Dine like the French, in Qatar

Dine like the French, in Qatar
By: Ms. Hala Abdoun for BQ Plus via Zomato
Originally Published: November 2016
Publication Source: BQ-Magazine.com

Republished on the Zomato Community Blog

Affamé? Pardonne moi. Oh, we meant to ask, “Are you hungry?” Better still, are you craving something French but not sure where to begin? Save that airline ticket for now because there are many options to choose from, be it luxurious to casual, in Doha itself.

Let’s take a gastronomic adventure around Doha and dine like the French at these top five spots.

Yum Yum

Where: K 108 Hotel
Rating: 4.1/5
Lowdown: Being the only boutique hotel in Doha that donates all their proceeds to charity, Yum Yum restaurant serves up some of the most buzzed about fusion French dishes in town. Go for dinner or escape the office for lunch in a hidden gem overlooking the city.

Brioche Doré

Where: Gulf Mall
Rating: 4.1/5
Lowdown: All things French and a little bit more when it comes to the offerings at Brioche Dorée. With a full menu on hand, you can indulge in a three course meal and coffee in a casual atmosphere. According to the foodies, it’s all about the breakfast and desserts.

French Olive

Where: Barwa Towers, Suhaim Bin Hammad Street, Al Sadd
Rating: 4.1/5
Lowdown: Serving both French and Italian cuisine, you harmoniously savor the best of both worlds. It’s well known for not just it’s authentic cuisine but it’s courteous staff. The buzz around town claims French Olive is serving up a business lunch like no other.

Paul

Where: Villaggio Mall
Rating: 4.1/5
Lowdown: With many locations around Doha, the branch in Villaggio tops the list for this French chain. Head to Paul for coffee and fresh baked pastries or eat your heart out from the simple yet fulfilling menu. Foodies not only rave about the food but the “feel good experience” they have.

La Varenne

Where: Tornado Tower, Dafna
Rating: 3.9/5
Lowdown: One of the first French restaurants to offer business lunch to the masses working in Dafna. Serving a delectable menu while overlooking Doha’s scenic Corniche is no wonder La Varenne continues to be a favorite amongst the foodies.

Lenôtre

Where: Suhaim Bin Hammad Street, Al Sadd
Rating: 3.8/5
Lowdown: Foodies rave about French cuisine being served in a casual atmosphere, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Feast amongst the city lights outdoors on a cool winter’s night or within Lenôtre’s sophisticated design on a hot summer’s day.

IDAM by Alain Ducasse

Where: Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)
Rating: 3.7/5
Lowdown: Art comes in many forms and IDAM celebrates art in the form of French Qatari fusion cuisine, modern classic Islamic decor and a view unlike any other. One of the few luxury restaurants with changing seasonal menus based on what’s locally available. Foodies admit it’s one of the few restaurants in town that really challenges one’s palate.

Lina’s Cafe

Where: Ezdan Mall
Rating: 3.7/5
Lowdown: Without a doubt, a cafe in a mall is the super pick-me-up for anyone going through retail therapy. When one breaks in between sales, Lina’s serves up therapeutic quick bites and desserts with a French twist to makes one’s day just a little bit better.

Angelina

Where: The Gate Mall
Rating: 3.6/5
Lowdown: Don’t want to fly to Angelina in Paris for the best hot chocolate in the world? The same creamy, rich hot chocolate is served in the Doha branch! Served along side any of your favorite desserts or meal, these decadents gives a whole new meaning to “pinkies up!”

Ladurée

Where: Villaggio Mall
Rating: 3.6/5
Lowdown: All that’s missing at this cafe, is a French violinist whilst you dine. Ladurée serves up what seems to be Doha’s favorite macarons, with flavors such as rose, pistachio, raspberry and chocolate. It’s true what the say, “dessert goes straight to the heart.”

Allons-y!

All images courtesy of Zomato Community Blog unless otherwise noted

All About That Girl Power

All About that Girl Power
By: Ms. Hala Abdoun for BQ Plus via Zomato
Originally Published: March 2017
Publication Source: BQ-Magazine.com
Republished on the Zomato Community Blog under the title, Celebrating Women’s Day in Doha

Article on pages 38-40

All About That Girl Power!
Hala Abdoun for Zomato Qatar

March is the month we celebrate Girl Power! We take the time to appreciate the fantastic women in our lives, starting with our mothers of course. We remember her hugs, her kisses and her cooking, which was really hugs and kisses in a bowl, right?

