I must admit that the description of a ‘Shangtastic’ brunch reminded me more of Mike Myers than a sumptuous smorgasbord of gastronomical cuisines from around the world. My visit there soon put any apprehensions to rest.
The new brunch at the Shangri-La Hotel, Doha’s Sridan restaurant, on the 2nd floor reminds me somewhat of what used to be one of the most popular brunches in a certain hotel a long time ago in Doha. However, instead of having to walk off those calories moving from one restaurant to another, you are surrounded with all the stations serving dishes from the varied restaurants that Shangri La has to offer. Greek cuisine and seafood from Santorini, steaks from Fuego, Indian curries and biriyanis, Asian noodles and salads and of course the more traditional Arabic dishes.
The desserts (Kanafa is always a favourite of mine) are also homemade, none of those synthetic tasting spongecakes here. There really is a great amount of choice of both food and drinks with something to suit everyone’s tastes if you are dining in groups, I think I counted seven or eight mustards on display!
I don’t really need to wax lyrical about the food as if you have visited any of the signature restaurants at the hotel, you know the quality of food is high. Frankly, it needs to be, as brunches lately seem to come in around the QAR400-500 mark, the alcohol package which includes sparkling wines, cocktails and mimosas at QAR405 and non alcoholic package QAR305 in this case. The special offer in December was a 50% discount if you were willing to wear a seasonal sweater and people obliged, I even saw one complete with flashing lights.
Not only were the food displays quite stunning but the holiday themed adornments were also quite lovely throughout and the resident DJ playing my era hits was very much appreciated. I won’t give away my age here but to say I did start mouthing along to ‘Come on Eileen’. There was a fun atmosphere helped by the live cooking stations featuring noodle making and a dessert platter that when created filled a whole table. The children loved helping and also in gobbling their work up afterwards, whilst the adults led the Greek dancing……and why not?
The family section of the buffet is where parents can keep a close eye on their children, whom, aided by small steps to the serving dishes, can easily help themselves, marvel at the snowmen or occupy themselves at one of the work/play stations. Some of the activities, like cookie decoration, had a National Day theme on this particular Friday. There had been some thought taken to encourage healthy eating in the youngsters with peppers shaped to look like railway carriages, carrying carrot and cucumber sticks as passengers. This section is an added bonus for diners who want a more adult theme to also enjoy their time.
The Restaurant Manager Osama Soliman and Head Chef Edris are truly committed to making this brunch experience quite a memorable one and I would not hesitate to return here soon, being quite relieved that there was not a velour pantsuit, Cuban heel or frilled shirt in sight. Shangtastic indeed!
Author: Sarah Morris