Apart from the family-friendly walkways and the glitzy-glamour of the marina, the one thing that’s certain about my little island home, The Pearl, is that its restaurants are some of Doha’s finest.
And yet some of these eateries, due to their tucked away locations and less established set of long-term clientele, remain undiscovered by many. In an effort to try to rectify this, allow me to take you on a little foodie tour of my home, and my top 6 unmissable restaurants of the island.
We start slap bang in the centre of Porto Arabia, right outside my flat. The sun’s shining of course (as it always does on The Pearl)
And the boats are looking inviting…but there’s no time to stop and stare. I’m starving!
1. Tse Yang
Traverse the grand steps at the back of Tower 6, and you come to a set of beautiful wooden intricately-carved Arabic-style archways.
Which lead to a pretty bell tower, and the restaurant, Tse Yang.
Peep at the view through the thick walls of this castle-like setting
And chill out on the comfy sofas as the breeze flows in through open windows while you are served an (alcohol-free) aperitif.
Once you’ve ordered, enjoy the panoramic views over the marina.
And explore the beautiful space of the indoor-outdoor terrace.
If you have kids, they might enjoy a little play in the rickshaw.
(Some adults might too).
Don’t miss: the fruit smoothies.
Stir fried scallops.
Singaporean style vermicilli with chicken and shrimp
Or pan-seared Angus beef with Enoki mushrooms.
Just next door is the Japanese restaurant, Megu. With its stunningly-high ceilings, beautiful and delicate food and private elevator, this place oozes luxury. Sit inside and enjoy a long and decadent lunch.
Or head out onto the terrace for a romantic evening meal under the stars.
For a full review, head over here.
A little further down the island, towards 1 Porto Arabia sits one of our favourite restaurants in the whole of Doha. Pampano is a rare thing in the restaurant world – combining fine dining with a relaxed and cheerful ambience.
When HDC invited Rich and I to dine with them at the end of last year, we were hugely grateful for their introduction to this comfortable and friendly home away from home, where we will be returning again and again in years to come.
Don’t miss: their tasty guacamole with strawberry and pomegranate.
The more-ish home-made nachos with delectable spicy dips.
The sizzling iron skillet chicken fajitas, straight from the oven.
The famous Mariscada.
And my favourites: fresh, crispy fried Churros and delicious banana cheesecake (which we were very kindly gifted to try on our last visit as it wasn’t yet on the menu…I hope it is now!).
4. Anima Lounge
Head in the opposite direction now, trot over the bridge and past Spinneys, and you’ll eventually come to what I call the ‘cool’ part of the island (mainly because my good friend Nicky, the coolest chick I know lives here).
In fact, Nicky was the first person to introduce me to this place over a gossip and one of their killer health-busting smoothies. With its neon swirly lighting, ‘out there’ art and ever-changing quirky exhibition space next door, Anima is fun and light hearted.
With serious food.
Don’t miss: their killer sandwiches.
Their hearty pastas and healthy salads.
Or their new gluten-free offerings.
We head away from the marina now, to the area around the new development of Medina Centrale, a little square which joins Porto Arabia to the lesser-developed Viva Bahriya.
5. Big Bear Cafe
You can’t walk into the square without noticing this quirky cafe-come-showroom.
Set up principally so that the owner can show off his impressive collection of hogs..
This place has got the warehouse-chic vibe down to a T.
Apart from breakfasts, burgers and salads are the only thing on the menu.
Luckily, both are pretty good.
Guess who had the burger?!
If you wander back out of the square, you almost immediately come across Mado, the Turkish dessert restaurant of the century (my words).
A fitting place for me to leave you, as we sit back in the sunshine of the marina and watch the world go by
While chomping on tasty layers of Turkish icecream which are so think that a knife and fork and a lot of elbow grease is required.
Where’s your favourite place to dine at The Pearl?
Don’t forget to use #diningatthepearl when you Instagram the shiz out of your food while you’re here!