You don’t need to leave Qatar to enjoy the best of island life – let the Hilton Doha bring it to you!

Did you know that Trader Vic’s Doha opened all the way back in 2012? Did you also know that since the Original Mai Tai® was created in 1944, there are now more than 200 signature cocktails?! Also known as Paradise In A Glass®, you know there is something for everyone to enjoy, especially when sitting down for brunch – at the Hilton Doha, they particularly recommend Middle East special the Tiki Puka Puka!

Trader Vic’s is just perfect for a leisurely Friday or Saturday foray into the wonderful world of French Polynesian food and drinks, with fab views across the bay. We were so glad to be invited along to join in the fun!

The huge restaurant has been carefully decorated to immediately invoke the feeling of stepping in to a tropical paradise, with gorgeous light fixtures and colourful rattan furniture. And a lei (flower garland) on every chair, so you can truly embrace the island vibe! All set against some catchy Polynesian beats to get completely in the mood.

The seated brunch has a good choice of dishes, with Chef Marli explaining that the menu allows diners to experience some of the restaurant’s most popular items (if you have any concerns or allergies, just let them know in advance, they will happily adapt the menu for you). We put ourselves in the hands of our server Maycel, and we just about had time to put on our leis and sip our cocktails before we were served our starters. Excellent!

Now a gentle word of caution here: it would be super easy to fill up on the starters, so take your time, savour every mouthful, and be mindful that there will be more to come. We enjoyed the house special, Trader Vic’s Salad with a mix of greens, palm hearts, artichokes and their Javanese dressing, the West Bay Calamari Salad with crunchy quinoa and a white miso dressing, Beef Gyoza with a delectable spicy coriander dip, and Sriracha Prawns with Thai mango salsa.

While tucking into these, we saw a trolley draw up to the table: hurrah, it’s Vic’s Original Tuna Poke! Succulent yellow fin raw tuna, served with tuna poke dressing, crispy nori chips and red radish. One of the best we’ve had, with faultless seasoning. Where has that trolley gone ..!

West Bay Calamari Salad
West Bay Calamari Salad
Vic’s Original Tuna Poke
Vic’s Original Tuna Poke
Trader Vic's Salad
Trader Vic's Salad

After a brief pause in proceedings to enjoy the ambience, the main courses made an appearance. We all have a favourite dish on the Trader Vic’s menu – thankfully, you don’t need to choose which one you want at brunch, as you will be getting them all. The Miso Salmon was a plate of perfectly cooked medallions with garlic seaweed rice and stir-fried bok choy, and keeping with the fishy theme, the Red Thai Prawn Curry was simply amazing – we could have eaten several bowlfuls. However, we needed to save room for the Kung Pao Chicken in Vic’s signature sauce, and the USDA Black Angus Striploin with truffle scented mashed potato, asparagus and chimichurri.

Malaysian style Mee Goreng
Malaysian style Mee Goreng
Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken
Red Thai prawn curry
Red Thai prawn curry

We also had two delightful vegetarian options: roasted cauliflower steak with chimichurri, and spicy wok-fried tofu. Great additions to the menu, so ensure you ask the chef to make these for you. And as it’s the weekend and food at brunch has no calories, carb lovers will rejoice with the Malaysian style Mee Goreng – egg noodles, beansprouts, onion, bok choy, carrot … divine.

Trader Vics Brunch Talking of divine, wait until you taste the Coconut Custard Tart, served with Trader Vic’s dark rum glazed pineapple compote and vanilla coconut ice cream! Oh, and also the Rum and Raisin Ice Cream with compote and crumble! These desserts, along with the Tropical Fruit Platter, are worth the cost of brunch on their own. Do not leave without having sampled these sweet treats – the perfect end to the perfect island brunch!

The Brunch Set Menu to share is available every Friday and Saturday, 1pm – 4pm. Price per person: Non-alcoholic QAR225, special beverages QAR295. For more information, call 4423 3222, visit the website.

On a related note, why not also try the new Tahitian Village, located to the left of the main Trader Vic’s restaurant, which offers a comfortable, relaxed environment to sample more of the famous food and drinks. Price per person: QAR295, minimum of 2 persons.


Author: Sarah Palmer

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