Category Archives: Culinary

Baan Thai

 

Baan Thai (Source: Baan Thai)
Baan Thai (Source: Baan Thai)

Baan means House in Thai. This two-story restaurant is located in the suburb of Muaither, just opposite Aspire Park on the Furousiya Street. Do not underestimate its appearance from the outside of the building which shares the commercial row with McD, toy store, and minimarket. Baan Thai is sleek, clean, and modern, once we enter. It’s also spacious  although peppered with authentic Thai ornaments or accents throughout its both floors.

Not so long before one of the waitresses came to see us and handed us their menu. We’re overwhelmed. All looked so inviting that we took quite some time to decide. Finally we came up with this selection: tom yum goong (hot & sour tom yum soup with prawns, lemongrass lime juice and thai herbs), kai pad sub pa rod (chicken stir fried with pineapple), goong pad katriem (shrimp stir fried with garlic sauce), beef sautee, chicken fried rice, steamed rice, fish cakes, and thai ice tea.

The Thai fish cake, known as tod mun pla, is marvelous. They seems rightly spiced and herbed, and also not so soft not so hard. The seafood tom yum was a typical Thai taste if not on the sour side; too much lime?

The kids loved the fried rice and beef sautee, though the latter veered into oily and hard texture. They didn’t like the idea of pineapple married with chicken so that I’m responsible for most if not all the portions. Shrimp stir fried deserved our praise for its freshness and wonderfully spiced. Unfortunately, steam rice that accompanied our main courses was a bit hard.

We closed our dinner with Thai Ice Tea which we never regretted it’s chosen for its superb taste, if only it has a ready-made drink sachet for home.

Total damage? Check the last two pictures below.

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Baan Thai Restaurant

Sun – Wed: 3pm – 11pm

Thu – Sat: 12noon – 11pm

Contact: 4029 8126, 33515591

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/baanthaidoha

***

 

Clean, sleek, modern interior in Baan Thai
Clean, sleek, modern interior in Baan Thai

 

Some are good some are not too bad
Some are good some are not too bad

 

BaanThai008
Beef sautee
BaanThai007
Stir fried chicken with pineapple
BaanThai006
Shrimp with garlic sauce, fish cake and chicken fried rice
BaanThai005
Tom Yum Goong
BaanThai004
Thai Ice Tea
BaanThai002
Baan Thai dining set
The second floor. Can accommodate a party or special function
The second floor. Can accommodate a party or special function

BaanThai1

BaanThai2

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Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse (or simply Outback) is an Australian-themed American casual dining restaurant chain. The branch in Doha made its debut in April 10, 2013 and is located at Lagoona Mall.

We went tasting this new guy in town on last Thursday evening.

The restaurant is located in a building that connect Lagoona Mall and Zig Zag Tower; overlooking a plaza in between these two most recognized towers in Doha. Nearby are Carrefour Market and chilis restaurant. 

We arrive at 7pm with restaurant only about one third full. There are couple of tables outside of the restaurant or in the plaza. The decor is Australian-themed though it is not as crowded as chilis or Applebee in accessories. One Australia map accessory posted on the wall to signify the theme.

We ordered Bloomin’ Onion which seemed very intriguing; Outback Special (steak), Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Fish and Chips. For drinks we ordered Milk shakes, iced tea (free refill), soda coke and large bottled water.

These were what I found:

– Services: quick service and attentive attendant (once orders settled, they came back in 5 minutes with complimentary bread; 10 min with drinks; 15 minutes with fish and chips and 25 min with steak). They offered complimentary orange juice for kids!

– Bread: brown long bread. tasty cream

– Bloomin’ Onion: big portion. fried too long. but cream is good.

– Steak: ordered well-done but it came very dry. potato is ok. cheesy corn is good

– Fish and chips: probably the best among our orders. fish is fresh and crisp on the outside but soft inside

– Chicken sandwich: no complaint

Will be back? Yes or No. Yes for fish and chips, blooming onion. No for the steak unfortunately.

Indicative prices:

– Bloomin’ Onion QR38 – enough for 4 adults!

