THE FLYING CARPET IFTAR – TORCH HOTEL

Image via thetorchdoha.wordpress.com

Image via thetorchdoha.wordpress.com

I have lived in Doha on and off for about 10 years and I am ashamed to say that I have never been out for an Iftar meal, well I plan to sort that out this Ramadan. For the first day of Ramadan my husband and I decided to go someplace close by to try and avoid the traffic and chaos that would be in the West Bay area, so we went to the Flying Carpet restaurant in the Torch Tower. This was my first visit to the Flying Carpet so if your interested in my thoughts on their Iftar buffet then read on.

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When we entered the restaurant we were promptly shown to our table, we were then brought some dates, water and Arabic coffee to break our fast. The staff were very polite and quick to come to our table if we needed anything so overall the service was fantastic. The only criticism I have is they were too quick to clear our table, a few times they took my glass of fruit juice away before I finished it, I know this is a little fault however it is one of my pet peeves when I am in a restaurant.

While we were waiting to break our fast I had a chance to have a look round the restaurant and soak up the atmosphere and admire the decor. However there wasn’t much in the way of atmosphere, I think the fact the restaurant was not busy contributed to this as well as a television playing in the background. I would have much preferred to listen to some Arabic music. However after a day of fasting these issues did not irk me as much as they normally would have, as I was more interested in getting stuck in to the wonders that lay before me in the buffet :). I have never been to ‘The Flying Carpet’ before so I am unsure of what the usual decoration is compared to what it is now for Ramadan, however it being an Arabic restaurant I doubt it needed much in the way of Ramadan decorations. The decor of the restaurant was however very colorful, pleasant and it certainly fitted the Arabic theme and I still felt like I was at a Ramadan event.

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Now on to the main event, the food. The starter selection was excellent they had all the typical hot and cold mezze; hummus, fattoush, fatayer etc. I especially loved the cheese fatayer, it had delicious feta cheese and mint inside the yummy pastry parcel. Another must try from the hot mezze section was the chicken shawarma, the chicken was cooked to perfection and it was so moreish and tasty I would definitely go back just for the shawarma they were that good. There was also a selection of light refreshing starters, my favorite was the avocado salad it was the perfect light dish to begin with.

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After the amazing selection they had for starters and the equally amazing quality I had high hopes for the main courses however I was severely let down. The selection was not anything to rave about and the same went for the quality.  They had the traditional mixed grill selection which I must admit the meat was cooked extremely well and was tasty, a fish dish which I did not try as I am not a fan of fish, Moroccan Tagine which was bland, my husband enjoyed the stuffed vegetables, chicken gratin was OK I found there was too much cheese in the dish which overpowered it and finally the main dish of the evening was the Kuzi ,my husband enjoyed it however he said he has had much better (he is Iraqi so he is probably comparing it to his mums so there is a high standard for him 🙂 ).

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Finally the dessert. Dessert is my favorite part of any meal as I have quiet a sweet tooth and this Iftar buffet did not disappoint which was a relief after the mains, overall the selection was very good. There was a mixture of Arabic and international desserts. Upon entering the buffet the first thing you set your hungry eyes on is the dessert section and the first thing I think to myself is I am going to try everything. Is it just me or does everyone else delude themselves at a buffet in to thinking they are going to try everything? So when it came to dessert did I manage to try everything? Unfortunately not 😦 . I did however manage to try a few things; creme brulee which was delicious and creamy and the portion size was perfect, a gorgeous lime macaroon that was everything a macaroon should be crispy, chewy and deliciously refreshing, a creamy and fruity mango posset this was so divine and finally a cherry and chocolate mousse I found this to be a little rich and heavy so I didn’t manage to eat all of it. After the meal we were brought complimentary tea to finish off which was lovely.

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My overall thought on ‘The Flying Carpet’ Iftar is that I thoroughly enjoyed it for my first Iftar experience. The starters and desserts were almost faultless however as mentioned the main courses let this buffet down. If your looking for a 5* Iftar buffet which is out of the way of the busy West Bay area then this is the one for you.

The Iftar buffet costs QR220 which I find a little too much after doing some research on what the other 5* hotels are offering in Doha for around about the same amount of money.

Overall I would give it 5.5/10 – the atmosphere and the mains let down an otherwise very nice meal but it has the potential to be really good.

If you don’t fancy ‘The Flying Carpet’ but still would like to eat at The Torch then why not try;

The Torch Doha
Includes set mezze, soup, main buffet dishes and desserts. À la carte menu available on request, with a view of the Doha city skyline from floor 50. Iftar QR200. Maghreb prayer until 8pm.
Panorama, The Torch Doha, Aspire Zone (4446 5600).

The Torch Doha
Suhoor set menu including traditional Ramadan platters served at the tea lounge, located on the 21st floor, overlooking Aspire Park. Suhoor QR140. 10pm-1.30am.
Torch Tea Garden, The Torch Doha, Aspire Zone (4446 5600).

The Torch Doha information taken from: http://www.timeoutdoha.com/ramadan/features/63704-iftar-and-suhoor-in-doha-2015. 

 

TATTIE SCONES AKA POTATO SCONES

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I decided to make these little delights due to the simple fact you can’t get them in Doha and boy am I glad I did, they are better than shop bought ones (if I do say so myself). For those of you who do not know what Potato Scones are; they are like a griddle flat bread made from potatoes, cut in to triangles. These are a definite must to try, they are so simple and everybody has the ingredients in their kitchen, so there is no excuse get baking!!!

