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Take a break from watching the Fifa World Cup and explore Doha’s ever expanding dining scene

Doha, the capital city of Qatar, is located in the Middle Eastern region of the Persian Gulf and is known for its futuristic architecture and multiculturalism. According to the World Population Review, Qatar has over 90 different nationalities, with the Qataris making up less than 15 per cent of its total population.

It’s not surprising then that the city has a vibrant dining scene, and is home to a plethora of delectable cuisines from all over the world. 

With the FIFA World Cup taking place in the capital city from November 20 to December 18, the spotlight is on Qatar. Who knows, you may even be inspired to book your next holiday trip there. While cheering on your favourite team and getting to know the exotic city, take the time to immerse yourself in the food culture—starting with these five restaurants.

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Catch the view at… Three Sixty Restaurant

Perched atop The Torch Hotel is Three Sixty, a Mediterranean restaurant offering a picturesque 360-degree view of Doha’s skyline. The a la carte menu is extensive, featuring dishes such as the herb-crumbed sea bass baked until beautifully crisp on the outside with a soft and flaky interior. It’s brought together with the addition of eggplant caponata, parsnip carrot puree and saffron-flavoured citrus sauce. Prefer meat? The lamb shank is braised for eight hours until fork-tender and served on a bed of fluffy rice. Wash these dishes down with a mocktail or two—the orange mint cooler offers a refreshing medley of orange juice, apple juice, lime juice, mint, ginger, honey and green apple.

Three Sixty Restaurant, The Torch Tower, 7C6V+XWW, Doha, Qatar, +974 4446 5600

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Satisfy your sweet cravings at… Al Aker Sweets

A favourite among locals and tourists, this sweet shop offers a wide selection of traditional Arabic dessert—perfect for those with a sweet tooth. The soft kunafa is a crowd favourite; the Middle Eastern pastry comprises shredded kataifi (filo) dough and cheese. It’s baked until crisp and finished with a generous drizzle of sugar syrup. Apart from dessert, get your hands on its freshly made taboon bread, a soft and chewy Palestinian flatbread that’s baked in a tandoor clay oven. 

Al Aker Sweets, 7F3J+MP8, Salwa Road, Doha, Qatar, +974 4411 3111

For a contemporary take on Qatari fare, visit… Jiwan Restaurant

If you find yourself feeling peckish while visiting the National Museum of Qatar, make a trip to Jiwan (located inside the museum) for contemporary Middle Eastern fare. The restaurant pays homage to local ingredients and flavours with starters like the camel rissole, juicy patties made with tender camel meat; and spelt tabbouleh salad, a refreshing salad tossed with spelt, parsley, tomatoes and mint. Then, take your pick from a selection of mouth-watering mains—among which are the Jiwan harees, a traditional dish of beaten wheat and chicken; and fork-tender confit lamb shank served alongside fragrant rice. Save room for dessert savour traditional sweets like the hazelnut baklava and mahalabia (milk pudding).

Jiwan Restaurant, National Museum of Qatar Park Street, Doha, Qatar, +974 4452 5725

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For local flavours, head to… Smat Restaurant

You can’t visit Qatar without trying authentic cuisine—and Smat is the best spot to do so. Traditional Qatari dishes await hungry diners, so dig into the majbous snafi, beef kofta glazed in a fragrant brown mushroom sauce and served alongside saffron rice; and mashawi heiba, chicken and lamb meatballs marinated in aromatic spices and beautifully grilled and finished with a kiss of smoke. Prefer seafood instead? Opt for the safryat maraq sahari, which gives you flaky kanad fish stewed with black dried lemon and herbs.

Smat Restaurant, Corniche Doha Near Rass Abu Aboud Signal, Orient Pearl Restaurant, Emrair St, Doha, Qatar, +974 4410 6600

People watch at… Amora Café

At Amora Café, everything is pink. From its rose-covered walls to its baby pink booths, the café transports you to a fairy tale wonderland. The vibrant theme perfectly complements its menu, which consists of colourful dishes like the creamy pink chicken alfredo and refreshing strawberry smoothie bowl.

Classic breakfast staples are available too; wake up early and savour their version of smashed avocado sandwich and zaatar manaqesh. The latter is a good choice if you want something more Mediterranean, as it’s made up of chewy flatbread loaded with a flavourful za’atar (herbs) spread. Don’t forget your daily dose of coffee—try the smooth and sweet Arabic coffee or opt for a cup of bittersweet Turkish coffee. 

Amora Café, Tawar Mall, Level 1, Doha, Qatar, +974 6655 6011

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