Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Ramada Hotel
C Ring Road
Doha, Qatar
Bookings: +974 428 1428

Everyone I have met in Qatar says that this restaurant is the best Indian in Doha and I think I agree with them. Tucked away in one corner of the ground floor of the Ramadan hotel is this quite dark, windowless room, deep red colours and with wooden screens partitioning off little sections. You sit on low couches and chairs and eat off a low glass topped table. I have to say I find eating in this position very uncomfortable but that is probably because I am old and fat. In the middle of the room on a low plinth sitting cross legged are a four piece Indian band playing quietly throughout the evening. The plinkety plink and high pitched warbling of traditional Indian music is a little hard for me to enjoy but it is considerably better than the usual piped in musak.

The menu is split into two sections; the first are ‘Specialities from our Tandoor Oven’ and the second are ‘Specialities from the Chef’s Pan’. It might be just me but I find the phraseology of the second just slightly off putting.

The food is north-western Indian inspired with mughal-style dishes very much in the forefront. The menu is not that long, but offers a good selection of tandoor items, lamb, chicken, seafood, vegetables and dhals. They have a mixed bread basket with three types of naan, roti and chapatti which I quite liked.

One of the best items on the menu is a whole leg of lamb cooked in the tandoor. Let me tell you that this is very, very good. In fact all of the lamb dishes I have had at this restaurant have been delicious but it is this one that really stands out.

Last night there were only two of us so we couldn’t order the whole leg but settled instead for some small pieces of lamb cooked in the same way and they were really tasty. We also had some chicken, dhal, pulao rice and the bread. The food is very good without a doubt, the service is friendly and attentive but the best bit is the price. We had quite a few beers, and then a few more, but the bill for the two of us still fell under Dhs 350 in total. Damn good value.

I do like this restaurant, I have eaten here many times and have never been disappointed. I suppose my only reservation is that it look quite seedy inside; dark, dingy and not very appealing and walking in you sort of get that ‘oh gawd, what have I come to’ feeling. However, drop down onto the low couch, sit back, drink an ice cold beer and prepare to eat very well prepared and very tasty Indian food.

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