The elegant Isaan brunch is just one of many fine Friday feasts jostling for your attention, and since this one effortlessly blends quality, food, sophisticated decor, efficient service and friendly staff, it’s no wonder patrons dine here in their droves.
Proceedings are simple: there’s a buffet, with most dishes cooked fresh and topped up throughout the afternoon. Some are made to order, and that’s where the handy basketful of clothes pegs brandishing your table number come into play. Make your requests, pass your peg to the chef and your freshly cooked dish will be brought to you. It’s a cute touch that adds a little quirk to what is a smart and formal afternoon.
Helpful staff patrol the floor, topping up glasses and ensuring guests are satisfied. And despite how busy the venue can get, things never seem chaotic – waiters and waitresses keep their cool, chefs are organised with orders and food never runs low at the various stands.
The selection is broken down into easy-to-navigate sections – salads at one station (don’t skip the pomelo or papaya), grilled meats and seafood at another, one for fried rice, noodles (the pad Thai being flavoursome and authentic), another for stir-fried meats, steamed rice, classic Thai curries (among the most delicious we’ve tried), freshly prepared dim sum-style bites and finally a section for dessert.
Systematic brunchers – who still like their brunch to go down the starter, salad, soup, main course, dessert route – will appreciate the layout of this one, as dishes are arranged so you can easily grab a sample of everything in this order.
If you’re new to Thai food, Isaan’s brunch is an excellent introduction to what the country’s cuisine has to offer. Quality isn’t spared here; the beef in the panang curry is tender and pairs so well with the thick, spicy, sweet sauce rich in coconut flavour; it’s a sheer delight to eat. It’s just one of the many standout dishes at this brunch. The grill selection features some of the best prawn cakes we’ve tried and the chicken and sea bass wrapped in pandan leaves are delightful on all accounts – full of fragrant Thai seasoning and falling apart with a just a gentle prod.
The only sad thing about this tour of Thai food is that you may not have enough time (or stomach space) to taste it all. So arrive on time, make the most it, and then make your next reservation.
QAR290 (soft drinks), QAR399 (house beverages), QAR850 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Grand Hyatt Doha, The Pearl (4448 1250, 7021 8097).
The bottom line
An authentic brunch featuring flavours you’ll want to savour.