Burj Al Hamam

Classic Lebanese cuisine at The Pearl Qatar Reviews

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Doha loves a good rumour. And how quickly we seem to act on one, as well. The prevailing notion in town is that The Pearl Qatar has lost its dining edge. How many times have we heard people moan that there’s just no atmosphere, or that the restaurants are now empty?

A visit to Burj Al Hamam dispels the aforementioned doubts. We come for dinner mid-week to find the place as lively as ever. Nearly half the dining room is filled with parties of varying sizes and the outdoor terrace occupied to capacity. Tray after tray emerges from the kitchen in an endless procession as servers pile tables with plates of wonderful food.

We start with some familiar friends. The hommos, creamy and rich, is sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and salted beef. The warak enab is every bit the prototype of a perfect stuffed grape leaf – the rice is soft and moist, tinged with a modest amount of lemon juice that provides tartness without leaving one squinting. Equally delicious is the loubieh bil zeit, green beans in olive oil that take on the heavenly fragrance of roasted garlic.

But there are some weak spots. The fattouch is slightly too drenched and lacks the punch of a pomegranate molasses. The fish kibbeh, served on a gloop of tahina mixed with onions, also fails to impress. Though the bulgar wheat patties are fried to a delightful crisp, the taste of fish is so faint we hardly notice it.

Hands down, the heavyweight champion of our meal belongs to the fillet meshwi ghanam. The house speciality of grilled lamb tenderloin intrigues on the menu. When tasted for the first time, a hush of silence falls on the table. There is no talking, just savouring. Then suddenly a cacophony as we rave about the tenderness of the meat, its robust flavours and the rarity of encountering lamb grilled in the Arab style that’s not dried out or over seasoned.

It’s after our dishes are cleared and the tabletops visible again that we properly notice the elegance of the dining room. Overhead, massive chandeliers are given a whimsical touch by being crouched under lampshades. And the tables by the water have a view of the marina without equal, as the restaurant is the only one on The Pearl built directly on the promenade.

During dessert, we are reminded once again why this restaurant remains popular. The Layali lebnan, a simple dish of ashta clotted cream with bananas and honey, is served just like that, without adornments. And that, we believe, is the ethos of the food here: nothing elevated or deconstructed or re-imagined – just classic.

The bill (for two)
1x Warak enab QR29
1x Loubieh bil zeit QR29
1x Fattouch QR28
1x Kibbeh samak maa tajen QR36
1x Hommos lahmeh snoubar QR39
1x Fillet meshwi ghanam QR88
1x Arayes kafta QR45
1x Layali lebnan QR35
1x Knefeh bil kashta QR35
1x Large water QR20
Total QR383

By Time Out Doha staff
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: The Pearl-Qatar, Doha
  • Tel: 4495 3876
  • Travel: Porto Arabia, The Pearl Qatar
  • Cuisine: Arabic, Lebanese
  • Times: Open Sun-Thu noon-midnight, Fri-Sat 9am-1am
  • Price: QR350-500
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Yes

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User reviews:

Posted by: Ali Akin Gol on 11 Oct ' 11 at 07:57

Good feedback

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