Review: El Faro @ Marsa Malaz Kempinski (Pearl-Qatar, Doha)

I really like this place. I have been here several times, and sampled most of the tapas on the happy hour menu. The service is exceptional. Very attentive, without being intrusive.

In terms of food, pretty much everything is good. The fried calamari/fish and the sauteed mushrooms are the real standouts for me. The spicy tomato sauce under the potatoes bravos is exceptional. The croquettes are pretty good too, but there is always a debate among my friends as to whether there are three different kinds of croquette (they come in different shapes) or whether they are ALL potato, cheese, AND seafood. Every bite leads to a different conclusion, and we still haven’t resolved it. The churros are super yummy. Regardless, at QR35 for two dishes, it is hard to go wrong with these nibbles.

In terms of beverages, the sangria is pretty good. However, I have noticed that the wine pours here are very generous, so if you are into wine that’s the best value. You get about as much wine per pour as you do sangria, without the sweet soda adulteration. During happy hour, it is two for one at QR60. Not a bargain, but reasonable.

The one disappointment I have is with the beer options. They only offer buckets (6 bottles) for QR 180. That’s not a very good deal, especially when the only two choices are Carlsberg and Tiger. Meh.

I’m a Stella guy, myself. My disappointment is compounded by the fact that there is a Stella tap, just sitting dormant and lonely right over there. I broke down and ordered Stella at QR50 (happy hour be darned), and was sad when they brought it to me in the same wide fluted glasses they serve everything else, which holds maybe 330cl instead of the 500cl I was expecting. It just feels weird to drink beer out of that kind of glass. It makes no sense to me, especially given that their keg likely gets stale from lack of turnover. I know some people consider beer to be low-brow, but bottles are even more low-brow than a proper pint.

If they would put Stella on the happy hour menu and serve it in proper 500cl glasses, then this would be my place. Until then, I’ll have to stick to my usual haunts. I may be a petty man, and that’s really the litmus test for me. That being said, if you do not care about having draft Stella on the happy hour menu, served in proper glasses (like I do), I can recommend this place heartily.

RATED: 4/5

El Faro - Marsa Malaz Kempinski Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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