MAKES:  24 triangles

INGREDIENTS 

  • 500g floury potatoes, unpeeled
  • 50g butter
  • 125g plain flour, extra for dusting

METHOD

1. Put the potatoes in a pan, cover with water, salt the water and bring to the boil. Simmer until cooked through. Drain well and return to the hot pan for a minute to dry. Peel off the skins as soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle.

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2. Add 40g of the butter and mash, then stir in the flour and season to taste. Be careful not to add too much butter as this can make the dough too soft and hard to handle and work with.

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3.Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick, then cut around a side plate to shape. Dust lightly with flour, prick all over with a fork and cut into four triangles.

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4. Heat the remaining butter in a griddle or a large heavy based frying pan over a medium to high heat and then fry until golden on both sides. The original recipe said to fry them whole however as you can see from the picture below that didn’t go well 🙂 .

This is my first attempt at cooking the potato scones and as you can see it didnt work out well. So I decided to cook them in triangles rather than the full circle which made it a lot easier.

This is my first attempt at cooking the potato scones and as you can see it didnt work out well. So I decided to cook them in triangles rather than the full circle which made it a lot easier.

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Attempt 2 which went a little more according to plan. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Serve these little delights immediately if like me you can’t wait to scoff them all or if you have a little bit more restraint than me, cool in a tea towel for later. Potato scones are best eaten toasted with butter or with a fried egg roll. Happy Baking!!! 🙂

Recipe taken from: www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/jan/08/how-to-cook-perfect-tattie-scones

HONEY AND ZUCCHINI CAKE

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Yes you have read the title right, this is a recipe for a honey and zucchini cake, so if you are looking for a recipe that will shock and surprise your friends then your search is over. I am always intrigued to try unusual flavor combinations and when I seen this recipe I thought I need to make this, this sounds so weird I need to know if it works. I must admit after I mixed all the ingredients together I was not convinced, lets just say I didn’t feel tempted to lick the bowl clean because the mixture did not look appetizing. However despite my reservation the cake tasted great and the best thing is it’s really healthy; the wholemeal flour, oil, honey and zucchini makes this cake healthy so it is the best of both worlds. I really would urge you to try this cake and to not be put off by how weird it is because it really is worth it. Happy Baking!!!

MAKES: 1 Loaf              PREP TIME: 15mins            BAKE TIME: 45mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 100g Clear Honey
  • 100ml Sunflower Oil
  • 70g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 Medium Courgette (approx 200g)
  • 225g Plain Wholemeal Flour
  • 2tsp Baking Powder
  • 1tsp Ground Mixed Spice or Cinnamon
  • 50g Chopped Hazelnuts
  • 100g Dark or Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1tbsp honey, warmed, to finish

METHOD

  1. Heat your oven to 180c and prepare your loaf tin with some baking parchment.
  2. Break the eggs in to a large mixing bowl and add the sunflower oil, honey and sugar. Beat the mixture together until thoroughly combined.

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3. Rinse and dry the courgette, then trim off the ends. Roughly grate the zucchini and weigh out 175g (discard the rest you won’t need it). TIP: Try and grate round the middle of the zucchini, as the middle is really watery and can water down the mixture. Stir the grated zucchini into the egg mixture.

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4. Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice or cinnamon into the bowl, add any bran left in the sieve. Mix in the dry ingredients an, then stir in the chocolate chips and nuts (if using) until thoroughly combined.

5. Transfer the mixture to your prepared tin and bake for 45mins until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

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6. Place the tin on a rack and immediately brush with the warmed up honey. Run a knife round the side of the tin to loosen the cake, and leave it in the tin for approx. 15mins. Carefully lift the cake out of the tin and on to the rack. Leave the cake to fully cool before slicing. Serve and enjoy.

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Recipe Taken From: The Great British Bake Off Everyday.

KITCHEN AND LIFESTYLE TIPS PAGE LAUNCH

Every week I plan to post a kitchen or lifestyle based tip/trick that can make your life so much easier. These tips are ones I have learned over the short years I have been baking, cooking and keeping a home, but also from people in my life; whether it’s been a friend or my mum. I have also found useful tips on the internet and watching my favorite cooking shows.

The more experienced lot of you will already know a fair amount of the tips and tricks, however I am hoping to help everyone from the novice to experience cooks out there, so hopefully there is a little bit of everything for everyone.

So click on the Kitchen and Lifestyle Tips page above to find out what the first tip is!!!

🙂

AVOCADO AND EGG TOAST

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If your bored of the everyday eggs and toast for breakfast then I have the perfect recipe for you to help turn it in to something more exciting. This recipe for Avocado and Egg toast is easy, quick, tasty and even better healthy. The avocado spread can also be used on crackers for a healthy snack, I don’t know about you but I just love recipes that can do double duty, makes life so much easier and it helps me stay on track when I’m on a healthy kick as I can prepare extra in the morning.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x very ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp of cream cheese
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt
  • 2 x Eggs
  • 2 x Slices of any bread you like

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METHOD

  1. Cook your eggs how you prefer them i.e fry, scramble or poach. I like to fry mine.
  2. Meanwhile mash up your avocado till almost smooth, then add the cream cheese, lemon and salt and mix till combined.
  3. Toast your choice of bread.
  4. Spread your avocado mix on to your toast and place your eggs on top.
  5. Serve and Enjoy.

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