Al Liwan Friday brunch in Doha

Sandout dishes with exceptional service and a pleasant setting

Al Liwan Friday brunch in Doha

Sharq Village & Spa is one of the most impressive hotels in the city, which probably doesn’t come as a surprise, considering this is a Ritz-Carlton property.

Every interaction with the staff, from booking the table to changing the reservation (admittedly, multiple times), and then table service throughout the afternoon, is nothing short of excellent. In fact, the minute you walk into the hotel everyone is helpful, genuinely friendly and personable. And that includes the kitchen team. On our visit, one chef even offers to whip up a custom-made mushroom and mustard sauce for our steak.

When it comes to the food (the most important part of the afternoon), nothing really disappoints, but in terms of taste and quality nothing really wows, either. Except for, that is, the live grill station, where you’ll find prawns, fish, beef and chicken. The beef is some of the leanest we’ve tried at a brunch, and cooking instructions are followed perfectly. You can pair it with pillowy Yorkshire puddings (a rarity in Doha) and celeriac purée and purple potato mash, which lifts the plate to something more special than a simple roast.

Much of the food is picnic-style nibbles, such as mini quiches, fresh salads in tiny tin buckets and a wide array of Middle Eastern mezze, including creamy hummus and vine leaves that are full of flavour. The garlicky baba ganoush is another highlight.

There are also some more creative dishes, too, like the huge, face-sized (literally) burgers, cut into slices and featuring unusual fillings. One creation is made from a black squid ink bun and filled with a prawn seafood patty.

Curries are standout, too, and there are plenty of vegetarian options, such as the delicious paneer dish, plus there’s a decent assortment of fresh seafood.

The sushi spread, on the other hand, is a let-down. We are disappointed to find no sashimi or nigiri whatsoever, and just a limited variety of maki rolls that don’t look particularly appetising.

Having said that, this is all made up for by the dessert table, which is a huge spread divided equally between Western and Arabian treats, plus a little ice cream trolley for good measure. Don’t miss the creamy, indulgent umm ali (we have a few helpings of this), the perfect macarons or the delicious mango mille-feuille, and then load up on baklava, Turkish delight and petit fours while lingering over a cup of coffee. You’ll leave happy.
QR325 (soft drinks), QR420 (house beverages), free (children under 12). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Sharq Village & Spa, Ras Abu Abboud Street (4425 6666).

The bottom line
A varied spread of decent food and even better service.

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