A rainy Christmas day for us here in Doha – a rather odd-sounding statement if you think about it – Christmas, rain and Doha in one sentence. Yes, we do experience rain here in Doha – as a matter of fact, we’ve had quite a few this year and yes, we do have options for Christmas celebrations as well. One of which is with Antica Pesa Doha in Marsa Malaz Kempinski.
I immediately fell in love with the restaurant from the first time I visited it. The ambiance was marvelous which made me want to go back to enjoy it again the day just before Christmas for another lunch. When we arrived on Christmas day itself, the receptionist already knows me by name and immediately guided us to our table. Sadly, as it was raining that day – we had to skip sitting at their beautiful outdoor patio however, their indoor seating isn’t so bad either.
We were the first to arrive at exactly 12nn which I had hoped we didn’t as the restaurant was empty and they were setting up for the live band that will perform for that day. It seemed like we weren’t welcome for the first 30 minutes that we were there as everyone was busy around the restaurant. I was disappointed to be honest, I was expecting a livelier and a more festive atmosphere for a Christmas lunch. Witnessing the staff and the band set-up the restaurant for the day isn’t in my to-do list for Christmas.
I was THISCLOSE to walking out but The Greek Mister was able to convince me to stay. I’m glad I did because as soon as the band was set-up, the commotion inside the restaurant subsided and we were able to finally enjoy our lunch.
Antica Pesa Doha prepared a special 4-course lunch for Christmas priced at QR420 per person with soft drinks and QR540 per person with wines and spirits. Considering the normal price, their Christmas lunch rate I would say is reasonable. After all, most of the restaurants in Doha are within the same range of prices for their Christmas meals.
For starters, I had a quail salad which came in a beautifully presented plate. I normally hate these kinds of settings but this salad may look very fancy but it’s so rich in flavor. I do hope they’ve put more greens in it though. The Greek Mister had the vegetable soup with egg which he enjoyed and was of decent portion.
The Greek Mister and I both had lobster tagliolini for our second course which was amazing! The tagliolini pasta was definitely cooked in the same broth as the lobster as it had the same flavor which somehow made up for the fact that there were only a few bits of lobster in this dish. I didn’t really mind because the portion of the pasta was just right.
I had turkey while The Greek Mister had tenderloin beef for our 3rd course. Nothing extraordinary about my turkey but The Greek Mister enjoyed the juicy tenderloin beef that he ordered.
Lastly for our desserts, the traditional Christmas bread panettone was served with a scoop of ice cream and some fruits. As we were leaving the restaurant, they gave us two panettones as a Christmas gift which I think was a good touch.
Food-wise, it was definitely a great Christmas fare – my favorite dish would be the quail salad (surprisingly) and lobster tagliolino. However, it would definitely be even better if they have made it a bit more festive and specially, if they were able to set-up the restaurant on time. It was a great lunch but I wouldn’t really seek it out again as a Christmas lunch destination next year unless they come up with something more special.
What about you? Where and how did you spend your Christmas?
Antica Pesa Doha
Marsa Malaz Kempinski
QR540 per person for Christmas day lunch with wines and spirits
25 December 15
Tel No. 4035 5555