Another Great Brunch in Doha

They serve you everything and we were full before they even brought the main course out.

On Friday, Zamir and I went to Zengo for brunch. People were talking about it on Doha Foodies, so I decided to try it out.  Besides, they had Pan Asian dining and I was missing the Thai food from the Maldives and wanted more.  Zengo is located on the 61st floor of the Kempinski hotel in the Diplomatic area of Doha, around the corner from the City Center Mall.  I made reservations for us and explained my eating preference (no beef, chicken, or dairy products).  When we arrived, we were met by a young lady who by my name recognized me as no beef, no chicken.  We were seated by the window and the view is amazing. We could even see planes going in for landing at Hamad International Airport.

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I love the decor of the restaurant: spiral staircase inside of what looks to be a cage and blue (my favorite color) birds flying outside of the cage from the ceiling.

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I also love the lava rock looking dishes they serve the food on.  Here is the menu.

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It is brunch but they serve you rather than an open buffet.  (Which I prefer anyway) They serve you everything and we were full before they even brought the main course out.  The chef even altered some of the meals to suit my eating habits.  For instance, I was served pumpkin curry instead of chicken curry, shrimp kebabs instead of beef and vegetable fried rice instead of fried rice with chicken breast.  The food was really good.  I especially loved the shrimp rolls, crispy calamari and fried rice.  We didn’t particularly care for the vegetarian rolls because of the lemon gel or the salmon miso because I like my salmon cooked well but other than that we enjoyed everything else.  The service was great and the staff were very accommodating.   It is a lot of food.   Mocktails are also included in the brunch, which is a wonderful added touch.  The price is good at 250 QAR/pp.  I rate it 4/5 stars and I will be going back.

  Don’t these pictures make you hungry?

Doha Foodies

I am learning to let my food touch and eat at buffets.

A wonderful lady named Sara created the group Doha Foodies on facebook.  The group has been a great resource for me when it comes to the food scene in Doha.  Recently I had two very interesting and rewarding experiences.

Several weeks ago, on a Thursday night, my kids and I wanted to go out to eat something different. I shared this on Doha Foodies and several knowledgable members recommended places for us to go.  Sara suggested Street Food at the Marriott Doha.  She and her family were going so I said why not and we joined them.  Plus, there was a BOGO deal in the Entertainer app.  We were not disappointed.  The best way I can explain this experience is imagine sitting down in one restaurant and eating from like 12 restaurants.  You visit stations in a corridor like food trucks and eat whatever you want.  You can go in and out of all the restaurants and fill up.  At the end of the corridor is something like a fish market. You choose what seafood you want and fill up a bag.  Then you hand that bag over to someone who cooks it all for you.  About 30 minutes later, you go pick it up.  You can choose to have liquor as well.  My oldest son and I tried snail for the first time.  I don’t think I will be eating much more of that but I’d be willing to try it again.  Just a side note, lobster from hot sea water does not taste the same as lobster from the cold east coast.  I prefer my East Coast lobster.  We will be returning to this event again.

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Two weeks ago, I attended a CDWM (come dine with me) event.  A member of Doha Foodies put it together.  She’s a humorous, energetic, Irish women named Dee.  (update, she now has a fb group to called Dine With Dee) I’ve never heard of CDWM so I figured why not give it a try.  Basically I dined with a bunch of strangers at Elements restaurant at the Four Seasons.  It was the best meal I have had in Doha so far, for several reasons.  The service was impeccable and they catered to my Pescatarian/Vegan diet along with other vegetarian diets and allergies.  The food was finger licking and the company was entertaining.  I met some wonderful people and I am looking forward to attending another.  I had to leave early because I am now an early sleeper and it was getting late so I missed dessert.  I also missed the scoring of the restaurant.  But that didn’t matter because they were definitely a 10.

