Sunday, February 27, 2011

Carluccio's again

pumpkin risotto

The pumpkin risotto was good but could have had more pumpkin...

tomato & mozzarella salad

Saturday, February 26, 2011

「日本音楽週間2011(JAPAN MUSIC WEEK 2011)」

The Doha Circus was back.  I'm not really sure what this is but it was also there a year ago with people dressed as oryxs on stilts:

As part of Japan Music Week 2011, there were some performances at Souq Waqif, by a group called Za Ichitaro.

このたび、日本大使館は、2月23日から28日までの間、国際交流基金、カタール文化・芸術省、カタール財団及びスーク・ワーキフと共催で、「日本音楽週間2011(JAPAN MUSIC WEEK 2011)」を開催します。この日本音楽週間では、日本を代表するミュージシャンによる和太鼓公演とジャズ公演が次のとおり行われます。ぜひ、会場へお越し下さい。(いずれの公演も入場料は無料です。)なお、今回の公演の写真入りパンフレットについては、当館ホームページに掲載していますので、どうぞご覧下さい。

「Za ICHITARO」(壱太郎(和太鼓)、岩田卓也(尺八)、佐藤晃弘(和太鼓))


Lebanese appetizers for dinner

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Driving Adventures Around Qatar

It is possible to drive around the whole country of Qatar in just a few hours. No need to worry about getting lost as there aren't too many roads and besides, all roads lead to Doha. (Except one to Saudi...)

Along the roads there were old houses and camels!

First stop: Al Zubara Fort

Zubara Fort is smack in the centre of what was the commercial and pearling port in the 18th and 19th centuries, when Qatar was under the rule of Al Khalifa (now the ruling family in Bahrain). The fort itself was built in 1938 and used by the armed forces well into the 1980s. Now it is a museum, open from 8am-1pm and 4pm-7pm Sunday-Thursday, 4pm-7pm on Friday, with entrance by donation of QR1-2. It houses pottery and archaeology exhibits that have, sadly, been overshadowed since the Museum of Islamic Art opened. However, the real draw is the strikingly bleak and austere views from the battlements.

Next: Bir Zekreet

Qatar isn’t exactly mountainous, which makes Zekreet stand out even more. It’s like an encyclopedia of the different landscapes a desert can produce, with limestone escarpments rising out of the sand. Over time the wind and elements have shaped the limestone into interesting formations, including pillars and one that’s often called ‘the mushroom’. It’s a great place to camp or just see on the way to the beach.

Bir Zekreet

Third: Dukhan Beach

With beautiful, shallow waters, rocky cliffs and stunning vistas, as well as more than a few private nooks and crannies for perfect beaching, Dukhan is a treasure trove of rocks, shells and sea life to fascinate kids and the young-at-heart. While it’s not all perfect white sand beaches for sunbathing, it is loads of fun and, with no designated areas, it’s great for bringing a picnic and a crowd.

shells at Dukhan Beach
The shells at Dukhan Beach were gorgeous and stunning.  There were so many swirly shells of all colors.

Dukhan Mosque
There is not much in Dukhan.  A mosque, McDonald's, an Indian restaurant, and Qatar Petroleum.

Umm Bab Beach
Last stop: Umm Bab

Umm Bab Beach was not very exciting except for a few trees.  Not a good spot for swimming or tanning as it was too swampy for a beach.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2011 Qatar Ladies Open

It was fun to watch the tennis.  The whole stadium was completely silent except for the swish of the ball.  The VIP dinner catered by the Four Seasons was excellent.  They even made the sushi with wasabi inside so I had to ask the sushi chef to make some fresh for me without wasabi!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Al Shami Home Restaurant

creamy onion soup

fattoush and hamour
Al Shami Home Restaurant is a homey restaurant with really good, simple food.  The creamy onion soup was really, really good and the best onion soup I've ever had, including in France!

This is the other location of the new Mathaf museum next to the Museum of Islamic Art on the corniche.  It includes more contemporary art but a little too out there for me!  I thought the location by Education City is much more interesting.

This was cool though.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition at the Doha Exhibition Center

A pearl hat thing...

Some pearling supplies.

I liked these rose earrings.

I spoke with the Japanese man managing the Mikimoto booth for a while.  He works in the Mikimoto location in London.  I told him about the Mikimoto pearl scarf I saw in the Museum of Islamic Art's special pearl exhibit a year ago and of course he knew of it.

The 8th annual Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition is expected to attract great fanfare as jewelry booths fill the floor space of the exhibition center with displays of diamond and gold.

People will have a chance to preview the latest collections of watches and jewelry from regional and international designers and manufacturers.

More than 250 exhibitors will be showcasing their products, which range from affordable to high-end luxury. Participating brand names include Swarovski, Vacheron Constantin, Salvatore Ferragamo and Fendi.

The timing of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition is significant, as it falls between the two most important jewelry and watches exhibitions in Switzerland: the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva and Baselworld in Basel.

Direct sale is allowed during exhibition hours.

Bandar Aden, Yemeni Restaurant again!

This is quickly becoming my favorite restaurant in Doha.  Good food and good prices.  However, they didn't make the chicken ogda like they did last time...  where is the tomato!?

hamour fish
This was good... :)

Bandar Aden Yemeni Restaurant

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Korean Garden

typical Korean sides


I heard good things about Korean Garden. Unfortunately, the Korean BBQ (karubi yakiniku in Japanese) is only available during the summer since the grill tables are outside. (Why they have a huge lit up poster of the BBQ right at the entrance of the restaurant is beyond me and when I asked them about it and they just said it's not available....) Anyway, they still did have karubi (gal bi) in short rib form which was good except they were out of the sauce for it (gah!). I'm still giving it a good rating because they brought out all the little sides (about 10 of them) and the lettuce and rice and it was awesome and so much food for Doha pricing (of course it's way overpriced...). We also tried the fried dumplings which were ok, after he brought out the rice vinegar to make dumpling sauce. Overall it was an awesome meal and I'm definitely planning to go back to try more things on the menu, such as bi bim bo and the Japanese food (like kakiagedon) and of course in the summer, the BBQ. They menu has a lot of options that I haven't seen here before and also hard to find in the US.

Parking is a bit annoying and there aren't too much options so you have to look along the street or park a bit away.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Georgetown Qatar Opening

live walking tour of the new building for Sheikha Mozah

It was so cool to see Sheikha Mozah and John DeGioia was also there.  The catering after the speeches and presentations was also amazing with foods from all over the world.  Made Leo's look even more embarrassing.

The inside of the new Georgetown building was done really well and clearly there was a lot of thought and planning.  The boxy outside well... I think an Islamic/Arab art inspired version of Healy Hall would have been awesome for the outside.  It could have even been done in the gingerbread architecture styles of Sanaa.

Attendees got a bag with this chocolate inside.  It is shaped like the pillars outside the building.  The chocolate is from La Cigale.  Yup, this was yummy.