Qatar Friday brunches. They are BIG business in Doha and there is an ever growing competition between the hotels in these stakes.
I know the Ritz Carlton brand well, and this is just another thing that they have excelled in… Napkins and appetites at the ready…for the Lagoon Brunch.
Now, here is some general advice for any Doha brunch. If you (like me) are not there with children or babies, then I would either opt for a time that does not fall into school holidays or just simply opt for an outside table.
As with all hotels, during the school off time, there is an influx of children and for me, I prefer my champagne sans face-paints and they accommodated that well.
However, unless you have an allergy to the sun, I would always opt to eat al fresco when you’re in a country with great weather and the Ritz Carlton was particularly tranquil and sun drenched.
This one is a Bubbles brunch and is served with (or without) bottomless sparkling wine.
If you like seafood, this will literally blow your mind.
The array of shell-fish, sashimi, ceviche, oysters was overwhelming in the best possible way.
In one particular area, there is such a Kayak filled display of crab claws and oysters, that I can only imagine that this is what Haiawatha’s boat would have looked like, had the fish invaded and in fact conquered it.
They also have a pretty extensive sushi area which, unlike most hotel brunches has exceptionally good sushi (Tempura Prawn Rolls/Crab Rolls) and it is being freshly prepared as you wait.
There are varying areas from Indian, to Lebanese and even an area specifically for roasted meats. (Obviously I hit this).
The head chef recommended and very kindly prepared a couple of dishes, including their light and crispy Prawn Tempura with their sweet and spicy sauce. This was almost like the preparation for the heavier dishes.
Then came, the Lobster… That Lobster. It was grilled to absolute perfection and cooked just enough to retain the softness but add some of the flame-grilled caramelisation.
This (as we learned) was again only the start of our food journey as the additions started to come in the form of assorted seafood & vegetable Dim Sum and their unbelievable Chinese Steamed Buns.
Now, there are fewer things that make me happier than a good Beef Wellington… (Incidentally, there are fewer things that make me angrier than a bad beef wellington) and this one was very good indeed.
If you know your beef wellington, you will know how important the pâté and duxelles are to the dish… Not to mention the pastry. This had just the right amount to give the beef a competitor but not over shadow it.
The beef itself was super soft and I could have probably cut through it with a spoon. I would usually opt for more on the medium/medium rare side for beef, but it actually worked well and particularly for the rest of the diners, as did the Purple Potatoes. (Because beige potatoes are so 2015..)
The final dish is the chefs signature dish and it is of course, their Butter Chicken and home made naan. Yes. Butter Chicken… It is easy to see why.
The sauce was decadently rich and sweet and i’m pretty sure we ate every single scrap of this while it was fresh from the oven and still the temperature of the sun.
Another great part of this brunch is the Italian area. Now, if carbs don’t make you recoil at the very mention, then this is particularly cool.
You can choose your pasta, your sauce, your ingredients and your cooking type and have your pasta prepared to your liking while you stand there. If you like a Spaghetti alle Vongole, or a Penne Arabiata (as one of my table did), then this is perfect for you.
Oh, and their cheese section is enough to make France envious.
It is important to say also how truly well they looked after us and how efficient the whole team were.
My advice? Pace. Yourself. There is a lot to see and you are only one human, but if you want to eat great food (and drink) like there are no limits, head here on a Friday…
Ritz Carlton Doha: P.O. Box 23400, Doha, West Bay Lagoon Qatar