Friday brunch at Sawa

An excellent buffet spread, impressive desserts and a buzzing atmosphere Discuss this article

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Sawa’s brunch is surprisingly unheard of, but the buzz here is better than most. Large glass windows all around the restaurant and incredibly high ceilings make the place really bright and spacious, and isn’t sunshine exactly what we want on a lazy Friday afternoon?

This brunch is frequented by large, lively groups of families and friends. Just around the corner, there’s an entire room dedicated to little children where they can read, play and let loose. You’ll appreciate how great the buzz is here.

You aren’t really spoiled for choice with their mocktail menu – about two or three flavours of the same mocktail. The buffet spread, however, is truly overwhelming – there’s everything you can, and can’t, imagine. The very first counter that you see on entering the buffet area is possibly the most exciting – multiple flavours of beautifully constructed, colourful terrines that are more works of art than actual food. Of course, we load our plates with them and spend a few to-eat-or-not-to-eat minutes before tasting each one.

There’s a large area dedicated to Middle Eastern mezzes and appetisers; expectedly, Sawa being an Arabic restaurant. Which explains why the chicken freekeh with roasted nuts is just excellent. That, and the lamb shakriya. You absolutely cannot miss trying this dish with delicious fall-off-the-bone tender braised lamb in garlicky cooked yoghurt sauce.

The barbecue counter is something. A range of fresh marinated meats are looking at us, patiently waiting their turn to be grilled. As guilty as we feel picking the lamb chops first, the marinade itself looks mouth-watering. There’s a variety of kebabs, burger patties, rib-eye, striploin, tenderloin and a bunch of other meaty mains. The lamb chops, undoubtedly, are the best. They are doused in Arabic spices and cooked to your preference. For seafood lovers, there’s salmon and shrimp too, and you can’t tell from looks alone, but they are as tasty as they are fresh.

The sushi and maki rolls are good, but not good enough to try them a second time.

The Indian counter, however, is surprisingly excellent. The butter chicken is really creamy and has a perfect balance between sweet and tangy. The Goan fish curry is not exactly authentic, but the flavours are on point and if there’s one dish we have to highly recommend at this buffet, it’s this one. The Indian breads are buttery and soft, just the way we like it.

The live pasta station is disappointing, and lacks in variety, and the same can be said for the dim sum too.

The dessert counter is impressive. We’ve possibly tried every counter at this brunch and do not have even an inch of space to accommodate even a tiny piece of… okay, we’re joking… we’re guilty of the paradise flavoured mango cake, which is more than memorable. Just skip the kunafa and the crêpes.

This brunch is really underrated and worth the money spent on it. It’s one of those brunches that we are definitely coming back to. But next time, with really, really stretchy pants. And a massive appetite, of course.
QR350 (soft drinks), QR450 (house beverages), QR175 (children from six to 12, free below six). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar (4035 5011).

The bottom line
Excellent variety and quality of food.

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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