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.
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.
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.
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 🙂 ).
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.
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.