Friday brunch at Coral

Renovated restaurant brunch impresses in size, setting and quality

Friday brunch at Coral

Coral recently had a much-needed re-vamp, that, in the case of the brunch, has left both setting and food much improved. It’s nothing revolutionary, but for a large-scale international brunch, Coral now impresses more than most others.

We do the usual loop round the venue before settling on a first course, and spot a huge spread of salads, cold cuts and cheeses, plenty of sushi, roasted meats, pasta, curries, a small kids section and, outside, a live grill station with a huge pan of paella.

This is a family-friendly afternoon, but there isn’t much by way of kiddie entertainment, so groups of brunching adults won’t necessarily be disturbed.

Heading for the salads to start, we’re impressed with the variety on offer. They’re packed with plenty of fresh, gourmet ingredients from artichoke hearts and citrus to poached shrimp, stuffed olives and more. There are lots of dainty little pots, too, filled with delicately marinated fruits, veg, cheeses and meats. You could easily fill up trying to sample everything, so we’d recommend making sure you leave room for the outdoor grill station.

There’s a Middle Eastern section serving juicy Iranian kebabs and lamb chops, and a gargantuan lamb ouzi with meat so tender it drops off the bone.

The seafood paella, though a little on the dry side, is richly seasoned and crammed with loads of mussles, meaty
king prawns and crab legs.

On our visit there’s a live pad Thai station here, too, and though it’s tasty, it isn’t as punchy and spicy as we’d like. We’re also less then impressed with some of the other main buffet dishes which, as tends to happen at international brunches, don’t look quite as fresh as what’s coming from the live stations.

Other than that, however, little really disappoints. The sushi is perfectly fresh and the beef Wellington is a hit with its golden pastry case. There’s also a sizeable spread of desserts, of which the Arabian puddings (including a dreamy mahalabiya and sweet, indulgent umm ali) are among the highlights.

Inside, the new Coral is sleek, contemporary and bright (we reckon come summer this will be one of the most pleasant places to brunch), but bag a table outside if you can. The poolside terrace doesn’t get much sun, but there’s a mixed beverage stand and a live band playing acoustic covers and taking requests.

If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing laid-back, lazy brunch, this is just the ticket.
QR295 (soft drinks) QR325 (house beverages), QR395 (premium beverages), QR140 (children aged six to 12). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. InterContinental Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4484 4444).

The Bottom Line
A chilled-out afternoon with a better-than-average buffet spread.

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