Tag Archives: Zomato Qatar

International Comfort Food

International Comfort Food
By: Ms. Hala Abdoun for BQ Plus via Zomato
Originally Published: 27 January 2017
Publication Source: BQ-Magazine.com

Winter is here! A relatively warm winter but, this is the season we crave something to make us feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s why they call it comfort food!

Let’s discover some of the world’s favorite comfort foods and where to get a taste of it.

Spaghetti Carbonara – Italy

spaghetti-carbonara

Can’t start this list without the world’s favorite dish, pasta! And the one Italians call to for comfort is spaghetti carbonara. Originating from Rome in the 20th century, this dish has comforted the masses as it has evolved in different parts of Italy and in different forms of pasta.

Sticking with the classics, the spaghetti dish is made with eggs, cheese, bacon and seasoned with black pepper to taste. You can’t go wrong with a classic!

Slurp on some spaghetti carbonara at Lo Spaghetto in Al Saad.

Brioche Dorée

broichedoreefrench

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.

Pho – Vietnam

PhoBeef

Not only is pho the star of Vietnamese food, but it’s one of the most popular soup dishes in the world. Pho dates back to the 20th century and was introduced to the world through migration and tourism.

Pho consists of rice noodles, either chicken or beef, cooked in broth with a few herbs and seasonings. It’s all the basics in one pot!

Try a bowl of pho at The Rice Room in The Gulf Mall.

Poutine – Canada

Poutine

Ask any Canadian and they’ll tell you that poutine is what warms their soul. Originating in Quebec in the 1950s, the word “poutine” is French for “mess”. Who knew messy can be so good? Canada did!

This messy street food quickly took over the nation with just three ingredients. Fried potatoes topped with cheese curds and gravy. That’s it!

Get messy with platter of poutine at Lord of the Wings at The Pearl-Qatar.

Pav Bhaji – India

Some say dosas, others say choles, we say, “can we have them all?” Indian cuisine is so beautifully diverse, we can’t pick just one. However, pav bhaji was the dish that stood out from almost every corner of India.

Potato based vegetable stew, all mashed together with fragrant spices and served with light, fluffy buns.

Get yourself some finger licking pav bhaji at Saravanaa Bhavan in Al Ghanim.

Koshary – Egypt

Talk about making something out of nothing! In the 19th century, whatever was leftover in the pantry at the end of the month, got all mixed together to make room for the new. And from there, koshary was born.

Today, it’s the ultimate comfort food in Egypt, sold from street carts to five-star restaurants. It started with rice, lentils and pasta topped with spicy sauce, vinegar and crispy onions. It has since evolved to include chick peas, garlic and oil.

Grab a bowl of koshary at Layali Al Qahira in Souq Waqif.


Macaroni and Cheese – USA

Classic Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Whoever came up with this baked dish, thank you! Of course, this isn’t a historically American dish but it has become one over the last couple of centuries with the flood of immigrants altering their own favorite comfort foods.

With small pasta and a whole lot of cheddar cheese topped off with some bread crumbs and baked in the oven for about 15 minutes. The end result is crispiness on the outside and gooey goodness on the inside. This is why America is great!

Try a fishy take on the classic at Red Lobster in Fereej bin Mahmoud.

Kare Kare – Philippines

kare kare

The thick stew of kare kare is another rendition of putting everything in one pot. Originating from Pampanga and spreading across the islands, kare kare is a stew like no other.

It starts with a base of stewed oxtail and can have anything from calf feet to leftover meat, and seafood to all kinds of vegetables. Thickened with rice and topped with peanut sauce, this stew brings the essence of comfort in a bowl.

Try a bowl of kare kare at Max’s Restaurant in Al Saad.

Harees – Qatar

harees

Coming back to Qatar, many don’t realize harees has history. This simple wheat dish dates back to the 10th century as documented in ‘The Cooking Book’ by Ibn Sayyar Al Warraq. Many even say there’s evidence of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) eating harees.

Harees is not soup, it can fall between a stew and porridge. After simmering pre-soaked wheat in water, it can be made savory by adding meat before it’s strained and beaten to a thick consistency then seasoned to taste. Make it sweet by excluding the meat and season with cinnamon and sugar.