Celebrating Women is the latest collection on Zomato showcasing the top eateries that are either owned and/or cheffed by women. With over 3,500 restaurants in Doha alone, these nine eateries truly shine with the unique and awesome power of the women in charge!

9. La Creme
Where:  Royal Plaza Shopping Mall, Al Sadd
Rating: 3.4 / 5
Sweet Power: Considered a hidden gem by many foodies, this sweet spot is all about fulfilling your sweet tooth. Owned by the classically trained Chef Nicole, she has spent years perfecting each bakeable recipe, from the popular goodie jars to customized tiered cakes.

8. Nineties Cafe
Where: Souq Al Wakra, Al Wakrah
Rating: 3.4 / 5
Nostalgia Power: Anyone else nostalgic for the good days of the 1990’s? We sure wish we could turn back the hands of time. Lucky for us, we’ve got Maryam running the cafe that gives us all the feels from back in the day. This place serves up a simple menu of waffle bubbles to go with your favorite drink of the day.

7. Shay Al Shoomos
Where: Al Jasra Street, Souq Waqif
Rating: 3.4 / 5
Mama Power: Remember when mama worked her magic over a small kitchen stove to produce a feast? Qatari Chef Shams does exactly that! She’s cooking up her famous rogag with all kinds of fixings, brewing up pots of shay and treating her customers like they were all her own children. Thanks mama!

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6. Italia Mia
Where: Behind Souq Waqif Art Center, Souq Waqif 
Rating: 3.6 / 5
Pasta Power: Want to eat like a true Italian without leaving Doha? Try out what the dedicated following this hidden gem has amassed are raving about. In the heart of Souq Waqif are dishes upon dishes of homemade pastas and everything in between to make you feel like you’re in Italy. Mamma mia!

5. Korean Garden
Where: C Ring Road, Fereej Bin Mahmoud
Rating: 3.7 / 5
Fusion Power: Many think Asian fusion dishes are a new trend in Doha but that’s far from the truth. Owner Yun Hee Lee is the Asian fusion trendsetter, serving up Korean and Japanese fusion dishes in one of the oldest Asian restaurants in Doha. So much the trendsetter, BQ Plus deemed it one of the Best Asian Restaurants back in the September 2016 issue. You Go Girl!

4. Thai Cuisine
Where: Al Jazira Street, Fereej Bin Mahmoud
Rating: 3.7 / 5
Delivery Power: Any place that makes sure you are eating at the comfort of your home will almost always have a place in our hearts. Owner and Chef Korn Kanok Penglong has made sure you get your favorite Thai dishes ready to pick up or delivered to your comfortable couch (or bed, we don’t judge) in time for your TV binging.

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3. Mamig
Where: Katara Cultural Village, Katara
Rating: 3.8 / 5
Star Power: Chef Zarmig is a celebrity here in the Qatar food scene and rightfully so! She’s the power behind the only high end Armenian Lebanese restaurant around. She’s tapped into everything we truly love perfectly: good food, smooth sheeshas and live music overseeing the Doha skyline from the heart of Katara. 

2. Three Peppers Restaurant
Where: Old Airport Road, Old Airport Area
Rating: 4.1 / 5
Pepper Power: Just like a small pepper packs a big punch, this small place packs three big punches! Chef Mary’s take on authentic Chinese eats is probably the reason behind why the Old Airport area is always so jam packed. This hidden gem fills up faster than you can say “Szechuan chicken please!”

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1. Nistantasi Bakose
Where: Melia Doha, Dafna
Rating: 4.3 / 5
Gold Power: And topping the list is the one restaurant garnishing the ever popular Turkish kebab with gold. That’s right, GOLD! Fonda and her husband Ahmet have brought the finest dishes from their main Istanbul restaurant to Doha to become an overnight sensation. She oversees all the ingredients coming into Qatar straight from Turkey and keeps the chefs on their toes to serve up what foodies have deemed the best Turkish restaurant in town.

We’ve run out of space but we can’t end this powerful list without some honorable mentions. The Pearl is now complete with the opening of it’s first Thai restaurant, White Oryx. Raved for baking up the best cookies in town is the perfectly named, Sweet Moments The Boutique. And in the third floor of Marriott Marquis is Aziza, serving up levantine favorites.

Don’t miss out! Download the Zomato app, bookmark these restaurants and celebrate these women today and every day!

All images courtesy of Zomato Community Blog unless otherwise noted