L'Wzaar

New seafood restaurant in the Katara Cultural Village Reviews

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First impressions of this latest addition to Doha’s dining scene were somewhat comedic with a ‘K’. After being issued a stern warning by the staff member taking my booking that ‘we cancel bookings after 15 minutes’, my dining companion and I arrived puffed and a little worried after negotiating the parking and non-heel- friendly Katara cobblestones. Luckily, it appeared we had just made it and our table was secure.

L’Wzaar is located on the beachfront at Katara and is probably one of the biggest restaurants in Doha, stretching over four parts of a sprawling building. Entering brings on the ‘Komedy’, with what seems like an army of staff to greet diners and no-one quite sure who is following who. All bright pinks and blues, the restaurant is going for the ‘Miami Meets Doha on a Dust-Free Day’ look.

Running interference with the army of waiters, we’re led to the table and after asking three different staff, the concept was finally explained to us. It’s a market – fresh fish and crustaceans are set up at the entrance to the restaurant. There is also an al a carte menu of starters featuring sushi and other options.

The concept is assisted by a waiter, and after making a selection from the gallery, you then choose how you want it cooked and what side dishes to have with it. You buy the fish and shellfish by weight, and the selection includes local varieties like hammour and sherry, and other more exotic types such as salmon, kingfish, mussels and clams. It is perhaps the best selection of seafood this underwater lover has seen in Doha.

In the style of a Lebanese restaurant, each table is given a basket of fresh salad vegetables as well as breads, and a variety of dips including yoghurt and garlic, a cocktail sauce and a firey chilli number that shocks the taste buds.

Being fish lovers, we order the shrimp spring rolls and fish and chips for starters. This somehow got lost in translation, and the fish and chips arrived much later.

The spring rolls were tasty if small. Two little rolls with a gorgeous honey dipping sauce which we had to pry from the waiter’s hands when he tried to clear the table. The spring rolls themselves were the size of an adult finger. We couldn’t decide if they were small or we had been in Doha too long and too used to ‘super- sized’ portions. When I commented on the size, the waiter walked away from the table giggling.

The fish and chips, when they arrived, were indeed a surprise. Made from sherry fillets, they were meaty and tender, and the batter light as air. But the chips were a revelation for Doha. My dining companion actually called them ‘proper English chips’, which basically means chunky and fried to perfection. They were so good we ordered another plate.

We then adjourned to the fresh fish selection, and after negotiation with a rather obtuse waiter we ordered six large Bahraini shrimps, sautéed with a garlic sauce, as well as a plump whole sherry barbecued with a lemon butter sauce.

The shrimps were juicy and the sauce had a pan-Asian flavour, heavy on the pepper and garlic, but were still very good. The sherry fillet was butterflied and still had some bones, but was fresh and almost healthy (says the woman who just ate too many chips). The lemon butter sauce was a tangy fillip to the fish. For sides we ordered more chips and Asian- style stir-fried mixed vegetables, which were heavy on the soy and a tad over-cooked.

For two people this was an epic feast. Dessert was a struggle. There are no desserts listed on the menu and are instead recited to you by a waiter. We opted to share the brownie, which was served with vanilla ice cream and a biscuit crumble. The brownie was soft, but the ice cream was the star.

On the Monday evening we visited L’Wzaar, trade was brisk and the crowd very mixed, including expats and Qatari families all enjoying the fresh fish.

The staff are friendly and seem perpetually amused by the diners, but they could work to explain the concept a little better. When we left, there were at least a dozen diners inspecting the fresh fish market, which is oddly located by the entrance.

Aside from the food, which was excellent, the bill was a pleasant surprise. We chose local fish for the taste and flavour, but as it turns out this also kept prices down. We left the restaurant full and sated. It didn’t help us negotiate the treacherous Katara cobbles, but I can tell you it’s worth the damage to your heels to try this great place.

The bill (for two)
1x shrimp spring rolls QR35
1x fish and chips QR38
1x stir-fried vegetables QR16
1x chips QR15
1x prawns QR65
1x sherry QR35
1x Diet Coke QR10
1x 7UP QR10
1x San Pellegrino QR20
1x weekly dessert QR22
Total (incl charges) QR267

By food@timeoutdoha.com
Time Out Doha,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: West Bay, Doha
  • Tel: 4408 0710
  • Travel: Building No 27, Katara Cultural Village
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Times: Open Sun-Wed noon-2.30pm, 7pm-10.30pm; Thu-Sat noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm
  • Price: QR200-350
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Yes

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L'Wzaar On The Map

User reviews:

Posted by: Guneet on 21 Nov ' 12 at 01:17

That could be the worse description of Lwzaar Up their Written by whoever and Timeout have given them The No. 1 seafood restaurant in Doha.They do serve (minimum) 400 to 500 people everyday.

Posted by: Anfal on 17 May ' 11 at 09:21

The best sea food restaurant in town! i tried the following and loved every bit of it !
lobster thermidor
Grilled Jumbo Browns
Fried Squid
Grilled Hamam fish with lemon sauce
Mohamar (cant get enough from this Qatari Sweet rice)

am sure if you tried it you ll be craving it all the time! just like i do!

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