– Fish n chips with fries QR54

– Outback special 6oz with potato and corn (or any other two side dishes)  QR76

– Grilled chicken sandwich QR43

– Kid’s steak 6oz QR43

– Milk shakes chocolate regular QR21

– Iced Tea (regular) QR10

– Bottled water (large 1.5L) QR12

Bloomin' Onion
Bloomin’ Onion
Outback Steakhouse Doha
Outback Steakhouse Doha
Complimentary Bread
Complimentary Bread
Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips
Outback Special with Potato and Corn
Outback Special with Potato and Corn

Pearl of Beirut Restaurant, Al Khor

This restaurant is conveniently located on Corniche Road Al Khor, just opposite fish market. Away from bustling Al Khor town road and commercial centers, the restaurant offers a perfect dining hideout.

Wood and bamboo dominate this small, yet with ample parking slots, restaurant. You may choose to dine in semi-open air terrace or air-conditioned (pinky!) room. The semi-open air dining area is frequently used to host live football match watching events or to host functions like birthday event. The place is also popular with motorcycle group or cyclist group during weekend.

I patronized the restaurant several times. Every time it has never failed impressed me.

Okay, you may be misled by its name, thinking that this is just another Lebanese restaurant. It serves mainly chinese food, seafood, filipino, few Arabic and newly added Indonesian menu. Don’t ask me why it is named and associated with Beirut….if only I knew.

If I have to be back, I’d have my table filled with sour fish soup, crabs, kangkung stir-fry (less salt please!) and egg fried rice. Oh, and two glasses of iced tea please…since one is never enough with this Indonesian legendary and first bottled tea: Teh Botol Sosro.

Since its share now partially owned by an Indonesian, the restaurant sees consignation on Malay and Indonesian food such as Nasi Lemak, rendang, balado, anchovy green sambal. Grab them quickly as they are ones of the favorites.

Price? Trust me, you won’t go home bankrupt….see attached menu.

Pearl Of Beirut Menu

Direction: On the fourth roundabout after Al Khor Highway (second being Al Khor Mall), turn right to Corniche Road. Follow the road, passing traffic light, just before Fish Market/Port on the opposite side, spot bamboo-dominated building. Coordinate: 25 41.144N 51 30.875E

Reservation: 4472 0123 & 7034 8032

Die die hard must try – sour soup
Don’t judge by its look. Though simple, it is mouthwatering. Egg fried rice
Coconut milk crab. I’d rather have my favorite black pepper crab
Kangkung stir-fry.
Seafood is one of the offered menu.
Pearl of Beirut Restaurant
Beirut goes pinky! 🙂
You may host a small event here without bankrupting your wallet

Tofu & Cake Restaurant

This new Indonesian restaurant, open since 1st of May 2012, sells all tofu-related cuisines. 

Though tofu (= Tahu in Indonesian) is not originated from Indonesia, this side dish is one of the most important dishes due to its price and versatility. No wonder tofu comes in unlimited variety of cuisines. Indonesian must have been familiar with Batagor (BAkso TAhu GOreng = fried meat ball and tofu),  Siomay (steamed tofu dumpling with vegetables served with peanut sauces),  Tahu Gejrot (slightly fermented fried tofu snack with slices of shallots, chilli, and garlic in spicy-sweet sauce), Kupat Tahu (ketupat/packed rice or dumpling, tofu, rice vermicelli and beansprouts in peanut sauce), Bakso Tahu (meatball, fried/steamed tofu served with a bowl of beef broth, noodles, crisp wonton and sprinkled with fried shallot and celery) and many others.

The restaurant is founded by an Indonesian couple, long time Qatar residents since 2002, born from his tofu maker father back in West Java, Indonesia. The couple started making tofu since 2005 in very small scale for their neighbors or Indonesian friends. It was in 2010 that they started putting a brand and making it a serious business. They now supply many Indonesian groceries, restaurants and one of the hotels in Qatar.

The restaurant is, you may say that, their business expansion.  

We visited the restaurant during its promotion/opening period when price was slashed in 25% discount from its normal price of QR12 per portion. Located in The Center area (behind Ramada Hotel), it is easily accessible with lots of parking spaces. If you know Great Wall Restaurant, the restaurant is located just beside it, housed within a green glass window building, on the ground floor. 

