Hani could eat Fatayer or Manakeesh every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. He never tires of it. I am more inclined to eat Asian food (send noods now). My main complaint about Arabic food is that it lacks spice, however I guess you can add that, and I have one or two recommendations below for those looking for a kick of flavour.
So, in alphabetical order here we go…
I’ve already sung the praises of Abajour in this article. It’s literally on our doorstep and we couldn’t be happier about that fact. The food here tastes fresh whatever you order. We normally order almost all the manakeesh on the menu and it feeds the house for the day. One of my favourites is the Akkawi W Kashkawan and Sesame and Lahem B Aajeen Armani Herra (I think that’s Armenian Lamb). They also offer a daily meal, served with a salad and dessert which is around QAR 66 per person. It arrives in a huge box and it makes you feel a little extravagant (life your best life, right?), but you could very easily split this between two.
Disclaimer: I may be biased as my job involves helping to promote Jiwan. However, if I didn’t really like the food, I wouldn’t recommend it.
The thing I like so much about Jiwan is that it’s such great value for money. This is an Alain Ducasse restaurant that offers casual dining prices. Its experience menu offers so much food (hot starters, cold starters, mains, and desserts) and is only QAR 160! The dishes are a fusion of local ingredients, Arabic flavours and a good dash of refinement, which offers you something new. The menu changes every 6 weeks to 2 months, so there’s always something new to try and if you don’t fancy trying the experience menu you can go a la carte and sample a few different dishes. I am yet to try the new menu here… but I can’t wait to give it a go.
Come here to breathe in views of the sea and the city – the huge terrace is finally having its moment.
This restaurant is about 200m further away than Abajour – we’re lucky to have two great Arabic casual dining restaurants on our doorstep. If I want a simple supper – I opt for the fried kibbeh and muttabel. Hani loves their broasted chicken – it comes in a tub like KFC and is served with freshly fried potato chips. The fried crispy skin would be on one of my Off Menu best meal requests. Just a side of that, please. And maybe a crisp salad with a mustard dressing. Yet I digress… I’m meant to be talking Arabic.
Remman Café offers good street food sandwiches – kofta sandwich, shawarma, falafel sandwiches, etc. And their spicy potatoes are actually spicy. The type that takes you by surprise. I definitely recommended adding them to your order.
I haven’t visited this restaurant in quite a while as I no longer work near it. However, we still continue to order from here – mostly for breakfast on the weekend. We order the manakeesh combo (halloumi, zaatar, and meat) and the Manakish Ras Afour which is topped with tender beef and a generous drizzle of pomegranate molasses. It’s also topped with pine nuts and rocca leaves, so it feels more of a meal, rather than a street snack. I can also recommend the Moujawhara, a ball of cheese covered pomegranate seeds (pictured above) – a starter that everyone can dip into. And for dessert the Raha Tart (rose), which is served with pistachio crumbs (heavenly). They also offer a daily meal of the day (usually two options) served with soup, salad, and homemade dessert and a soft drink for QAR 54, which is very good value.
We’ve also been recommended to try Layali restaurant, so hoping we can share a review of that with you very soon.
Is there a restaurant or cafe that you think we need to check out?