Tapas originated in Spain, and is used to describe a small serving of any kind of Spanish dish. The word ‘tapa’ in Spanish meant ‘lid’ or ‘cover’ and in the early days (according to a quick Google search), it usually referred to a slice of ham or cheese used to cover drinks, mainly to avoid small insects from dipping into the liquid. These days, tapas are more likely describing a dining concept.

Shangri-La Hotel Doha recently hosted a ‘Tapas Night’ at Fuego, featuring the meaty specialities of the restaurant and its Argentinian Chef, Mariano Andres Vignoli.

Anthony Bourdain once featured Spain and its active Tapas bar scene and to have something similar in Doha was enough to get us venturing out on a Monday night. Fortunately, we were not disappointed. Fuego welcomed us with live Latin music and the buzz of a busy kitchen.

For starters, our table had a variety of bread topped with meat, cheese, anchovies and a good enough dose of tomatoes and figs. These were followed by a tray with calamari, cheese balls and fried potatoes. And that’s how our starters never stopped. Apparently, this is the concept of tapas. These small servings are the stars of the night!


Between the small plates and the friendly conversations, we don’t remember exactly how much ‘tapas’ plates we’ve had. We just know that at some point, we need to stop (not really). Note that during Tapas Night, you can have as much of these small plates as you like.


And then it’s time for dessert! The featured dessert made a big scene which had us all clicking on our phones and cameras. They called it a ‘mess’ and it did make a big mess! They handed out spoons right there and then, inviting us to have a go at the mess. We did, after much coaxing (not really). We are not exactly sure how it happened, but the dessert which at the start appeared too much even for our group was reduced to something easier to clean (no better way to put it).

But it was a good way to end the night – with chocolates and fruits and cream – sweet and cool enough for a Monday Tapas Night.

Tapas Night is on every Monday night at Fuego, Shangri-La Hotel Doha. QAR160 per person for unlimited tapas and a glass of vino. For reservations, call 4429 5050. 

Author: Lalaine Turqueza

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