The Secret Garden at Illusion is more than an exclusive venue Discuss this article

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The hallways that lead up to the central foyer on the top floor are shrouded in mystery. They are dark and cryptic and you can’t help but wonder where or what the “illusion” is.

Just when your Crystal Maze-loving younger self is about to resurface, you are escorted through a large door that leads you into what looks like a hall of red show curtains, separated by different sized doors that have numbers on them. The old TV show looked nothing like this! This really is beautiful.

We pick the door that says Secret Garden and expect to find more enigma-ridden walkways. But no, that’s it. The mystery thriller in our heads comes to an end. The view, however, is spectacular – panoramic views of Doha while seated next to majestic Marsa Malaz Kempinski domes. Our host is charming and recommends the beef sliders and the a pizza. We go with his choices, and add chicken tacos to that.

The tacos arrive first, sooner than we expect, and they taste wonderful. The juicy chicken is pulled and perfectly blended with cheese and a spicy sauce that is hotter than you’d imagine, but tastes great. The mushroom pizza arrives and the unmistakable scent of truffles makes a strong statement. We can tell this is going to be good. It’s better than that – it’s perfect. Caramelised onions cut through the saltiness. Mushroom and truffles already make for a brilliant combo, but this is beyond that. We can go as far as to say that this is the best mushroom truffle pizza we’ve had. At least in Doha.

We save the sliders until the end but they pale in comparison. The bread could be fresher, but the meat to bread ratio is exactly how we want it.

We linger on long after demolishing what was once a beautiful sensory overload. The vibe is chilled and the music just right. We are definitely going back over the weekend to check out their live entertainment.

The Bill (for two)
1x chicken tacos QR80
1x beef sliders QR130
1x crazy mushroom pizza QR105
1x Cola Cola QR25
1x Evian QR35
Total QR375

The bottom line
Excellent service and some of the best bar food in town.

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.


  • Location: Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, Doha
  • Tel: 4035 5555
  • Travel: Costa Malaz , Marsa Malaz Island, The Pearl

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