Spice Market at W Doha Hotel & Residences is one of Doha’s best restaurants – there’s no doubt about it. That’s not just Craig Ferriman’s view but that of many of our readers who have voted to crown it the Best Restaurant in Doha at numerous FACT Dining Awards. Now, the long-established venue has entered the brunch scene and we’re still in awe…

What’s all the rave about? Well, I guess it’s about giving us what we want and Spice Market knows exactly how to do it. The brunch starts before most others have opened their doors. A prompt noon kick-off time allows hungry guests to get their full fill of food and beverages. The restaurant has a real party vibe with a drinks trolley in the entrance way so that a beverage can fall straight into your hands as you enter, and you can begin sipping on something cool and refreshing before you’ve even sat down at your table. First impressions – brilliant.

The bar area is reordered as a street market with Asian fusion buffet carts. There are also live cooking stations dotted around the room ready to serve up something fresh and tasty. I quickly realised the key is the order you go for. That’s why I started with some tangy fresh salads with a mild kick and then got stuck into the vibrant array of sushi that is a hallmark of W Doha. For years, the hotel has boasted some of the best sushi you can get in the country and at brunch you can have as much as your heart desires, both hot and cold.

The other key to getting through brunch is pacing. After plenty of rest and liquid lubrication, I ventured on to some of the hot live stations. The noodles stall had a chef who whipped up a Pad Thai with a choice of shrimp or chicken and like the saying goes, quite literally handed it to me on a plate. Next to that was an Indian station with a delicious lamb biryani and a vegetable curry too – both of which were incredibly memorable. There was plenty of roti too – great for scooping up your desired concoction.

Buffets can be a turn-off at brunch for me but this had real plus points. Unlike some big brunches where everything is miles apart and you end up walking for half the afternoon around the venue only to forget that platter you saw at the start, nothing is too far away here. All food is kept hot and fresh. Much of it is cooked or prepared right in from of you so it’s not sitting there getting cold or tired. The staff work the room like a well-oiled machine keeping everybody’s drinks topped up and the beverages are a little more memorable and imaginative that your average brunch.

We sat next to the DJ who pumped out a party playlist of popular hits that before long became hard to resist the temptation to get up and have a little dance. And we weren’t alone and everybody was on their feet and moving to the beat.

The W prides itself on being edgy and cool and this brunch is the literal translation of that vision with Spice Market’s low-lit lanterns and dark floors adding an intimate and trendy feel to the dining environment. Few people wanted to leave when the party stopped but luckily the happy hour at Wahm, the bar upstairs, was just getting started as we left. I got the sense that the party – and the good food – never stops here! ✤

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