Dining With A View: La Veranda at The Sheraton, Doha

Do you have a favourite restaurant with a view? For me, there’s something quite special about eating great food on a restaurant’s open air terrace, with a breeze in your hair and a spectacular view spread out in front of you. 

Now that the cooler Winter evenings are closing in on Doha, Mr Sunshine and I have been in search of the perfect outdoor spot from which to enjoy our food with a great view of the city, and we think we might have found it.

La Veranda at The Sheraton is an unassuming little restaurant, tucked away in a small building to the side of the hotel’s iconic pyramid structure. 

 

Having never visited La Veranda before, we were a little taken aback that we weren’t dining closer to the main building, which is legendary in Qatar for being one of the first hotels to open its doors to Doha, and remains one of the more interesting and recognisable buildings on the skyline.

 

Instead, we were led down a corridor which took us past the hotel gym, where a shorts-clad group was just leaving, hot and sweaty from a workout and we wondered if we had come a little over-dressed. We had both assumed that the restaurant would deliver the typical Doha high end dining experience, but we were about to be surprised, for La Veranda is a-typical in a number of ways.

Firstly, because of this view from the veranda of the restaurant. After two years in Doha, I was yet to find a restaurant which combined proximity to the sky scrapers of the city centre, and an al fresco dining spot which allows you to fully enjoy the beauty of your location.

Secondly, because the restaurant is not trying to be something that it is not. Yes, it has a few touches of excellence which wouldn’t seem out of place on the high-end dining scene in Doha. The gorgeously soft, doughy focaccia for instance, which is among the best I have tried in Doha.

But most of the food is unfussy, simple Italian cooking. 

I started with a fresh juice, Mr S with a beer and we tucked into that perfect bread basket.

The third reason why La Veranda is special is that it is the only restaurant in Doha (to my knowledge) where the sea comes right up to where you are seated, which creates a really relaxing ambience.

(It’s also a great excuse to gorge on even more bread…all that fresh, sea air just serves to make you even hungrier while you wait for your food to arrive).

After we (I) had polished off the bread, we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to sample a selection of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

The Bruschetta La Veranda:  cured tomatoes, smoked Provola and porcini mushroom on bruschetta, which were fresh and light, if a little lacking in seasoning.

A tasty traditional Caprese Salad, drizzled with tart olive oil. 

 

A beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan for Mr Sunshine, which I know he loved because as it arrived I left the table momentarily to take a couple of photos, and by the time I had returned, the plate had already been wiped clean.

While we waited for our main dishes, we watched the Dhow boats floating in and out of the harbour and chatted. After a couple of busy weeks at work, I realised that I hadn’t felt that relaxed in a long time.

 

Our main courses were all warming and comforting, but lacked the excitement and interest that some of our other favourite Italians in Doha provide.

Mr S thought the Filetto alla Griglia (beef tenderloin) was tender but not as tasty as he would have liked.

We both agreed that the hammour fillet was a little dry and the seafood basque, although full of flavour, wasn’t entirely to our liking.

The real star of the show, however, was the four cheese gnocchi. Plump little parcels were smothered in a creamy and delicious sauce, and the chef hadn’t skimped on the grated truffle. Once again, Mr Sunshine practically licked this plate clean!

I had also asked for a plate of Spaghetti al Pomodoro, which was perfectly el dente. The tomatoes were delicious, but I was desperate for a little more seasoning!

After all of that pasta, we were too full for dessert, and instead took a little turn around the outside area, and enjoyed the gorgeous view one last time before we departed.

It had been a mixed experience. The space, situation and ambience of the outdoor terrace is unparalleled. The food was good, but not excellent. Would we return? Most definitely. With a group of friends on a cool winter’s night, I can’t think of anywhere better to enjoy a few relaxed drinks and a bowl of simple pasta.

We returned home feeling very full, and happy that we had discovered another hidden spot in Doha, just when we thought we had exhausted every dining option out there.

 

What other hidden gems is Doha hiding? I’d love to hear about some of your exciting finds!

 

We were guests of The Sheraton this time, but as always all views are my own regardless.

17 Comments

    • November 16, 2015 / 9:55 am

      I think it's now one of my favourite views in Doha – and I can confirm that the gnocchi was as good as it looks!!

      Polly xx

  1. November 11, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    What a lovely, surprising view!

    • November 16, 2015 / 9:55 am

      So gorgeous! We didn't see it until we were right out on the terrace, so it came as a bit of a shock 🙂

      Polly xx

  2. November 11, 2015 / 9:38 pm

    You are absolutely glowing! I remember dining here when I got stuck in Qatar for a bit and you're right – the sound of the sea was very calming even during a stressful situation!

    Honey x The Girl Next Shore

    • November 16, 2015 / 7:31 pm

      Thank you Honey, that's a lovely thing to say! How long were you stuck in Qatar for? Sorry that happened to you, but I can't think of a better place to stumble upon 🙂

      Polly xx

    • November 17, 2015 / 2:01 am

      Just two days, actually – but we were lucky enough to be able to explore a bit of the city! =) x

  3. November 12, 2015 / 10:23 am

    I love a restaurant with a view and to be right by the sea is great. Shame the food wasn't actually top notch but as you say it wasn't trying to be a Michelin-starred restaurant or anything. I think the best restaurant with a view in London is City Social, though of course Duck & Waffle is wonderful. You look stunning in the last picture.
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

    • November 16, 2015 / 7:33 pm

      Great recommendations, thanks Angie! I adore Duck & Waffle. The food could have been better, but we are so spoilt for choice out here that I swear it makes you more critical! Thanks for the lovely compliment 🙂

      Polly xx

  4. November 12, 2015 / 11:47 pm

    Nothing beats a restaurant with a view and that is quite the view. The food looks wonderful. Some of my best memories are eating with a view. Hope you are keeping well Lucy x

    • November 16, 2015 / 7:35 pm

      I agree – a view definitely makes any restaurant experience more memorable! I am really well thanks. I hope you are too. Very excited for you!

      Polly xx

    • November 16, 2015 / 7:35 pm

      Too delicious. Wish I could have some right now.

      Polly xx

  5. November 13, 2015 / 5:43 pm

    How nice that you were right next to the sea. Funnily enough I went to a dinner hosted by Qatar on Monday and the GM of the Sheraton was there

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • November 16, 2015 / 7:36 pm

      Seriously! What a small world!! I bet he had some interesting things to say about the hotel. It's really iconic out here. You do get to go to some great events Suze 🙂

      Polly xx

  6. November 15, 2015 / 5:37 am

    Oh, I haven't been to La Veranda in years! Have you tried any of the Sheraton's new restaurants?

    • November 16, 2015 / 7:38 pm

      You need to get yourself back there! I haven't yet – I really want to try Al Maskar and Al Shaheen next. Have you been to either? Would love to know your thoughts.

      Polly xx

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