Street food means comfort in all its forms, shapes, sizes and flavors. It is quite simply the common mans food and when such kind of food holds so much significance in peoples lives it must have to be ordinary and yet ravishingly extra ordinary.
It is true that we all have that one stall, a particular street vendor or type of food that gets paid homage to on trip back to motherland. No surprises then, that a ton of folks turned up at The Doha Marriott, when the concept of Street Food buffet was introduced as a Thursday night dining theme.
We were certainly one amongst the gang of street food lovers that flocked over to feed our fast food loving belly’s. From the time we entered the hotel we were overwhelmed by an array of smells and were completely excited to see what was in store for us around the corner. We were guided by a wonderful staff member of the hotel who gave us a detailed brief of the complete dining concept.
Honestly, I was extremely happy to walk through the entire buffet so as to get a workout before commencing my marathon meal. While on tour I slyly made mental notes of the food I was most interested in trying and trust me that list was pretty darn long! so lets start with the highlights and then i’ll round up with all the other stall offerings.
First up was a dish at the Mexican station where we warned that it was spicy enough to turn us into a dragon. Being Indian and able to handle a decent about of spice I was up for the challenge. And so on command a piece of bread was dunked into a salsa and then tossed over on a hot pan. Next came the shredded meat that sizzled on the pan. Hot and ready to plate the bread was topped with meat and sprinkled with shredded cheese. A big deep breath and I was ready to turn into a dragon. What came next was fire straight out of my mouth. It was spicy as hell and deeply satisfying. I suggest you get a glass of juice sitting at the counter along with the meal to cancel out the spice.
Ceviche was also offered at the counter. You can choose to have it with fish or shrimp and pick a sauce between mayo and sriracha, which wasn’t entirely authentic to me, but I still tried it. Honestly it wasn’t bad but just not the real thing for me.
Not wanting to walk too much to my next meal I conveniently skid over to the Indian counter that got me all excited. Still huffing and puffing from my first bite I decided to treat my fire spitting mouth to a yogurt based dish called – Dahi Vada which is (hollow fried dough balls) filled with pulses, potato and yogurt then topped with small pieces of crunchy noodles made from chickpea flour paste, finally a sprinkle of pomegranate and coriander leaves. It was perfect amount of crunchiness and sweetness to salvage my burning taste buds.
Done with round 1, we then decided to take a trip through Asia starting with Indonesian chicken and beef satay followed by Okonomiyaki a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients Mine had meat stuffed with onions in a pancake a quintessential Jap favorite. Also available are Temaki rolls. I chose the spicy tuna out of salmon tuna veg and it was really good.
Then came the Q.Q hotpot skewers at the Chinese station it had a variety of meat and fish on a stick that ready to be dunked into a hot pot infused with chilly and spice upon request. I got a crunchy crab stick and fish balls that were simply divine. 2 steps down was the Thai stall that had chicken and beef dumplings. It was obvious that this station was a clear favorite as the poor little chef was on a roll constantly making more dumplings to keep up with the crowd. While waiting for a portion of hot steamy dumplings I dug into the little papaya salad bowls sat on the table ready to go.
Further down along the hall way was fresh Arabic salads in little take away boxes. Hot pies with all sort of filling and fish and chips at the English station. A new addition we were told were the Russian Pancakes on the menu.
Last but not the least was heaven awaiting all Seafood lovers 🙂 Outside a welcoming sign of “May the fish be with you” was enough to get us hooked. Playing fishmonger on Thursdays is Marriott kitchen staff Kim who politely handed me a bag and offered free advice on the best catch of the day. I picked a lovely little lobster, calamari and some prawns to sum up my seafood medley. 15 min later I returned to collect my perfectly cooked package of deliciousness and from then on it was time get my hands dirty.
As I was about to finish main course I was prompted to leave space for the delicious desserts that awaited on a part of the buffet I hadn’t explored yet. Up for grabs were sweet pies with all kinds of filling, Pastries, flavoured ice shaving, fruits, Indian sweets but what I loved the most was the jam filled sweet bread rolls all thanks to fellow food blogger @pollyb for spilling the beans on that secret.
This video does not do justice to the variety and extent of food played out at the Marriott. It sure is a feast fit enough for a King! or Queen such as myself 😛
Things I missed out on this buffet were the spicy fried chicken at the American counter, jacket potatoes and the Mexican wraps. For that and more of all of the above I have already booked a round 2 of street food buffet this coming Thursday. Just so you know all of the stalls serve local beers from the countries they represent. Which means you get to choose from Singha to Kingfisher to Asahi… or just ask the bar tender to shake up a cocktail or two that is served in a jar.
Not sure where to dine out with friends or family that have their tastebuds hooting for countries in all different directions? Here’s you exactly where you need to be.
*Street Food Buffet is priced at 240 QR and with alcohol at 335 QR. Call at 44298499 to book your table now!
If you would like to add your favorite street food counter to this buffet enter the contest on Facebook www.facebook.com/DohaMarriottHotel/
Bon Appetite x
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