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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fish Market

Next door to where we live, is the Doha Cultural Village or Katara. Previously, I blogged about it hosting the Film Festival. The village lies on the coast and has a reasonably long stretch of beach which was laid empty for several months until now.

A beach club has opened offering deck chairs, umbrellas, sea sports equipment that one can rent hourly like windsurfing boards, paddle boats and kayaks. For the land bound, there is beach volley ball and soccer goal posts. Entry is from 9 til 5pm daily and 100 riyals per adult, free for kids from 1-7 and for kids up til 25, they only pay 25 riyals. There is a ice cream parlour and cafe for snacks plus a small shop selling toys and snorkels.

Today is a work day so the beach was empty but there were a few families lounging on the chairs. I am definitely coming here soon with little Z and am keen to try out the massive bouncy castle slide on the water. The guides there said no two piece bikinis were allowed , just one piece swimsuits but guess that is only fair.

Further along the beach as you approach the cultural village are some fancy restaurants. We came across this one called Iwzaar, Fish market. 

It was bustling so we were decided to walk in and see what the fuss was about.  Through the glass doors, a long counter of fresh seafood greets you. There were mud crabs, lobsters, giant prawns, fresh scallops and tons of fish. Pick a seafood and they will prepare it any way you want. Grilled, fried, curried, steamed, sashimi-ed. Then you can pick a side of fries, rice, noodles or salads.

The restaurant was very big and decorated with shimmering blue mozaic tiles, punctuated by columns that were aquariums that had exotic lion fish and multi coloured corals.

We were seated and a waiter appeared briskly with a basket of raw vegetables with some dips and warm breads. Everything was fresh and juicy. I chomped on a lettuce while milling over my choice of fish for lunch.

The veggie basket had spring onions, big green chillies, romaine lettuce, juicy tomato, I could just eat that along with the hot bread they served.  Still, the fresh seafood was hard to miss out on, so we trotted to the counter to have a look.

Barracuda, tuna, king fish, sea breams, bass, too many choices. 

I told the guy that I was after some curry and he recommended barracuda. It turned out well, the curry was less spicy that I liked but the sauce was creamy and rich. 

T had the blue fin tuna grilled but only slightly because he likes it raw. It was served simply with a sprig of rosemary and a wedge of lemon. It was divine, I must have that next time.

The salad bar which was only 35 riyals per person for all you can eat, had a large array of arabic dishes. 

T had the salad buffet too so I sponged off his plate and everything was tasty. The kids menu was small but had everything that they would want including jello.

 So for two mains, a bottle of water and a salad buffet for one, came up to 97 riyals. Not bad at all. I shall be returning very soon.

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