WHEN IT COMES TO HOSPITALITY, THE KEY TO SURVIVING DOHA’S EVER COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE IS TO INNOVATE AND TO BE DIFFERENT. CROWNE PLAZA DOHA – THE BUSINESS PARK REALLY GETS THIS. FACT’ S CRAIG FERRIMAN CHECKS OUT THE HOTEL’S NEWEST CULINARY ADDITION – ARGUELINA – AND WHAT IT HAS TO OFFER THIS RAMADAN
Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park has innovated the empty space at the back of the hotel to create a new Arabic restaurant and Shisha Lounge called Arguelina, and it’ll blow you away. What makes it different and wow-worthy is that this place has a lovely sliding roof that can open or close depending on the weather (it’s safe to say that it’ll stay firmly closed until after summer!). Many shisha lounges are quite dark but this one is bright and it stays open late, serving food and beverages until 2am – perfect for all the lat-night shisha cravings. The crowd is an eclectic mix of guys and girls, both local and expat, enjoying casual chats alongside their choice of shisha and bites – a very laid back and inviting venue. We meet the Egyptian Head Chef, Ibrahim, and Executive Sous Chef, Sabri, who is Dutch-Turkish. Both are charming and deeply committed to offering something for everyone this Ramadan season in a warm and welcoming ambience.
We often find that a Sohour dinner leaves you feeling full and defeated afterwards, so we were very intrigued to hear about the two options they are offering to guests at Arguelina this season, with exactly that predicament in mind. Guests will have a choice of either a large or small Sohour; YOU decide how much you can eat! From the get go, the food is excellent. The Kibbeh is delicious and the key to the Cheese Sambousek was using mozzarella rather than the popular choice of feta cheese so that it could remain beautifully melted instead of going dry and stringy. SO tasty!
We’ve recently eaten so many Mixed Grills where the meat is flavourless, dry and even charred – making for an unpleasant dining experience. NOT HERE. The mixed grill at Arguelina restored our appetites! The Shish Taouk was perfectly cooked and you could tell it was quality meat – the flavours were locked in, with the Lamb Kofta and the Kebab being juicy and palate-pleasing with every mouthful. The meat was nicely seasoned with a little cumin and pepper. The traditional Umm Ali was warm, creamy and a delight to the taste buds. A yummy way to end your generous and filling Sohour! There’s a long list of shisha and juices for those who want to relax with their favourite flavoured pipe and a refreshing drink. The prices make this a very affordable option and great value for money too; the smaller Sohour is priced at QR85, and for QR125 the large Sohour gets you both hot and cold mezze plates and soup as well. In both options, you can have Biryani if you don’t fancy the Mixed Grill or the Eggs Shakshouka.
What else makes Arguelina a fab choice for your Ramadan evenings? The staff are very friendly and incredibly attentive. This is the kind of place that you can stay a long time and make a real evening of with your nearest and dearest. Gatherings with loved ones in a stunning new restaurant-cumlounge – what more could you ask for this Ramadan.
GO: Call 4408 7788 for reservations and more information