Eat your way around Medina Centrale

Shereen D’Souza and Mona Shaaban discover 20 delicious restaurants to try Discuss this article

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This shopping and entertainment zone in The Pearl-Qatar is packed with some of the best restaurants you can find around the island. We’ve toured the area and had a bite to eat at several places to bring you this round-up of 20 top foodie spots. Add them to your hit list for when you’re next in the area and get stuck in…

Al-Majles Diyafa
You can tell the team behind this venture have spent a lot on the interiors. The restaurant is stunning and evokes the beauty of Qatari heritage. Al-Majles Diyafa is massive, featuring two levels of dining and a children’s play area, too. Try the authentic Qatari breakfast or the lamb machboos if you come later in the day. We also love the Arabic afternoon tea.
Open Sat-Thu 7am-1am; Fri 7am-11am, noon-2am. Near Novo Cinemas (4441 1888).

Baladna

If you don’t want to drive 60km outside of Doha to try Baladna, there’s one right around the corner. Same food, same vibe. Dishes might be expensive, but it’s all super-fresh and straight from the farm. No wonder the labneh here is so good. And the kashkawan cheese, too.
Open Sat-Thu 9am-1am; Fri 2pm-1am. Building B12 (4451 6795).

Biella

This restaurant has been around for ages and if you’re looking for some above average Italian fare, Biella won’t disappoint. Prices aren’t unreasonable and the food is consistently good.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am; Thu noon-2am; Fri 1pm-2am. Plaza Al Hambra (4477 4189).

Build It Burger
There’s no denying that burger joints are perennially popular here and are springing up faster than you can say onions and sauce. Not that we’re complaining. Build It Burger follows a slightly different concept to what you might be used to. You can build your burger from scratch, choosing the type of bun, meat, cheese, sauces, salad and other toppings, and how you want your meat cooked. Plus, all the ingredients are sourced fresh in Qatar, which we love. If you haven’t indulged here yet, now is the time.
Open Sat-Thu 10am-midnight; Fri 2pm-1am. Andalucia Way (5000 1633).

Debs W Remman
Dine in the Old Beirut atmosphere of this beautiful spot and enjoy some traditional cuisine from the Levant. If breakfast is your thing, it serves some of the best halloumi and mixed manakish, but we love the fatteh hummus here. It’s light and refreshing, and topped with pine nuts – our favourite. Try the kebabs later in the day and, of course, the hummus Beiruty.
Open daily 9am-1am. Plaza Andalucia (3333 4663).

Eggspectation
This lovely Canadian import is about so much more than eggs. It has a wide variety of dishes on the menu and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. We can’t get enough of the Benedict and Beyond page (special mention goes to the smoked salmon benny) and the classic pancakes and waffles for sharing. Order a cup of brewed coffee (which is refillable – hurrah) and you’re good to go. Head over with a friend or three and make the most of the long menu with options that feel endless.
Open Sat-Thu 7am-10.30pm; Fri 7am-10.30am, 12.45pm-10.30pm. Plaza Al Hambra (5040 9900).

Fatburger
When it doubt, just Fatburger it. Besides the excellent meat patty-to-bread ratio, its burgers are juicy and deliciously tender. But the main reason we love this place so much is that it’s our safest bet on those days when we need our spirits lifted. Just get yourself over there, now.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-midnight; Thu noon-2am; Fri 1pm-2am. Building 8 (4029 9999).

Gahwetna

This all-day dining outlet features authentic and delicious Qatari cuisine. We love the cosy ambience here – it feels like a typical old Qatari house. Enjoy a truly local dining experience and an eclectic menu inspired by Khaleeji culture.
Open daily 8am-midnight. Medina Centrale (3329 0600).

Jwala

This is one of the most authentic-looking Indian restaurants we’ve seen in Doha. You really feel like you’re sitting in an old eatery in a crowded metropolis of the subcontinent here. The décor and interesting Indian motifs will capture your gaze, as the detailing is just incredible. After you’re done staring at the rickshaws (yes, they’re real), you’ll spend a while wondering what to order because the entire menu sounds delicious. The food served is more fusion than authentic, and don’t expect a burst of flavours like you would in a traditional Indian joint. The butter chicken, however, really hits home.
Open daily noon-midnight. Medina Centrale (5000 1334).

Karaki
If you’re new in town or a long-time resident who feels like soaking up some tradition, Karaki, a little café that’s a favourite among locals and residents, is a must-try. It’s famous for its Arabic coffee, pastries and, obviously, karak tea. Order some kiri luqaimat with honey on the side. These unglazed doughnut holes are filled with hot cream cheese. It might sound like an odd pairing, but after you try them, you’ll be craving them for days.
Open Sat-Thu 9am-12.30am; Fri 1pm-2am. Near Megapolis (4437 8477).

