Qatari food brunch

Qatari food is getting its time in the limelight Discuss this article

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The cuisine of the Gulf often takes a backseat to those of Arab nations hugging the Mediterranean.

Although the likes of hummus and tabbouleh have been absorbed into local diets, there is an entire body of traditional foods unique to Khaleeji nations. Part of the problem is that these dishes are usually only found in homes.

Sure, they may make an occasional appearance in Ramadan buffets and at food festivals, but, for the most part, they are difficult to obtain when dining out.

Al Liwan wants to change that and has now designed a Saturday brunch buffet devoted to Qatari food. Dishes such as lamb harees (a dish made of cracked wheat), chicken madrouba (uses spices and overcooked rice or oats) and balaleet (sweet vermicelli noodles with eggs on top) take front and centre. They’re made following the recipes of a Qatari home chef who oversees all the cooking each week.

The most outstanding (in taste and aesthetics) has to be the shrimp mashkoul. Grilled tiger prawns marinated in Qatari spices, not unlike garam masala, are accompanied by rice perfumed with sautéed onions. At its core, this is straightforward comfort food. But the restaurant adds gourmet touches by lacing the rice with saffron threads and serving it with a purée made from vegetable stew saloona. Along with a side of lentils and raisins, the plate reflects the heavy South Asian influence on food here, which is a legacy of early maritime trade.

Al Liwan has gained a solid reputation for offering top-notch Arabian cuisine during its daily lunch and dinner buffet spreads. But this latest venture brings the Qatari kitchen out of the shadows and gives residents and visitors alike the chance to savour authentic local flavours.
QR250 (as part of the Saturday Qatari brunch buffet). 12.30pm-4pm. Al Liwan, Sharq Village & Spa, Ras Abu Abboud Road (4225 6666).

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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