The original Al Sultan Brahim restaurant opened in Beirut in the 1960s, offering dishes based on recipes passed down from generation to generation. It’s particularly renowned in Lebanon for its fresh seafood and fish specialities.
The Doha restaurant, which opened in 2012, promises the same standards of authentic Lebanese cuisine in the opulent surrounds of the St Regis. So, when we heard about a new lunch-time business menu at the budget friendly price of QR100 for three courses, we were keen to check it out.
The restaurant boasts a large open-air terrace overlooking the waterfront, so my friend and I opted to sit in the light sun to eat.
The business menu is broken into three sections: salads, cold mezze and mains.
We started with large bowls of tabbouleh and fattouche. The tabbouleh was sensationally zesty, while the fattouche was crunchy and very fresh, with a dressing of sumac, olive oil and lemon.
The salads were followed by a bowl of hummus topped with chickpeas, with a perfect balance of olive oil. We used the puffy pillow-style bread to mop up the bowl. We also sampled two delicious traditional aubergine dishes – Moutabal and Batenjan El Raheb – beautifully presented with sprinklings of pomegranate molasses.
For the main course, we tried the Shrimp al Ajillo and the Fish Ras Asfour. The fresh shrimps were dripping in garlic butter sauce, with a kick of chilli that made the dish quite more-ish. The fish dish featured little morsels of fried red snapper, coated in a light tangy sauce made up of soya, lemon and garlic. The mains are designed for sharing, a central idea of Lebanese cuisine.
For dessert, we were presented with a selection of Arabic sweets, including cakes called basbousa (made of cooked semolina or farina and soaked in syrup) and oriental-style macaroons, along with fresh fruit.
The best part about the lunch was the freshness of each dish, which we were told was due to Head Chef Wael Jaafar consistently scouring Doha for high quality ingredients. The restaurant has a very warm, relaxed feel, partly due to the attentive nature of the staff.
INFO: QR100 for three courses, 12pm-4pm Mon-Sat, The St Regis Doha, West Bay, 4446 0105, email@example.com, www.alsultanbrahimdoha.com, valet parking available