

Cute glass jars of salad – the coleslaw was fantastic.

Eggs Benedict with a light, tangy hollandaise, runny egg and crispy beef bacon.

Rich chocolate cake which wasn’t too sickly.

There were a few tweaks that I felt could be made to improve the brunch and I discussed these with the staff on the evening, they were very receptive to the feedback. For example I  would have liked to have seen a fish option such as a whole poached salmon or hammour as this would be a lighter dish and go well with the veg and salad. The pastry on the beef Wellington was also a little soggy (as Paul and Mary would put it). I would also have liked a jug of cream at the dessert station and the opportunity to heat the desserts. I know from talking to other guests that some of the dishes were slightly cold but I think as the brunch gets busier and there’s a quicker turnover of food this will improve.

The Big Fat Late Brunch runs every Saturday from 5.00-8.30pm. There are 3 package options available; Food only QR199 / Food + 2 standard house beverages QR220 / Food and unlimited house beverages QR345. You can also opt to buy drinks from the Happy Hour menu which was very reasonable.

We enjoyed our evening, the food was good and it was a lovely way to end our weekend, we were also reminded to visit the Irish Harp more often! However, if you are planning a visit, please remember your passport or RP and you may need to pay to become a member. Contact the Sheraton directly for further details.

*Please note that on this occasion I was a guest of the Sheraton. All opinions and photos are my own*

The Irish Harp - Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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