Review: Aalishan (Al Muntazah, Doha)

This place is awesome. I have not done the buffet yet, so I can’t speak to that. But I have been here several times, ordered a variety of different dishes each time (all off the Indian menu), and I have yet to be disappointed.

The biryanis (both the mutton and the chicken) are the standouts for me. They cook it with the bread crust/cover, and crack it open at the table. The curries and other “sauced” dishes have all been very good as well. The gravy is just thick enough and just spicy enough. Flavorful without being too hot. I have ordered so many different things here that I can’t really remember what I have had, but neither I nor my friends have made a bad call so far.

The service here is excellent. Very attentive, and of a level that exceeds the price point of the restaurant. When the meal comes, they even ask to serve you your first scoops. A little fancy for me, haha. But a nice touch.

Also, the ambiance is clean and nicely decorated. In fact, it’s almost TOO clean and TOO tastefully decorated. To the point that the first time I came here I assumed (incorrectly) that the food wouldn’t be good. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of sanitation, but most of the truly exceptional working-class Indian meals I have had in Doha were at restaurants with a certain “kitschy authenticity.” As such, this place made me suspicious, haha.

But don’t worry. The food here is towards the top of my list for Indian restaurants in Doha, even though it is eerily clean and the service is eerily great. For me, this is a rare gem. It is reasonably priced (not suspiciously cheap, but not insultingly expensive), the dishes are well-spiced and not too oily, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. It has become one of my go-to places when I have visitors, because it gives that “keeping it real” feeling that makes for a memorable “exotic” dining experience without taking any out-of-towners beyond their comfort zone.

Highly recommended.

RATED: 5/5

Aalishan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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