What a spread! There’s an amazing array of dishes on display; I’ve never seen such quantity and variety and it’s all laid out in gorgeous colour in the spacious, light and airy Aramede Restaurant on the ground floor of Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park. This is going to be good, so Bon Appétit to everyone!

I was going dizzy taking in all the displays: from cold cuts, to pizza, to cold and hot Arabic mezze, cold and roasted vegetables, and of course soup. Lentil, of course. Good for you. And then to the sea: Red Mullet and Snapper, Seabass, Seabream, and Salmon which the friendly and professional staff will grill you one right now; takes about 10 minutes. Can’t wait. So good, and good for you. Plus oysters, lobster tails poached shrimps, mussels, squid and octopus, take your pick.

On the outside of the circle was the carvery, showcasing the most tempting-looking joint of beef and roasted leg of lamb for which I can personally vouch for the veracity of the qualifiers ‘mouth-watering’ and ’melt-in-your-mouth’.

Don’t look now but there’s an enormous section with desserts and sweets and cakes and, goodness me, are they good for me? We’ll come back later. There’s a waffle station; well, it is brunch and some people do absolutely love waffles for their breakfast. And to involve as many continents as possible, but only discovered by the incongruous sign of a red lantern, you could treat yourself to a colourful and beautiful selection of Sushi and Sashimi.

After I have eaten starters, Arabic and marine, I turn away from the centre circle towards another outside station with all my favourite cheeses therein. And one which I didn’t know of but which has now entered my favourites chart very high in the rankings; it’s Italian, called Taleggio, and it gives my lovely brie, emmenthal, edam, cheddar and blue a run for their money.

Exec Chef Jonathan recommended it while we were enjoying the brunch and since then I have bought a nice piece of the same from my favourite French supermarket to prolong the pleasure. But look, to add another taste to your tasty cheese, what about adding a little truffled honey and/or some fig chutney, not to mention some soft and dried apricots and nuts.

Dishes that we chose and enjoyed: the cold starter with beef bresaola… but wait, add roast figs, truffled honey and blue cheese and it’s transformed. Wonderful, especially with chicken liver and pistachio terrine and a slice of their freshly baked bread. Try, like us, a plate of seafood starters, mussels, shrimps and squid, and most delicious the tail of lobster. Arabic cold mezze is very common in Doha, but come to Crowne Plaza and the common becomes sublime.

I haven’t shaken off the temptation of the dessert station and thank goodness there were no giant cakes… actually, there were three, well not giant, but still very impressive, very artistic cakes: one with the word strawberry in it, one with coconut and one with chocolate. One of our party died for the chocolate, one went for the Charlotte because he knew a girl called Charlotte, and I just love coconuts, the most natural food and indeed drink. What can go wrong?!

The staff are great. Friendly, professional, informative, and all seem willing to go the extra yard to bring some special sauce or intelligently explain away some culinary misconceptions I may have had.

But leaving the Arabic desserts smouldering in their attractiveness, I really liked the cute presentations of coconut mango panna cotta in a cocktail glass. It’s cruel, and unfair, to choose only one, but it was time to go, it was the end of the affair – an exquisite finale. Cheers!

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Author: Terry Sutcliffe

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