The last time I visited Urban Jazz Kitchen at The Pearl-Qatar was a month or two after it had first opened. I recently visited again and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the menu seems to have expanded from a simple burger selection to now include breakfast and a large range of main courses, including many American southern style dishes.
Accompanied by a friend and colleague, we sat outside on their quite expansive terrace and watched the yachts bobbing in their places at the marina under the winter sun. It really is a beautiful location and the welcome from the staff is just as sunny. The interior is carefully crafted, with stylish lounging areas all designed with homage to jazz, evoking that ‘southern style’.
We decided to sample breakfast, the ‘Jazzy steak and eggs’, which seemed to have everything you could imagine: juicy, good quality steak, mushrooms, turkey bacon, potato wedges, tomatoes and chunky toast. This would have been more than enough under normal circumstances, but tempted by the array of southern dishes, we couldn’t stop there. We were served coffee, being offered (not request for a change!) decaf as well as regular, and the kitchen staff set about their own type of southern magic while we were served and caught up on our busy lives.
Once we had managed our hearty breakfast, Louisiana crab cakes, voodoo pasta complete with black homemade spaghetti and steamed catfish pepperade were all laid in front of us invitingly. We were determined to get that Louisiana vibe and these dishes did not disappoint. We did however spy that other American favourite, burgers, which looked equally as tantalising as they appear on the menu. I had never tried black spaghetti before and it did not disappoint, the squid ink infusing a distinctive flavour that added to the dish overall rather than just being a bland carb necessity. Moving on to the healthier option of steamed catfish, the chimichurri sauce added that little hot kick and the kabsa rice gave a little nod to the surroundings. This was rapidly turning into a brunch style lunch.
Time was moving on although we hadn’t really noticed, but there is always room for dessert. Orleans chocolate cake for chocolate lovers is just a must; THREE layers of chocolate cake with coconut and smothered with chocolate custard. Really, even as a fan of the whole chocolate fondant experience, this was something else. The blueberry cobbler was probably the less indulgent of the two options but just as tasty, with yam – yes, yam – infused ice cream.
If I wasn’t suitably food happy enough by now, the waitress then tells me that they will begin serving shisha from 4 pm onwards … now I am interested. The shisha menu is listed on a kitsch CD and I am now torn as to staying longer and indulging further or returning another time. I opt for the latter, when Gillian, our lovely hostess, tell me that during winter months there is live music on Thursdays and Fridays.
To sum it up, the combination of outdoor seating and entertainment, shisha, and indulgent food is too much for me to stay away, and the fact that it is literally a 10-minute walk from my doorstep means that my resolve to eat less and walk more in 2018 have been somewhat hampered by my return to Urban Jazz. Please don’t take my word for it, sometimes you need to give places a second try as they change rapidly in Doha. You will undoubtedly see me nestled in one of those huge armchairs at The Urban Jazz Kitchen with my new favourite chocolate dessert sometime soon.
Location: 10 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar
Timings: Saturday to Thursday 8 am – 11:30 pm, Friday 8 am – 11:30 am/12:30 pm – 11:30 pm. Live music every Thursday and Friday until 10pm, shisha from 4 pm. 4409 5269
Author: Sarah Morris
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