This little oil field across the water from Dubai is like the noisy neighbour of the Arab world. From what I saw on the food scene, street food, and local food does exist to some extent, but there seems to be a massive influence from the Iranians/Lebanese, pretty much what you should expect I suppose for a country that has only recently become its own.
Fridays in Qatar are a day of rest, a day where families get together, and friends meet and go out for ‘brunch’. Well……I’ve never been a fan of brunch, the word brunch says to me, some posh business nob heads who have to make up an excuse to go out, have a meeting and get something to eat, cause its neither breakfast nor lunch. Anyway, if that is the dictionary definition, we definitely put a stop to that. Welcome to our brunch, a table for 3 at Gordon Ramsays Opal Restaurant. 425 riyals (£70) for all you can eat, all you can drink from a menu below:
The rules were simple, order as little, or as much as you like, and they will freshly cook and bring out to you. We decided to start we’d each order different brunch items, so we could all try a bit of everything (for those who know me you’ll know I love sharing food and trying what everybody else orders). Highlights of the brunch were the Wagyu beef, the best possible cut of beef, along with eggs on cocotte, almost a posh poached egg, eggs, poached with cream, butter, and plenty of salt and pepper.
Ordering the starters we employed the same tactic, however the waiter knew straight away we were after tasting the whole menu (I think the 3 big bellies may have given it away!). Needless to say he brought out all the starters, highlights being the beetroot tart, anything that turns your wee purple and served with goats cheese is a winner from me, along with the smoked salmon, which was served with labnah which is a soft cheese made from yoghurt, very popular in the middle east.
Out came the mains, highlights being the half spring chicken and the roasted red snapper. When it comes to restaurants I’m not a big fan of chicken, and especially chicken breasts, so was delighted when this half chicken came skin on, beautifully seasoned, heavily with thyme and served with a lovely chimichurri.
Desserts I think were nice, but if I’m being honest by this pint, or point, I’d currently had about 7 bottles of leffe, which I didn’t realise is bloody strong at 6.6%!! so I can’t really comment on the desserts, as I cant remember what they tasted like, however I do remember ordering more beetroot tarts, chicken, and red snapper before they served the desserts!!
We were so hungry we forgot to take pictures of the brunch, and too drunk to take pictures of the desserts, however here are some snaps (which don’t do justice of the brunch and mains. Highlight courses for me were definitely the brunch and starters.
Other highlights in Qatar included a local breaded fish in Souq Waqif, and a speedy kebab/veg potato lunch from Kebab King before we headed to our next stop. All in all, Ramsays provided a piece of fine dining we wont experience in that way for a long time, however Im sure we will still match in flavour.