Tofu & Cake Restaurant housed within that a green glass window building beside Great Wall Chinese Restaurant

The actual restaurant can only accommodate a small kitchen, a cashier and order desk, and two tables barely enough to fit 6 persons possibly. All other visitors have to be willing seated outside in six 4/6 seater table arrangements. A bit hot during summer period. A fan just doesnt help much.

An outdoor seating area – can be challenging during summer

We ordered many, for a reason. To know which one is their cerry of the cake. Our order arrived pretty quick. I finished my Bakso Tahu Goreng Kering (meatball served with a bowl of beef broth and fried tofu) very quickly. So mouthwatering that I just couldn’t stop. Their meatball seems produced without preserver or MSG-like ingredient. Unfortunately it’s not that hot enough to enjoy. Bakso wouldn’t be complete without sambal (chili sauce). The best is for you to use real bakso sambal which unfortunately not available in every table. Search around.

Bakso Tahu Basah (meatball with steamed tofu)
Bakso Tahu Kering (meatball with fried tofu)

Batagor came next. It was poured with peanut sauce. The hot fresh from the fry pan made it enjoyable. Ketupat tahu came with lontong (packed rice/dumpling), and tofu served with peanut sauce and crackers. I found it pretty standard. The sauce is different than used for batagor, and apparently made fresh.

Batagor

 

 

Ketupat Tahu and Iced Tea

The restaurant also sells ready-to-cook tofu for take-away, many varieties of crackers and few other Indonesian food.

If I were to be back, I would definitely be back for Bakso in its many forms, just making hot please, and Batagor. Heard of Tahu Gejrot is also good, haven’t tried it yet. For all money spent it may be worthed to pay a visit. In the end, they are the best tofu maker in Qatar any way!

Coordinate: 25°16’25.4″N   51°30’55.2″E. Open from: 10am to 21pm.

Dine at Height – Three Sixty Revolving Restaurant, The Torch

Dine at Height at Three Sixty as we turn 12 🙂
Turning 12

We turn 12 this March. Ah…time flies. 12 years ago we tied the knot, and here we are today.

Three sixty restaurant – the first Qatar’s revolving restaurant – at The Torch Doha Hotel is our witness in commemorating our 12.

No children please.

Indicative cost:

Aqua Panna 1L, 30QR

1 Onion Soup, 36QR – recommended

1 Caesar Salad, 60QR – recommended

1 Australian Lamb Fillet, 150QR –

1 Veal Scallopini, 160QR

1 Apple Crumble, 38QR – recommended

1 World Cup 2022 (mixed juice), 32QR

[see the following pictures of the hotel, restaurant and the food]

The Torch Doha Hotel is built on what used to be 2006 Asian Games's Aspire Tower
The Torch Hotel - Lobby Area is decorated with Arabic calligraphy
Three Sixty Restaurant is located on the 47th floor of the tower
A complete rotation at Three Sixty takes about an hour and half. Seen here Khalifa stadium and Al Waab St.
Free basket of bread to start with
How they name this juice World Cup 2022, I don't know
If I were to return back I would definitely be back for this Cesar salad
Veal Scallopini
Lamb fillet
apple crumble for our dessert
Overall, though view from the floor is not optimum, Three Sixty may be in one of your top restaurant lists. Personal service is fine but quite on the slow side, it has excellent cesar salad and dessert. I'd skip or carefully choose main menu.

Bumbu Bali Restaurant

Update 5 Nov 2012:

Apparently Bumbu Bali moved to new location. Please call 55715792 for more info.

New location is as attached below:

25.23365°N 51.55744°E

New Bumbu Bali Doha Location

Visited Bumbu Bali (Ind. literally means Balinese spices) restaurant this weekend. This newly opened restaurant adds to a longer list of already established Indonesian restaurants in Doha* (see below).

Bumbu Bali is located at B-Ring Road, on the ground floor of Mannai accommodation building (along with Toyota spare parts store, an optical store and Akbar Travels of India), just one block after Handasa Building and before Teyser Petrol Station, if you are driving from Jaidah Flyover towards Airport Road.

