Salad for Desert

Saturday 9th March 2013

I am not one for salad or starters, and if I have a choice to make between either dessert or main course, then there really is no choice…but tonight PL made me the most amazing meal. It looked like a salad for starters, it was made for my main course, but it tasted like dessert!It was all natural, with no processed flavourings, and had steak and raspberries! I wish I had taken a picture of it, but I ate it too fast.


Sunday 8th April 2012

Lunch at the Burj Khalifa seemed to be more of a tick in the box than a culinery treat. The worlds highest restaurant in the worlds tallest building…done! Just to get a booking was difficult and is usually booked weeks ahead. And because the restaurant is so high, it is in the narrower part of the building and is consequently quite small, so that limits bookings as well as the popularity.

However, one great benefit of the size is that you get a view that is almost 180 degrees through the windows.

The building itself is 828 m with 160 floors, and the restaurant is at 422 m on the 122 floor. As you enter the grill, you see the certificate from the Guinness book of records confirming that it is the highest restaurant from ground level. The food was wonderful, but pricey, and I can’t imagine going back there soon, not just because of the price, but also the inconvenience. However, as an experience and for the food, it was well worth it.

Bice at the Pearl

Friday 16th March 2012

Featuring authentic Italian cuisine, Bice at The Pearl-Qatar is part of the legendary Bice Group which was established in 1926 when its founder Beatrice “Bice” Ruggeri opened her firsttrattoria in Milan. BICE is a traditional trattoria-style haute dining experience, but with the interiors of each restaurant having turned markedly urbane; yet the superb service remains traditionally homely, exactly as Bice Ruggeri first envisioned it. The restaurant is located on the first parcel of Porto Arabia, with a broad terrace that provides stunning marina and island views, and an architectural setting inspired by Tuscan, Moroccan, Italianate and Andalusian designs which, when taken together, create the wonderfully appealing ambiance of the Italian Riviera right here in Doha.

Everything was set up for the best culinary experience…except the food was a major disappointment. If the food had been served in an average restaurant I would have been disappointed, let alone such a gourmet establishment. Perhaps our choice of food from the menu was not to my liking, but of the 3 dishes, one was average at best and the other two well below. I certainly will not be rushing back, but if I were to go back, I would definitely be avoiding the veal and prawn dishes.

Johnny Rockets

Saturday 30th October 2010
Eddie Rockets, Camden St, Dublin

Image via Wikipedia

This is an American restaurant franchise whose concept is to create a classic American restaurant atmosphere. The theme is the diner-style restaurant that became a common sight by the 1950s. Decor includes Coca-Cola advertising featuring nearly life-size cardboard illustrations of women in WWII armed services uniforms, individual jukebox stations, chrome accents and red vinyl seats. The staff at some locations are known to sing and dance every half-hour. Making a smiley face with ketchup on the paper plate when served french fries is a Johnny Rockets trademark.

The whole restaurant reminds me of Arnolds from Happy Days.

I first went to Eddie Rockets in Dublin in 2005. Eddie had been in negotiations to buy the franchise, but instead stole the idea and renamed it. The branch in Bahrain opened around 2006, and has been a favourite ever since, despite probably being very unhealthy, and today was no different. Tasty, filling and unhealthy! All the ingredients to a guilty pleasure.


Muju, Amwaj Island

Friday 24th September 2010

Rather than go too far for dinner on Friday night, we decided to drive the 4 minutes from the flat to Muju Restaurant and Lounge. There isn’t too much open on Amwaj, but this certainly makes up for it, and will certainly be a big draw when the whole island is finally fully occupied.

To be honest, the food and drinks were almost a secondary draw as the soft chairs and warm decor made sitting and chatting so relaxing whilst eating. I am pretty sure we will be going back again very soon, not just for the convenience, but also for the relaxation.

The Ritz

Friday 10th September 2010
The London Ritz, seen from across Piccadilly, ...

Image via Wikipedia

On the way to Poland for the wedding, I was serendipitously reunited with my tent mate from Mount Lobuche. The last time I saw her was at 6,200m before I had my accident and was flown out. Shari lives in Australia but was in the UK very briefly and we managed to meet up at Green Park tube. I expected we would go for lunch at the nearest sandwich bar, but she suggested the Ritz Hotel.

My immediate thought was to tell her that was a crazy idea, but then I abated, as I realised I had never been inside myself so why not? I knew it was going to be expensive and snooty, but it was worth it for the experience and what better company than one of the genuinely warm people I met on Everest.

As expected, as soon as I walked in we were surrounded by doormen and concierges asking if sir had a tie and did we have a reservation. Apparently it was full for lunch, but we were allowed to sit in the bar and order bar food.

To be honest, the whole experience reminded me of several gaudy tasteless 7 star hotels in the Middle East, with all the gold and gilt edged furnishings, and numerous hotel staff attending to every need. But it was good to have gone, and we had a great catch up of Everest stories, and a 20 pound sandwich, before we both had to head off.

Olivos Brasserie

Thursday 5th August 2010

I remember the Radisson Diplomat hotel being built in the late 1970’s and taking forever to be completed. In those days, the only real competitors were the Gulf Hotel and the Hilton (now the Golden Tulip). The construction was delayed for so long that other hotels were started later and finished earlier than the Diplomat.

Nowadays, there are a lot of changes taking place, with the Diplomat Residences being built in double quick time and a multi-level car park under construction. It is also a very popular place for the Friday brunch, with this last Friday before Ramadhan having over 1,000 places booked!

I met a friend for a working lunch at the Olivos Brasserie and enjoyed a quick buffet. The food was average, but the selection was extensive for a quick lunch, and they even provided coffee to go. With its central location, and for a working lunch, I found it ideal. 5/10