The Spice of Doha

If you’re looking for a variety of choices of tasty foods to eat on a Friday afternoon, the Spice Market is an excellent choice.

The first Friday brunch I ever attended in Doha was at the Spice Market.  I had only been once for the brunch because it is one of the more pricier ones, but it was memorable. After a not so impressive brunch at what used to be my favorite place, Zengo (more on that later), Jennifer, JD, my husband, Nancy, her husband and I decided to go back to Spice Market to see if it was the same as we remembered, and it did not disappoint.

The Spice Market is located in the W Doha Hotel in the Diplomatic area of Doha.  The flower arrangement that greets you upon entering the hotel is beautiful and the bold blue bulbs that dangle from the ceiling are the perfect backdrops for pictures.

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We were welcomed to the restaurant by tray choices of drink specials, non alcoholic and White Lady, Classic Margarita, Ginger Margarita or champagne.  Don’t mind if I do!

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Besides seafood, I don’t partake in any animal products but there was a variety of different foods for everyone.  There are plenty of food stations including sushi, seafood and salad and cooking stations including Thai, Indian and more.  The sushi station is my favorite.  My husband said the beef was tender and cooked to perfection. Everyone in my party enjoyed the dessert.  I just ate some fruit, since I don’t eat dairy and most desserts contain dairy.  There were no complaints about the food.

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And when it comes to service, the Spice Market’s service is top shelf.   Lae Lae and Promise were our servers.  Our glasses were never empty.  They never complained about being asked to take our pictures.  We never had to wait for clean plates.  They kept a smile on their faces.  They were excellent.  The Assistant Director of Beverage and Food, Piercorrado Papotto, came over and introduced himself as well as the restaurant supervisor, Esradh.

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If you’re looking for a variety of choices of tasty foods to eat on a Friday afternoon, the Spice Market is an excellent choice.

Tips:

Go hungry and early and stay the whole time

Pace yourself so you can enjoy as much as possible

Purchase the My Book Qatar on your mobile device for 160 Riyals and enjoy a Buy 1 Get 1 free meal and save

Make reservations in advance especially if you’re going with a large group

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Afterwards we took the lift to the 29th floor of the W and admired some artwork by Ahmed Almaadheed.  He created the Tamim The Glorious photo.  We signed our names on the We Stand with Qatar murals and book and then took in the sights of Qatar from above. Admittance to this gallery is free and worthwhile.

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Why the Friday Brunch at the St. Regis Doha is and isn’t the Best!

Reviews are just people’s opinions of their personal preference. Take it or leave it, but respect it!

Many people in Doha write reviews on the restaurants.  Reviews are just people’s opinions of their personal preference. Take it or leave it, but respect it!  Many people have said that the Friday brunch at the St. Regis is the BEST in Doha.  That is their opinion and this is mine…
I was so excited to sit at another Gordon Ramsey restaurant since I had been to Burrger’s in Vegas years ago and had, hands down, the best burger in my life.  I was more so excited because I was finally going to eat at the raved about St. Regis Brunch.  My group sat down at Opal, avoiding the long line in front of Vine.

The restaurant is beautiful and the view of the bay is too.  Since this was our first time here, I thought someone would explain how the brunch system works here, but no one did.  I asked for a drink from the young man who poured us some water but I could barely understand him through his thick accent, not uncommon here though (one of the things I love about Doha), I’m sure my accent is thick too. lol.  Finally, I understood that I needed a bracelet to show that I was here for the alcohol.  He bought them out a little while later and through curiosity I learned that there were bar stations set up all over serving different drinks.  I liked that I hadn’t researched this brunch before I came, because once I stepped out of Opal and into the back patio area, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.  There was food everywhere.  Stations upon stations upon stations.  There are tables set up outside and inside Opal, Astor Grill and Vine that you have access to.  You can get your fill of seafood, beef and chicken.  There is sushi, salads, kabobs, live cooking stations, sides, veggies, desserts and more.  The live reggae band was great.  I love reggae. There were people everywhere, dressed in everything from almost nothing to full coverage.  It was very resort like and I loved the scene.  Quickly I realized why many people believe this to be the best brunch in Doha.

The walk from the stations to my table in Opal was a bit of a distance, so once I sat down to eat, my food was cold.  Granted it was a little chilly on this day 24/2/17, but never do I enjoy food that is supposed to be hot, cold.  I am very particular about this.  When I go out to eat, if my food is not hot, I send it back every time.  For this reason, I will always choose a  a la carte brunch over buffet.  Some people have said, they really enjoyed the grits at this brunch.  I did not.  When I saw shrimp and grits, I got all excited but they were not like home at all, bland, watery and tasteless.  Outside of collecting our plates and refilling our water, the table service was non existent and cold.  I know that it is a buffet but checking on customers is always a plus.  And all of that food couldn’t possibly be consumed within 4 hours.  Where does it all go?  Waste?  For these reasons, the brunch at the St. Regis isn’t the best in Doha.

Maybe my expectations were too high based on shared experiences or the fact that this was a Gordon Ramsey restaurant.  I know many people would disagree but that is why it is called a review.  I speak my truths based on my personal preferences.  I would love to try Opal again but not for Brunch.

In summary, the Friday, Buffet, Brunch at the St. Regis is 450 QAR with alcohol, 350 without, offers lots of food and a variety of it, great views and scenery, has good drinks, a wonderful live band, unimpressive service, average tasting food and sit outside or be prepared to eat cold food!

Side Note: One member of my party got sick afterwards for two days, unfortunately.

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?