Croatian food finally makes it’s mark on Doha’s competitive culinary scene
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Time Out Says

Eastern European restaurants are few and far between in Doha, so when Qavanna, a brand-new Croatian eatery, opened its doors, we were intrigued and booked ourselves in.

The space is small, but the team have done well as far as the décor goes. With upholstery in the beautiful hues of the sea, light-coloured wood and lots of plants dotted around, the restaurant looks and feels very relaxed.

Our waiter gives us a quick, but informative rundown of the menu. Keen to try its take on some Adriatic favourites we go with his recommendation of the pumpkin gnocchi.

Aside from the fact that it could have been slightly more cooked, this is some of the best-tasting gnocchi we’ve tried in a long time. The pumpkin is sweet and the lamb ragout sauce around it gratifyingly meaty and tart, offset by just the right level of salt. We also love the addition of a very traditional Croatian touch of basil.

We take a step closer to the Adriatic with our next plate – shrimps. The catch is fresh and tossed liberally in butter. You might feel a lack of seasoning, but that’s only until you bite into the deliciously salty, halloumi beneath.

The tenderloin that follows is not as tender as we’d like, but the dish has great flavour, thanks to the tangy, caramelised onions and creamy mashed potatoes. Everything works wonderfully well together.

And then we come to know that there’s a celebrity in the mix. We haven’t watched MasterChef Croatia, but Andrej Barbieri is a celebrated name, and we see why, eating at Qavanna.

We finish off with the signature Novi Paradizot. The meringue dessert is torched at the table and vanilla sauce is poured on top. It’s unique, tasty and definitely something you should try.

There’s something so special about this restaurant, it’s hard to believe it has taken this long for it to enter the scene here. Try it for yourself now.

The bill (for two)

1x shrimps QR80
1x pumpkin QR70
1x tenderloin QR165
1x Novi Paradizot QR35
Total QR350

The bottom line

Great food and service in a cosy setting.

By Time Out Doha staff  | 01 Mar 2018

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