Bumbu Bali Restaurant

The restaurant itself is not that big, but nicely decorated. On the ground floor are two 4-seat tables, a cashier desk and kitchen, while upstairs are six 6-seater tables, three 3-seater tables, and a toilet/washing facility. The 6-seater tables area is designed with Arabic bedouin style sofa. The only reminder that this is an Indonesian restaurant is its big gold-brown open umbrella just near stair top landing.

Bumbu Bali Restaurant – upstairs

Though it bears Bali’s names, two Balinese dining menu out of 10(?) ones were not available, at the time of our visit. We ended up ordered standard Indonesian cuisines: Gado-gado (Indonesian’s vegetables salad served with a peanut sauce dressing), Sate Ayam (chicken skewer), Baso (meatball soup), and Iga Bakar (grilled ribs). All are prized at QR15.

Our orders do not take long to come, less than 10 minutes. Gado-gado come first followed by Baso. Bumbu Bali gado-gado come with looked-fresh vegetables and sweet peanut sauce dressing plus traditional crackers. Peanut sauce tastes good if not too sweet. Portion is sized enough. Baso is to me quite average, but its sambal (chili-based sauce used as condiment) makes it better.

Bumbu Bali’s Gado-gado

Nothing special with Sate Ayam. Iga Bakar come last. With three ribs cuts, a bowl of Thai rice, slices of cucumer and tomato, and, yes, sambal. This sambal is what differentiate Iga Bakar to Western grilled ribs. Two ribs cuts have enough meat I can enjoy with. Chili-soy sauce seems penetrated well into the meat. Dab the rib into sambal, put it on top of sticky Thai rice, and you’ll understand why I can’t describe this. Again, I feel sweeter taste in this menu, perhaps because I’m East Javanese (used to salty-chili)? I’ll need to mention that arriving restaurant with the right hungry level, taking such a good dinner only to find my last rib cuts were end, that’s really gastronomy contentment interruption (to exaggerate 🙂 ) at max. Two are not enough. The third rib cut is unfortunately bone only 😦

Bumbu Bali’s Iga Bakar

Overall, Bumbu Bali has some prime menu to be proud of. Coupled with excellent and attentive waitress service and fast serving, it iseasily  recommended. If Bumbu Bali can just downsize its sweet level, that would be much better!

Bumbu Bali, 25°16’29″N   51°32’14″E (phone: 4432 6080, open 10.30-14.30, 5.30-21.00)

*Other Indonesian restaurants in Doha:

1. Central Restaurant, Umm Ghuwailina, 25°16’46″N   51°32’50″E

2. Minang Restaurant, Al Asmakh St., 25°16’52″N   51°31’55″E

3. Restaurant Jakarta, Ibn Mahmoud St., 25°16’56″N   51°30’53″E

4. Griyo Solo, Al Wakrah, 25°10’16″N   51°35’52″E

Wok of Fame, Villagio

In one of the fasting break time during this Ramadan I had a chance to have it in Wok of Fame, Villagio Mall. Wok of Fame is a Chinese cuisine restaurant conveniently (and strategically) located on the backside of the mall foodcourt on overhead bridge over man-made Venetian canal of the mall. We entered through the reception foyer at ground floor before directed upstair to the main dining hall, through elevator or stair.

The hall upstairs, decorated in black-mood chinese ornaments, is large enough to accommodate probably around 80 person in 4-6-seat table configurations. At the first end is buffet table in rectangle shape offering more than tens of chinese cuisine selections. This includes some of traditional Asian desserts.

I found that the food is of excellent taste. Fried noodle, fried rice is champion with breaded fried prawn, beef and chicken based food are among the sought selections. The service is good except one of our order was mistakenly delivered. Price is reasonable, with buffet all-youcan-eat during Ramadan offered for QR59 per person (children: QR29) and drinks between QR12 for big bottled water and QR15 for fresh juice. Aside from buffet we can also order ala carte menu.

The only dissapointment was a free wifi offer, attractively put on the table but turned out it meant “feel free to pay with your debit/credit card at your table” 🙂

Wok of Fame Villagio Mall
 
Buffet Selection
 
When Free means "Feel Free to pay with your debit/credit card" 🙂