RESTAURANT REVIEW #6 - AGORA, GRAND HERITAGE DOHA HOTEL AND SPA

It’s not everyday that the parents from both sides come together in Doha and it was only obvious to celebrate the occasion. However inspite of being quite abreast of the foodie scene in the city, I was in a fix when it came to picking a restaurant that would give us a perfect, quiet ambience, be toddler-friendly, had great food and was situated not too far from our home in Al-Sadd.

That’s when I coincidentally came across Agora located in the Grand Heritage Doha Hotel and Spa, Al Waab which came recommended with a few excellent reviews in Zomato.

As soon we arrived at the hotel, I instantly knew that this place would be a winner. The Victorian like exteriors, plush interiors, smiling faces and the serene environment put us all in a great mood right away.

                             

                                  

Being a Sunday night, the place was hardly crowded and we were seated immediately in what almost seemed like a private area of the restaurant.

                      

Agora serves exclusively Turkish cuisine and we were pleasantly surprised when we were handed over I-pad menus instead of the standard books. Infact, my two-year old daughter was the happiest on seeing this, it being a restricted device at home. Nonetheless, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for us since that enabled the rest of us to “almost” enjoy the rest of the evening peacefully.

                                

Moving on to discuss about the protagonist of the evening–the food. We were served with a lemon-mint welcome drink, which was like any other of its kind. Then came the bread basket with the assorted dips. It was not just the variety from the crispy pita breads to the spongy sesame breads that were amazing but their taste and quality paired with the 3 dips –a black olive tapenade, another one that we deduced were made with sun-dried and fresh tomatoes and the third, butter in all its glory and in the perfect consistency.

                                       


We were also given a complimentary amuse bouche which was a chicken kofta with a base of soaked bread that seemed in texture almost like a crumbly cheese served in a tangy tomato and yoghurt sauce. The dish was spectacular but disappeared in one bite and I was almost tempted to ask the server to bring me a second round but restrained myself when I remembered the array of dishes that were on its way.

                          

The first starter that we had placed the order for was the Eggplant-Pepper dish. This dish was a little too sour for our liking and overpowered our palate with the presence of rolled-up vine leaves and tomato sauce.

              

Next was the Chicken pide, a Turkish pastry.  It can be described to be a crispy pastry casing filled with delicious spiced minced chicken that seemed almost meat like. We thoroughly enjoyed the combination of the crunch of the pastry with the filling inside.

                                          

The portion sizes of the main courses were significant and easily catered to the six adults present.

We had the grilled lamb chops that the husband described to be succulent and perfectly cooked served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.



Sheesh Tawook was good like any other of its counterparts available in the city. The highlight were the accompaniments such as spicy bulgur tasted almost like pulao, carrot salad and grilled vegetables.


Chicken Bayti Kebab was a delightful dish where grilled chicken were dressed up and rolled in a saj bread that kept the chicken extremely juicy and moist and held in the flavours. This was also served in a yoghurt-tomato sauce and French fries.


Home made kofte were basically mutton meatballs served on a moist bread base similar to the amuse bouche, in a tomato sauce. This was served with delicious, plump rice, a carrot salad and French Fries.

     

We also had ordered hummus which was pretty normal and just like any from any other restaurant. The yoghurt accompaniment was also not bad and we particularly liked the addition of black sesame.

                          
    
                                         

After downing all of the above, a dessert in usual scenarios was unthinkable. But once me and the husband saw “Kunafa” on the menu, there definitely was no way that we were leaving without tasting that.

And oh my, weren’t we glad, the dessert was truly the star of the evening ! The crispy Kunafa with its oozing cheese combined with the icecream was just mind-blowing. Utterly sinful in every bite but so worth that a trip to this restaurant just to sample this one dish would be easily justified.

                                     

Me and my family had a great time at the Agora. The only down side that I could nit-pick was that though our server was polite and attentive, she barely knew anything about the food nor could answer our questions when we were placing our order. Also, hardcore foodies like us would have appreciated if the server(s) could have given us a brief of each dish when being served. But on the other hand, the maitre'd did compensate to some extent in this regard.

But having said the above, this surely wouldn’t stop us from visiting the restaurant a second time. We enjoyed the delicious food and the calm ambience. We also were happy to use our Entertainer vouchers and this definitely proved worthwhile considering that the restaurant falls in the expensive bracket. 

            

Restaurant Info:
Agora
Ground Floor
Grand Heritage Doha Hotel and Spa
Al Waab
Doha


Ph:+974-44455555

Verdict:

Criteria
Weightage
Points given
Overall
Food
50%
4.0
2.0
Service
20%
3.5
0.7
Ambience
15%
4.5
0.7
Value for Money
15%
4.0
0.6
4.0


Rating: Excellent JJ

Agora - Grand Heritage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2 comments

Thank u so much for dropping by..Would love to hear your simmering and whistling as well ! Thanks !