The Village

Turkish, Persian, Indian and much more in Souq Waqif
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Time Out Says

Decisions, decisions. More is clearly better, especially when it comes to food. So we immediately take a liking to The Village at its new branch in Souq Waqif. The first decision is upstairs or downstairs, for that determines what cuisine you get. On the upper floor, a combination of Persian, Oriental and Indian food is served; while the dining room below is devoted to Turkish cuisine. We decide on the latter, a welcome addition to the main eating stretch of the Souq.

Next there is the option to sit indoors or outdoors. One of the main draws of the Souq is the opportunity to dine al fresco while soaking in the hubbub of people. The wraparound terrace with its many tables affords a first-class view of this living theatre. But on this somewhat balmy evening, climate-controlled comfort gets our vote.

To our delight, there is plenty of action to observe inside. Half of the restaurant acts as a gourmet emporium – people saunter in and out, to ogle then purchase pastries, an ice-cream cone, and even imported speciality food items. The other half is filled with bigger-than-usual tables, which we discover is crucial once the dishes arrive.

We order a range of items from cold appetisers to baked bread and a hot dish from the Ottoman era. All come simultaneously. So we strategise by flipping the order of eating, tucking into the warm dishes before they get cold. The hunkar begendi, a hearty lamb stew coddled by a puree of roasted aubergine with béchamel sauce, gets top marks. We can’t get over how tender the meat is, complementing the bed of now-sinful vegetable dip that tastes predominantly of cream and cheese.

The spinach pide is also rather satisfying. The crust, we note, would have been superb with a few extra minutes in the oven. But the filling is light, and the freshly baked flatbread is also a perfect carrier for the cacik. This dip of thick, strained yogurt is flavoured with dried mint and tiny hunks of cucumber. While a chopped gavurdagi salad swimming in pomegranate molasses does not particularly appeal due to its excessive sweetness, the imam bayildi is flawless – caramelized onions stuffed into a roasted aubergine is the stuff to vegetarians that a Kobe fillet is to steak lovers.

By the time we leave, our vision is turning somewhat amber, for the ultra-yellow lighting has altered our colour balance. That’s another mark for the outdoor seating column. It’s a tiny complaint by all accounts. And certainly one that won’t preclude us from coming back. In fact, we may have just found the perfect spot for a mid-shopping pick-me-up – for the mocktails, one with a kiwi mango blend and another with carrot mango, are ace.

The Menu:
1 Imam Bayildi QR25
1 Cacik Yogurt Dip QR23
1 Gavurdagi Salatasi QR25
1 Spinach Pide QR45
1 Hunkar Begendi Qr105
1 Mocktail QR25
1 Carrot/Beetroot Juice QR25
1 Firn Sutlac QR40
1 Mineral Water QR6
Total QR319

By Time Out Doha staff  | 30 Apr 2015

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Payment OptionsCash, Credit Card
8:00 AM to 11:30 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM to 11:30 PMMonday: 8:00 AM to 11:30 PMTuesday: 8:00 AM to 11:30 PMWednesday: 8:00 AM to 11:30 PM
Show number
Doha, Nasr, 11 Haloul St, Doha, Qatar

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