IN PICS | Going to the World Cup in Qatar? Six top eateries to drool over

Hunters Room & Grill and Morimoto serve up mouth-watering dishes worth trying

02 November 2022 - 12:00 By Lisa Fleisher
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From Arabic specialties, to monumental steaks and everything in between. Qatar is home to many well-known restaurant chains.
From Arabic specialties, to monumental steaks and everything in between. Qatar is home to many well-known restaurant chains.
Image: Bloomberg

When fans descend on Qatar for the men’s Fifa World Cup later this month, the conservative Muslim landscape will be unfamiliar to many of them. The city’s high-end restaurants, however, will be very recognisable.

Of course, there’s a Nobu in Doha. (There are more than 40 locations of the high-end Japanese restaurant worldwide.) And like so many international financial capitals, you can also find a Coya, Hakkasan and CUT by Wolfgang Puck.

In addition, celebrity chefs Alain Ducasse, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the Peruvian ceviche expert Gastón Acurio have outposts in Qatar. These restaurants are all attached to hotels, which — pro tip — generally have special licences to serve alcohol in a country where few independent places do.

Many of the city’s high-profile dining rooms expect to be packed for the World Cup, which starts November 20 and will bring more than a million people to the country over the course of the month-long tournament.

You know the big-name places — many are worth your time. And then there are a series of excellent, more unconventional options, from places that feature Gulf specialities to excellent Lebanese fare and South American steaks.

Even fans flying in and out for the day should consider making time for a meal at one of the six places below. Book now, where reservations are being taken.

Here are your best bets for a memorable meal in Doha.


The traditional Lebanese restaurant Bayt El Talleh is perched atop the Katara Hills, across from the Galeries Lafayette, with views of the city’s skyscrapers, waterways and the Pearl man-made islands.

Ingredients are fresh and flavour-packed. They serve set menus, and prices — 120 rials (about R600) for breakfast, and 190 rials for lunch and dinner — may increase for the tournament. The meals include vast spreads of cold and hot meze, fruit and dessert.

Breakfast comes with eggs, cheese, foul (fava beans) and the flatbread manakesh. I wouldn’t miss dipping the house-made pita in the dibs kharoub (carob molasses). Lunch and dinner include meats such as shish tawook and lamb chops.

The restaurant won’t accept reservations during the tournament.


Sure, you can go to CUT by Wolfgang Puck or STK or even Nusr-Et if you want some Salt Bae (Nusret Gökçe). Alternately, try Hunters Room & Grill at the Westin, where chef Roberto Guerrero has been cooking since September. He’s added influences from his native Venezuela to the menu with dishes such as Black Asado, his spin on the tender roast beef asado negro.

During the World Cup — which invariably draws some of its largest crowds from Mexico and South America — Hunters will offer a special Latin American-focused menu alongside traditional steakhouse options.


There are few more crowd-pleasing sushi spots than Morimoto. It’s located in the Mondrian, which is booked by World Cup sponsor Visa, but the restaurants are still taking reservations.

The extensive menu makes it good for a group, with options from tuna-jalapeño pizza with anchovy aioli, to shrimp tempura with ranch dressing, to the requisite sashimi and sushi. There’s also Japanese Wagyu (140 rials/ounce), the ever-popular miso black cod and ishi yaki buri bop — a special rice dish with pickled carrots and mushrooms made either with Wagyu or yellowtail.

The restaurant also has a strong sake list, including Junmai Ginjo or Junmai Daiginjo recommended to balance the dishes.


David Myers, who made his name in Los Angeles at Sona, recently opened the Italian restaurant Adrift Anda at Le Royal Méridien hotel.

The sharp, curated menu ranges from appetisers such as scallop carpaccio with blood orange and oscietra caviar (118 rials) and cured meats, to a handful of pastas such as a tortelloni special topped with truffles shaved tableside. Main course options include roast fish and Bistecca Fiorentina for 295 rials.

The menu highlights pizza — the oven was broken when I ate there in September, but the restaurant says it’s been fixed.


If you want a truly local experience — side-by-side with Qataris, eating their cuisine — head to SMAT at the corniche, Doha’s waterfront boardwalk. The culture is a late one, so don’t be surprised by young children dining with their extended family well past 11pm. 

The menu is extensive and portions huge. Regional specialities from across the Middle East include the meat-and-rice dish majbous, the ground meat and bulgar dumpling-like kebbeh, as well as harees, a mildly sweet porridge-like dish.

Don’t count on wine parings: there are mocktails but no alcohol at this dry location.


The Cantonese restaurant Liang is on Barahat Msheireb, a shaded plaza adjacent to the Mandarin Oriental.

Servers roll up to the table to carve the signature crispy skinned Peking duck (500 rials whole/300 rials half), which comes with a pile of tender pancakes. Among the entrées are Wagyu beef short rib. Also take advantage of the dim sum selection, including excellent xiao long bao (soup dumplings), which they’ll teach you how to eat if you need an assist.

Liang offers desserts, such as Hong Kong-style egg tarts and fried ice cream. Or you can take a three-minute walk down the street to Qinwan Cafe for dates, camel-milk ice cream and saffron camel-milk lattes. This takes place in the heart of Msheireb, a shopping, cultural and hotel district next to the city’s market, Souq Waqif, and a destination itself.

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