Discover the flavors of harees at Muglat Harees Al Waldah on Salwa Road.

All images courtesy of BQ Plus Magazine unless otherwise noted.
Publication Source: BQ-Magazine.com
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Dine like the French, in Qatar

Dine like the French, in Qatar
By: Ms. Hala Abdoun for BQ Plus via Zomato
Originally Published: December 12, 2016
Publication Source: BQ-Magazine.com

Let’s take a gastronomic adventure around Doha and dine like the French.

Yum Yum

yumyum-french

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 Dorée

broichedoreefrench

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

thefrencholive

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

paul-french

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

la-varenne-french

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

lenotre-alsadd-french

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

angelina-french

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

laduree

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 BQ Plus Magazine unless otherwise noted.
Publication Source: BQ-Magazine.com

A Month In Food

A Month In Food, October 2015

Being that I have a job that relies on me going out to eat, October was one of my busiest monthes yet! I got to experience some new and awesome things for the first time. Grab a tissue because I promise you, there will be saliva.

French-Qatari Fusion

As a fan of this restaurant (which I’ve only tried for lunch), I was elated when asked to organize a fine dining experience meetup at IDAM by Alain Ducasse to showcase their new autumn dinner menu. There is nothing like this true gem on the 5th floor of the Museum of Islamic Art.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.58.06 AM

For the first time, I willingly tried snails – SNAILS – and cleared my plate of it. I was never tempted to try snails or escargot but when I realized that was on the menu, I knew it was now or never to try it out. It was absolutely flavorful, sweet and without any bitter aftertaste, just perfection.

As an American, we are easily fooled when it comes to portions. However, we tend to forget that quality is above quantity. True, portions are small but extremely rich in flavor, you will leave stuffed . Start with the amazing breads and cleanse with the fantastic grape mocktails.

IDAM By Alain Ducasse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato IDAM brings fine dining and mutli-ethinic fusion to another level, under one very beautiful roof. Even before the food arrives, you are engulfed in a once in a lifetime experience that is to be had again and again. You leave knowing you’ve experienced everything that is to be experienced from the meticulous details of the decor to the elegance of it all.

Sushi

Now if you know me as well as you should peeps, you know I’m not a fan of sushi. I know, I know, I’m from California, home of the California Roll, it should be in my blood, blah blah blah. That’s not the case! Everyone I know but my little brother appreciates sushi. What’s my excuse? I can’t get past the “raw” factor of sushi. Give me seaweed, give me tofu in miso soup, but never raw fish.

Dragon Roll, Asia Live

Two foodie meetups allowed me to try some really good sushi. First was at Asia Live of Marriot Doha, where I actually went for seconds on this amazing Dragon Roll. Made with cooked tuna, shrimp and eel, it was absolutely spectacular. Many of us foodies went for seconds and thirds, it was that good. No aftertaste of sorts as I would’ve expected from an eel or mix of flavors. This is Asia Live’s most popular dish for only 50QR!

20151028_142014Another spot with some really creative takes on sushi was Blue of Grand Heritage Hotel. We were given the opportunity during our meetup to try some new and popular sushis, including fried sushi and tempura sushi. Seriously, there was a lot of variety I didn’t even know I could like let alone eat by the mouthfuls. I’ve learned that if the sushi contents are cooked or at least smoked, I’m all over it!

South Indian

There is a lot of misconception when it comes to South Indian cuisine, mainly because it’s already so diverse as it is. Mainly known for being vegetarian, not all foods out of South India is strictly that. However, we got a taste of it all at our foodie meetup hosted by Dakshin in Barwa Village.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 3.38.29 PMI got to have a taste of a few dishes familiar and new but the one new dish that stood out for me was the Murungakkai Soup. A lentils and drumstick soup spiced to perfection. Adding on top some really crispy and addictive chakkaras (think: airy crackers) for some pop, literally! The soup is just so warm and filling, it would be perfect for a San Francisco winter.

And at Dakshin, knowing that not everyone can handle the level of Indian spicy, they really do accomodate the level of spiciness your palette can handle. I recommend checking out their very diverse menu, selecting a few items and going on a South Indian taste journey.

Until next time peeps, stay hungry!