Now is the perfect time of year in Doha to sit outside and while away a weekend afternoon with good friends and fabulous food. With that in mind, Rocca at the Grand Hyatt has developed a new Italian lunch to allow diners to take advantage of lazy days in the sun before summer’s sizzling temperatures make us dive for the cool of indoors again.
While held on Fridays from noon, La Tavola Italiana (‘the Italian table’) is a lunch rather than a brunch, so don’t come expecting to see tables laden with a ridiculous amount of dishes. The antipasti is served brunch-style, but the rest of the meal is served to your table.
We decided to sit in the newly renovated terrace, where floor-to-ceiling windows with views out to the Arabian Gulf make you feel like you’re sitting in a conservatory.
The antipasti selection was a chic start to the meal – there was plenty to choose from, including a range of seafood dishes and salads. I selected a prawn cocktail elegantly served in a martini glass and containing a salsa style tomato-based sauce, along with cheese-topped grilled eggplant.
As we settled into the cushioned wicker chairs, the chef brought us goodies from the wood-fired oven. First up was Pizza Formaggio (Cheese Pizza), which was simple but not bland, thanks to the mix of herbs and cheese.
I preferred the Chicken Milanese, though, another simple dish done well. The thin slices of chicken were given a lovely crunchy, golden-brown coating and were served with creamy penne pasta in white sauce, overall a very more-ish dish.
We were also served a flavour-some mushroom risotto, which went perfectly with the chicken.
Dessert came in the form of four mini-treats artfully arranged on a plate – tiramisu, chocolate cheesecake, panna cotta with passionfruit syrup and vanilla ice-cream. Each were just a little bigger than bite-size. My fave was the chocolate cheesecake, which was as rich as ganache.
This is a lunch that ticks the boxes in terms of Italian cuisine, but the main drawcard is the beautiful setting. La Tavola Italiana is on for a limited time (it will finish when the weather really warms up), so book soon if you want a taste.
INFO: QR295 with unlimited vino and birra, 12pm-3.30pm every Fri, Grand Hyatt Doha, West Bay Lagoon, 7021 8096, email@example.com, www.doha.grand.hyatt.com