There’s a new brunch in town, and it is excellent, if we do say so ourselves!

We were incredibly excited to try the new Friday Brunch at Walima restaurant. If you haven’t heard of Walima, this is the gorgeously decorated outlet at the impressive Mondrian Doha hotel.

We had visited Walima some time ago (pre-coronavirus) and were impressed by their previous brunch offering, East Meets West. So the restaurant already had a lot to live up to… and they did not disappoint.

All the usual rules apply in order to enter – face masks are mandatory, as is showing your Ehteraz status – but we are all familiar with this by now. The seating options have been carefully thought out, and what we noticed is despite the necessary safe distance, you really don’t feel as if you’re sitting miles away from everyone. This has been cleverly thought out, and means you can still enjoy the relaxing ambience safely. There is a contactless menu available should you want it, as is a portable hand sanitiser on each table, and all the staff are wearing masks and gloves. So there is absolutely no need to worry!

The décor was reassuringly the same, with the ceiling still festooned with those stunning colourful lamps. However, the restaurant has now installed a majlis set for two, which together with the sunken booths and private rooms provide cosy, undisturbed dining choices.

So on to the food. One word – wow! Walima has retained its Middle Eastern roots but is now offering a sophisticated, contemporary menu designed by the new chef and served to you at the table.

We started with the cold mezze dishes – hummus, muhammara, beetroot and aubergine moutabels, fattoush, tabbouleh, and marinated olives – all artistically served in individual bowls on your own platter with an ample supply of bread to mop it all up with. No need to share and fight over the last olive! We then enjoyed the hot mezze of fattayer, falafel, meat samboussek, and cheese rakkakat. Oh, and probably the best potato harra we have ever eaten. Fact.

It is worth mentioning at this point that the starter options are really quite considerable, so bear this in mind before moving on to the main stars of the show. Because what happens next is a large amount of delicious meat dishes arrive. We feasted on ample portions of chicken taouk, kofta and lamb chops, accompanied by grilled vegetables and ouzi rice.

There is a street food live station offering fatteh should you feel like stretching your legs for more food. Or if, like us, you want more lamb chops, they will gladly bring more to your table. All very accommodating, although that’s not what our stomachs were saying!

The brunch is brought to a satisfactory close with their new signature dessert, featuring a fried Oreo, pistachio ice cream, cookie crumble and berries, and drizzled with caramel sauce. Isn’t it amazing how the human body somehow finds room for the sweet treats?!

The new Friday Brunch at Walima is fantastic value for a couple of hours of delicious food and beverages in a cool, relaxing setting. Prices are QAR195 for the regular package, QAR325 for the enhanced package, and QAR375 for the enhanced package with bubbles. To make a reservation, call 4045 5999 or visit mondriandoha.com


Author: Sarah Palmer

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