Welcome to Doha, Qatar and what a welcome we received. I don’t know what I was expecting when we touched down in Doha, but we were surprisingly greeted by friendly smiles and a chatty cab driver who pretty much gave us a tour and insight into life in Doha as he drove us to our hotel within Souq Waqif.
We were staying here for a few nights at the Souq Waqif Boutique Hotel Resort and once we finished checking in and found our room, we decided to go on the search for dinner as it was already 9pm!
We needn’t have worried about not finding anywhere to eat though, as Doha was still bustling and the Souq Waqif was a hive of activity with live music on the terrace and men and women relaxing with some fragrant shisa outside at many of the outdoor restaurant tables.
For us though, we made our way to one of the sister hotels, Arumaila and decided to spend our first night in Doha dining in style at the Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill. We were shown to the rooftop and arrived via lift where again we were greeted by the friendly restaurant staff where we took our pick and sat by the window offering scenic views of the city skyline.
Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill is a true carnivore’s paradise whether you are after tasty skewers, succulent steaks or lamb chops tandoori style. As Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill had many different cuts of Australian Wagyu steaks, we decided to try something else as we can get Aussie steak anytime when back in Sydney!
After much deliberation, we ended up choosing dishes from the Indian Tandoor Clay Oven including the Seekh Kebab and Chicken Tandoori, with corn on the cob and fried onion rings as sides. Our waiter also recommended ordering an entrée as would take about 30 or so minutes to prepare our mains so we opted to share the Chicken Teriyaki Skewers.
Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill was pretty empty whilst we were here allowing us to chill out after our flight from London and take in the city skyline. To our surprise, a bread basket was presented to us full of bread sticks, crispy bread and other savoury delights along with olives and a mint sauce and chilli sauce. As we were in a foreign country we were unsure whether we would be charged for this, but decided we were too hungry not to worry, and didn’t want to appear rude!
The bread smelled wonderful and was freshly prepared and still warm. I loved the thin crispy type poppadums whilst the bread sticks were superb, especially with the dips. I’m not a big fan of olives, but beginning to enjoy them and these were big and juicy.
Soon after this our Chicken Teriyaki Skewers were brought out on a hotplate dish with coals still burning below it giving a smoky effect. There were three skewers altogether with a grilled spring onion delicately placed on top. The chicken was extremely tender with the teriyaki sauce on the side to pour over at your convenience. I really enjoyed this dish and was looking forward to the rest of it.
However, what came next was definitely not what I was expecting. What came to our table first was the Seekh Kebab which comprised four pieces with some lemon on the side. Again this was served on the same type of dish with coals underneath to keep the food warm. This was of a good size; however I’m sure my mouth was wide open when the Chicken Tandoori was brought to the table. This was a whole chicken cut up into different pieces and smelled wonderful with the tandoori sauce fragrances wafting towards my nose! Our corn on the cob and onion rings were also brought over, along with some side salads and then minutes later, freshly made naan bread – not what we were expecting and again were left wondering if they were included in the price!
So now we had a real challenge on our hands. How much could we actually eat at the Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill! The food looked amazing, the Seekh Kebab was tender to the touch with good aromatic spices flowing through. The Chicken Tandoori was nicely charred on top creating a nice crisypy yet juicy skin with succulent chicken pieces, although the breast was a bit dryer, but this might be because it was still being heated from underneath.
The corn on the cob was a little chewy, but the onion rings were crunchy and addictive! I didn’t really touch much of the salad and only had some of the bread, but overall the meal was wonderful and made fresh from the kitchen!
Unfortunately, we had to leave some of the food – we ate all the Seekh Kebabs and most of the chicken and onion rings, so I think we did pretty well! Our waiter Walid was very friendly, always making sure we had everything we needed and we enjoyed chatting to him about Doha!
If you are looking for a restaurant with a view and excellent food and portion sizes then I would definitely recommend Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill. Prices are a bit on the expensive side, but the restaurant would be a great place to come for a special occasion or simply for a lavish meal and night out! Views are fantastic, as is the food and service. Thanks all for making our time here a memorable one.
Oh and if you were wondering, all the extra dishes at Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill, from the bread basket to the side salads and naan bread with the meal were complimentary and a thoughtful touch to a wonderful meal.
If you are looking for a similar meal to Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill, then I would also recommend Royal Tandoor in Souq Waqif, only a minute's walk away.