Here in Doha, I am learning to let my food touch and eat at buffets.  Back in the states, I hated buffets and shuddered if my food touched on my plate.  But it’s different here, a good different.  With so many buffets with great food, it’s easy to run out of room on my plate.  So the juices run together and the fish touches the veggies and it is all good.

Join Doha Foodies and Dine with Dee.  Your taste buds will thank you soon.

More good things to know

Things I’ve discovered along the way.

Get the Metrash App for your phone upon arrival.  After you get your RP go to OOREDOO and register your phone with your RP.  After a few days, try to register on the Metrash app. From what I know so far, because I am still waiting for my phone registration to go through, there are several things you use Metrash for: request an exit Permit for your sponsored family members, find out if you have traffic fines, etc… Check a later post for more details on this. Also find out if the phone companies offer discounts for your company.

Update: I moved from mobile service with OOREDOO to Vodafone because they offered discounts to QF employees.

Update: You need Metrash, download it immediately.

Purchase the Entertainer app. You can also purchase the book but the app is cheaper and more convenient.  It’s $65.00 USD.  It is more beneficial to purchase this closer to the beginning of the year since it is good for the year.  It includes coupons for many things. I used two of the bogo dinner deals in one weekend.  It’s well worth it.  I made my money back in two days. I only wish I had began using it sooner. Update: I used it to book a two night stay in Dubai.  BOGO at the JW Marriott Marquis, a savings of over $200.00.  I am working on a BOGO deal for a room in the Maldives.

I went to the QDC (Qatar Distribution Center) for the first time on Wednesday around 4pm. It wasn’t crowded at all.  It is where you can purchase liquor and pork.  Here is the process (but remember it may be different tomorrow).   You have to request a letter from your employer (employee relations).  The letter basically gives permission for you to purchase liquor and states that they are your employer, and that you are not Muslim and how much you make.  Once you get your letter, you take it along with your RP to Qatar Distribution Company where they will send you upstairs.  Once upstairs they will take your picture and issue you a permit to purchase.  You have to give them $1,000 QAR deposit made through your debit/credit card. You can get your deposit back once you bring your ID back.  Darryl and I both were issued permits.  Since I am his sponsor, we only had to pay one deposit.  At the QDC, I purchased 1 bottle of Martini and Rossi, 6 Coronas, 1 bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey for a friend, Malibu rum, 2 bottles of Pinot Noir and 1 bottle of Pinot Grigio for a friend, 2 bottles of sweet red wine, and 1 bottle of pink moscato for me, 2 packages of pork bacon for the boys. The total was QAR 736.60 which equals $203 USD.  This after I received a 20% discount for purchasing 6 bottles of wine.  There is a lot of variety.  Not too bad ‘EY’.

Update as of Feb 2017: Now you pay a certain amount per year for your license, no more 1,000 QAR deposit.

Get involved in groups.  Doha Foodies is a good group on FB.  I work with the administrator and she is fantastic.  In this group are many suggestions of where to eat in Doha.  Another good one is Buying and Selling Doha.  Join Qatar Living online.  It is a very informative website and you can find vehicles for sale on this site.

Download Waze for directions.  You will get lost.  Download Uber to take you around. Download Talabat for food delivery services and Zomato for reviews.  Get a good conversion app, for obvious reasons.

Purchase shoes with thick soles.  I brought some flats here with me, but the soles have worn out.  I bought some Birkenstocks recently.  I caught a good BOGO1/2 price but they also offer discounts for QF employees.

You may have to shop at several food markets to get everything you want.  Géant is located across from the Villagio mall in the Hyatt shopping plaza and is pretty good.  Also the Megamart near C ring road, behind the KFC is also really good for finding American brands and vegan choices.  I’ve also heard about a place called Spinneys and Monoprix but I haven’t been to either yet.  Al Meera is close to me, so I go there for quick visits.  Lulu’s is big and sells veggie crumbles.  Also they don’t sell cilantro as cilantro; it is sold as fresh Coriander.