The hospitality scene in Qatar is constantly evolving, it would seem, with new big-name chains opening up. And it would appear the latest trend comes all the way from Thailand, which has recently seen the opening of the fabulous Dusit Doha Hotel.

The hotel is conveniently situated in Al Dafna, opposite Qatar Financial Centre. As soon as you walk in, you can sense the luxury and refinement, with grandeur based on centuries-old Thai heritage and tradition.

The Dusit Friday Brunch may be a new entrant to the popular weekend brunch arena, but there is no reason to worry, judging from the huge array of food available and the competency of the staff. They have got everything under control here!

Foodies are in for a treat, as the location for brunch, Taste restaurant, has gathered together a wide range of favourites – think East meets West meets the rest of the world, with side orders of exemplary service and attention to detail.

The ambience is definitely relaxed, chilled, easygoing … while pyjamas may not be acceptable (unfortunately!), you can certainly wear your favourite weekend comfy clothes, or your best frock and tiara – your choice! You won’t feel out of place in either.

There is a superb DJ unobtrusively spinning new tunes and old classics at an appropriate volume. While the music brings a fun, party vibe, you can converse with your crew and not have to shout – just the ticket for those looking for a vibrant atmosphere without having one’s eardrums burst.

This all fits in very well with the luxurious contemporary design of the restaurant, which has a wonderful modern décor – you can relax in the ample banquette seating, or sit on stools at the tall tables. For our visit there were cosy duos, a number of families, and big groups of friends. Whatever the size of your party, rest assured Taste will find the right seating arrangement for you. And with the festive season right around the corner, a quick call ahead of time is recommended if you’re planning on bringing a large group!

The brunch menu has plenty of international and Middle Eastern dishes to whet the appetite, so we loaded up with the healthy fare first. The salad bar is really quite something else, with many new options to try – ‘must-haves’ include the barley and beetroot salad, the ‘just-right’ spicy papaya salad, burrata with heirloom tomato, and Tom Yum soup.

This was followed up by ‘healthy fare part 2’, a selection of Peel and Eat seafood, which was disappearing from the mound of ice as fast as it was being replenished! The half-shell oysters, poached shrimp, Alaskan crabs and Maine lobsters were so fresh and tasty you could easily see why.

Speaking of fresh, you are urged to order your next course from the grill station. Here you will find an array of fish and meats, cooked to order, with anything from barbecue sauce to simply salt and pepper.

Should you want any help, speak to affable Head Butcher Basu who is on hand overseeing the quality of dishes coming from the grill. The man is a veritable fountain of knowledge about the choice of fish available, much of which is local – and did we mention absolutely delicious? If you don’t know your red snapper from your sherri, just ask Basu. Don’t know what sauce to pair with the chops and steak? Just ask Basu!

Thai food lovers will also enjoy the red curry with vegetables and tofu and Pad Thai noodles, or why not travel the world and sample chicken biryani and fish curry from India, chicken tajine and shawarma from the Middle East, and pasta-to-go from Italy.

Make sure you leave some room for dessert though, as you’ll find a great selection of treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. We can vouch for the raspberry pannacotta, as well as the pistachio and vanilla crème brûlée.

The Friday Brunch is available noon – 4 pm. Prices are QAR220 with soft drinks, QAR320 with selected beverages; children aged 6 – 12 are half price, aged 6 and under are free. Large parties of people are welcome, call in advance to make a booking. 4004 4414

Author: Sarah Palmer

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