Where to eat, food and drink Qatar
Typical of the Arabian Peninsula, Qatari cuisine blends with the old local background influences from all the important communities living in the country - more specifically Lebanese, Indian, Iranian and North African. Western fast food restaurants are legion there and you will have no trouble eating a halal burger or a fried chicken wing… Let us not forget the large choice of international restaurants, often located in the best hotels, serving excellent Italian, Thai, French cuisine, etc. There, you can imagine, the prices are soaring ...
As an appetizer, you will find all the classic panel of half Middle Eastern: hummus (made from chickpeas and sesame seeds), motabel (grilled eggplant, garlic and sesame paste), waraq enab (stuffed vine leaves, usually with lamb), tabbouleh, etc. They are served with unleavened bread that is dipped.
If only one national dish had to be mentioned, it would necessarily be the machbous, known as kabsa among Saudi neighbors - vaguely reminiscent of paella. On a bed of rice seasoned with pepper, cloves, cardamom and other cinnamon, is arranged grilled chicken, goat or lamb meat, even beef, camel or fish ... Some people incorporate onions and tomatoes (in a more typical Qatari way) ), other pine nuts, almonds or raisins. The ghuzi is a whole roast lamb, also served with rice. This type of meat can also be served with yogurt. The mathrooba is a chicken dish prepared in a creamy porridge and the koussa mahchi refers to stuffed eggplants (with lamb), slowly grilled in the oven.
- fish and seafood from the Persian Gulf are also very present: grouper (hamour), snapper, tuna, shrimp, crab, lobster, etc. Other great classics: Indian curries and biryanis, basically very similar to machbous. The many small restaurants on the Indian subcontinent are often the cheapest, alongside Middle Eastern snacks and other fast food outlets. However, we could not recommend too much to at least a good traditional meal on the terrace at Souq Waqif!
In the dessert department, there are a lot of rice cakes (and bread), oum ali style, and puddings, flavored with rose water and pistachio (mehalabiya) or saffron and cardamom (sago) . Esh assaraya is a kind of cheesecake. Baklava, katayef (with nuts or cheese) and kadaifi (or kanafeh), a cheese pastry bathed in syrup, are found in most of the Arab world. Of course, there are also the dates that you will find in the market (usually imported from Iran).
Cornerstone of local courtesy, the coffee (qahwa), often prepared Turkish style, is spiced up here with a hint of cardamom and served with dates. Other essentials: the excellent fresh fruit juices sold in the stands, in the souk and elsewhere - mint lemonade, thick mango juice and why not avocado smoothie ...
Muslims are not allowed to buy or consume alcohol; the others, yes, in hotels and restaurants benefiting from a special permit.