A Weekend at the Grand Hyatt, Doha
At QAR350, this is not a cheap option. However, once you get started the reason for this quickly becomes apparent.
Let's start with the seafood, which a super choice of steamed freshwater mussels in a light dressing, poached prawns, squid, lobster, French oysters, smoked and cooked salmon and red snapper. Never very good at making decisions, I simply had all of it.
Faced with this feast of sea delicacies we were tempted to eat seafood and only seafood, but the eloquent Australian chef, Daud Kendall, soon persuaded us to try his specialty, short ribbed beef.
"If you are missing pork, you should give this a try, as the marbled fat that runs through it gives it a very similar to pork. But even if you are not missing pork, this is the one dish here you really should not miss. I have Arabs who can eat anywhere in Doha but who keep coming back here for this one dish."
Imported from America, the meat is braised for two and half hours before being put on display, resting in barbeque sauce. The chef the flips it on the grill for the waiting customer before it finally reaches our mouths and stomachs! Then, what a delight! I had to agree with the chef that this was the best dish of the buffet. Both incredibly tender and full of flavour, the meat melts away in your mouth. I had a taste of the roast beef, which was good but couldn't match the short ribs for either taste or tenderness.
Daud graciously offered to send us the recipe (a frequent request, he said, from customers) and you can find it here if you want to try it for yourself!
Without a doubt, this was the best buffet lunch we have had during our five year sojourn in Qatar. (The chef beamed with delight when we told him this!)
All that food needs at least some exercise to work it all off, and that's just what we did swimming in the outdoor pool, swimming in the indoor pool, and swimming in the sea from the semi-circle of golden sand in the lagoon. Put your feet down here, though, and your feet sink into sludge, reminding you that the building site which is the Pearl lies opposite the hotel. As a friend, who had cunningly invited himself along for a free swim, pointed out, once the building is finished the sludge should soon clear. (But will the building ever finish in Qatar?)
I also took the time to enjoy the jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, even popping briefly into the infra-red room, although I still haven't worked out what it does!
Instead we went to the bar, which, with its open fire, had the warm
ambience of an English lounge. (All it needed to complete the atmosphere
was a big shaggy dog lying in front of the fire.) With the children
safely ensconced with a babysitter, we took the time to sample the huge
range of whiskies, admire the Havana cigars on display and take silly
pictures of each other in front of the huge range of wines on display.
The Grand Hyatt doesn't come cheap (that's why it has the name Grand in front of it, silly!) but if you fancy a splurge it's a real weekend escape into luxury. However, if you are thinking of doing what we did and writing a review for a publication - hands off! That's my job!