La Casa Twenty Eight

We have to confess, we loved this place more when the Spanish band used to play our favourite tunes all evening. Nevertheless, the restaurant has a variety of food options that you can savour inside in a visually striking ambience or outside in a more laid-back environment, while watching some fancy cars drive by. If you’re there for breakfast, try the eggs cassoulet. The clever combination of flavours and ingredients make this a not-to-miss dish – think white beans, stuffed pimento, crispy chicken and soft eggs in a delicious picante sauce.
Open daily 9am-1am. Plaza Al Hambra (4412 7342).

Lord of the Wings
While we’re not huge fans of the place itself, we do love the wings that are served here. Wings are comfort food and comfort food needs to be eaten on big cosy couches. Period. Take note guys. The offer is varied, however, and the flavours mouth-watering. In fact, the wings are overall delicious. You get to choose your level of heat, thankfully, and you also get unlimited refills on fizzy drinks.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am; Thu-Fri noon-2am. Plaza Al Hambra (4477 4161).

Menchie’s Frozen Yoghurt
If you could do with a good fro-yo for your long walk around The Pearl, stop by Menchie’s. This frozen yoghurt wonderland has everything you’d want in your dream icy dessert and more. Excuse us while we drown ours in gummy bears…
Open daily 9am-midnight. Building 4 (4444 0310).

Mokarabia

There’s no denying that Mokarabia is one of the cosiest and coolest cafés in town. It has the softest couches and some great books, plus an excellent selection of coffees. Special mention goes out to the cappuccino Vesuvio and cappuccino Monte Bianco. And did we mention it does a drool-worthy chocolate breakfast for just QR65?
Open daily 8am-12.30am. Marbella Street (4498 4264).

Mister Pizza
Pizza-lovers rejoice. Not just because there’s an entire restaurant dedicated to the Italian staple on The Pearl, but also because it’s keenly priced. Mister Pizza has a cool, laid-back vibe – it’s the kind of place you’d love to sink back in after a long road trip, for example. The pizza roll is calling out to us and we assure you, it’s incredibly delicious. Check out the choco pizza, too.
Open daily 11am-1am. Souq Al Madina (4444 0917).

Nando’s

Food at Medina Centrale can get quite expensive. So if you’re not willing to completely clear out your wallet and still want some good, trusty tucker, head over to Nando’s right in the middle of the area. We’ll leave you with two words – Espetada Carnival.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-midnight; Thu 11am-1am; Fri 12.30pm-1am. Andalucia Way (4466 4545).

Triangle
They weren’t kidding when they named this restaurant. The owners clearly took geometry very seriously at school because literally, everything inside is triangle-shaped, from the bathroom sink to the restaurant ceiling. And if an entire restaurant featuring triangle-themed interiors is not enough for you, order the burger that comes in – you guessed it – triangular bread. Also, we cannot stress enough how great the jar fries are (spoiler alert: chilli beef on the inside).
Open daily 1pm-11pm. Plaza Al Hambra (4477 4332).

Turquoise
You’ll love both how Mediterranean this café looks and the food tastes. Shades of blue adorn the furniture, walls and floor and it’s rather striking. It has an outdoor seating area, too. We’ve heard really good things about the saffron cake here. Our next order, sorted.
Open daily 8am-midnight. Al Cassaba Way (4483 7497).

Which Wich
The superstore of super-sandwiches, Which Wich is like Subway with a sugar rush. It does everything bigger, with more variety and, of course, it’s super-tasty. You get a paper bag with ingredients and check boxes next to them. You choose whatever you want – and there is a lot to choose from. The chef then pops the ready sandwich into that same paper bag et voila, your dreamy sandwich is ready to go. Counting calories? No worries. You also have the option to wrap all that goodness up in lettuce instead of bread.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-midnight; Thu-Sat 10am-2am. Building 4 (4444 5560).

Ziryab
This fine-dining spot is almost always packed on weekends. It serves a mix of Middle Eastern, Chinese and Indian cuisines, as well as shisha. Get your creamy butter chicken with crispy naan fix here. Then add a chicken shawarma and a side of Singapore fried rice and forget about your waistline until tomorrow.
Open Sat-Thu noon-midnight; Fri 1pm-midnight. Opposite main fountain (4479 6301).

By Shereen D’Souza
Time Out Doha,

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