European à la carte brunch at Aroma in Doha

A less is more approach to brunch that’s perfect for lazy Fridays

European à la carte brunch at Aroma in Doha

Brunch is a weekly staple in countless cities of the world. But where here they are characterised by all-you-can-eat buffets and extravagant iced seafood displays, elsewhere they are quiet à la carte affairs. A chance for friends to catch up and relax over a leisurely – albeit rather large – meal, and linger over a few pots of tea or coffee at the end.

Few places in Doha achieve this. But Aroma’s European à la carte event is a perfect example of why brunch is sometimes better without all the fuss.

Aroma is a strikingly simple restaurant. Dark wood tables, cream leather chairs, muted silver place mats, and nothing else. A less is more approach that hasn’t left the place feeling dull, rather calm and quiet. Even in the summer when brunch attendance hits an all-time low, this is still a lovely location to while away a few hours. On our visit, only two more tables arrived throughout the afternoon, but the lack of other diners made almost no difference to the atmosphere.

There’s a “food only” package and an all-inclusive package. Either way, you can order as much as you like from the food menu which is split into appetisers, soups, mains, sides and desserts. The appetisers are a lovely selection of mostly salads and dips. There’s creamy hummus, and a fantastic salad of artichoke, flaked tuna and olives which is full of mediterranean flavour. There are small bites like salmon and leek quiche, and all-in-all everything makes for a very light, well-seasoned start to the meal.

Mains and sides are slightly more hit and miss. The hunter’s chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and moist, and the sides of truffle potato mousse and almond broccoli are both standout. We also can’t remember the last time we had a Yorkshire pudding this good – soft and doughy inside, with a delicately crisp, golden exterior. This is all let down, however, by very dry slices of roast prime beef, which aren’t cooked to our medium-rare specification. The roast sea bass is unfortunately similarly overdone. A shame given how good the rest of the meal has been.

But things get back on track with the selection of mini desserts including peach cream tart, creme brûlée and mini red velvet cake which are perfect to nibble on over one, two, or even three pots of tea and coffee. You’ll wonder why you ever did brunch any other way.

The bottom line
More of a long, leisurely lunch than all-out brunch, but all the better for it.
QR195 (food only), QR390 (with selected beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Kempinski Residences & Suites, West Bay (4405 3325).

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