Lobster Brunch at Yabby in Doha

Fresh seafood and piles of lobster at an adult-only brunch in Doha

Lobster Brunch at Yabby in Doha

Yabby doesn’t shy away from its seafood theme – a tricky one to get right without coming off like a cliché. The blue under-the-sea-inspired décor is fairly predictable but, overall, it’s pleasant. There’s no outdoor space, so the room does lack natural light, but this is made up for – many will no doubt find – by the lack of kids.

This is an adult-only brunch, and as a result, it’s one of the more relaxing we’ve been to. Rather than forgoing a family-friendly atmosphere in favour of a loud “party” brunch vibe, Yabby has embraced a more laid-back, sophisticated approach. It’s a refreshing change from the loud, overwhelming buffet brunches that populate most of the Friday afternoon scene here.

There is a buffet, but it’s a small one, with a few salads, sushi, fresh seafood on ice and an impressive bread display – including a huge loaf stuffed with cheesy spinach and grilled vegetables. It’s so good, in fact, that we spend a while debating whether it would be totally unacceptable to just carry the entire thing over to our table of two. The lobster bisque is also standout. Smooth, creamy and rich, we could easily have polished off several bowls.

Each person gets a card that you can use to order unlimited mains. The brunch sticks to its theme here and of the ten (pretty sizeable) dishes on offer, five of them are lobster-centric. The other five include a cauliflower gratin with parmesan and truffle which is a creamy, indulgent highlight, a chicken option (the most disappointing dish – the potato mousse makes it sound exciting, but it lacks flavour) and fish fillets.

The food is all tasty, but it’s also very heavy with buttery, creamy sauces dominating the majority of the mains. The spread could use a few lighter options. A little more sashimi and a few more salads on the buffet, and perhaps some citrusy ceviche is all that’s really needed.

A few plates stand out like the lobster linguini with its chili butter sauce, perfectly al dente pasta and huge chunks of meat while the lobster vol au vent is a fun, nostalgic nod to the retro canapé. A couple of others, unfortunately, don’t quite live up, such as the breakfast lobster “sausage” with a poached egg, which lacks seasoning.

That said, you will get far more than your money’s worth of crustacean at this heavily-themed (and heavily priced) event, and a quietly sophisticated atmosphere to boot.

QR385 (soft drinks), QR485 (selected beverages). Friday noon-3.30pm. Shangri-La Hotel Doha, West Bay (4429 5295).

The Bottom Line
A quieter brunch for grown-ups that steers clear of stuffiness with indulgent, nostalgic food.

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