With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we went to check out the romantic ambience at Al Sufra restaurant, located in the majestic Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Doha, for the ultimate lowdown on what this Levant-inspired dinner hotspot has to offer, for couples looking for good food and an intimate setting.

If you’re a food aficionado and always on the hunt for traditional cuisine, then Al Sufra is definitely where you should be heading for the perfect infusion of tasty flavours and a stylish setting. Located at Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl- Doha, this vibrant venue delivers exquisite Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian, Palestinian and Cyprian delicacies. Having become an in-demand culinary joint in Doha, this magical place is known for its grandeur, regal location, and its many gastronomic offerings with an impeccable coffee lounge, open terrace, and its satisfying a la carte dining menu. For our epicurean journey through the Levant, we met up with the man behind the scenes; Executive Sous Chef Julien Al Khal, who looks after the hotel’s Arabic cuisine creations. Ready to savour Al Sufra’s amazing dishes, Chef Julien guided us through every plate.

First up was a selection of Cold Mezze; a myriad of options to choose from. We opted for a range that would put the thrill factor on our taste buds. The tasty ride begins with a rich-in-flavour fattoush salad packed with pomegranate, crunchy bites, and fresh greens. Alongside a trio of hummous, this was the just the right start to our meal. Another win was the super fresh bread, made in-house – all the happy carbs! The smoky moutabal will definitely put your palate in a state of nirvana; with a thick texture and tangy bite, it later warms up to a charred finish, leaving you with a pleasantly distinctive taste. But hold on, if cold mezze is not your thing, then fire it up with the tasty Hot Mezze. The chicken liver is a HUGE standout. It’s somewhat of an aphrodisiac and will send your sense of taste into overdrive – highly recommended. Another unusual but beautifully-surprising dish was the Palestinian pie as well as the shrimp mutaffa and the Al Sufra bibbeh baladiyeh kibbeh. Think the best possible dishes for an Arabic feast and you’ve got appetiser heaven.

Before the mains arrive, we spend our time admiring the palatial décor of this gorgeous venue with its vivid hues and equally cheerful and professional staff. The popular Seafood Clay Pot, where ingredients are cooked in a pot for roughly seven minutes, is placed on the table. With a mixture of seafood delicacies ready to enrich your food cravings, you’ll find it hard to fault this delicious main. Next, the Kharouf Michwi, a tender lamb (cooked for 48 hours – wow!) perfectly paired with rice – this is the mighty meat dish that will happily fill you up. To complete this truly Levant dining experience we sealed the deal with a hot and incredibly scrumptious Kunafah – the cheesy-creamy texture had us in awe! Al Sufra isn’t always the first food destination you think of at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski but that should change right now; it’s classy yet casual, the food will blow you away with its innovative flavours and presentation, and the staff will assure that you’re enjoying five-star service from start to finish. What more could you ask for?

GO: Visit Al Sufra restaurant at Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Doha. Open daily from 12.30pm to midnight. Call 4035 5011 for reservations and more information