Just occasionally I get a nice surprise. And on Friday I was super pleasantly surprised. We headed to a restaurant located in a mall. Now when I think of restaurants in malls, my expectations are not that high. But this restaurant quite simply doesn’t belong in a mall. I’m talking about ‘Layali Aley’. Located on a corner of Gulf Mall, and accessible only from the outside. So you could argue it’s outside a mall instead of inside.
I knew nothing about the restaurant in advance. I was invited by my son to go with him, and he didn’t know much about it either until we got there. So this is why I had such a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
Layali Aley is quite simply opulent. Oozing with quality and comfort. And serving some of the best Lebanese cuisine I have ever tried. Their food is right up there with the very finest in Qatar. Not what you expect to find in a mall. And here is the real kicker… they are really, really, reasonably priced. Our three courses with drinks (excluding shisha) came to around QR 200 each. And trust me you would not mind paying it.
The soft furnishings mean you feel relaxed and unhurried. This is an environment where you can settle down and dwell. The service was attentive and informative, and quite educational as well for me. There is nothing rushed about Layali Aley. You do not feel like you are being processed, harvested and your table released as soon as possible.
The food was exceptional. I’m not a food critic, so I’m not going to bore you with detail. I will simply say that the food was cooked to perfection, presented beautifully and burst with flavor.
After our meal we settled back and enjoyed some shisha. I’m not a shisha expert, but this was good shisha. If you don’t like smoke there are areas where you can escape it.
If you are in, or near Gulf Mall. I strongly recommend you set aside some time for Layali Aley. Take some good company with you, and be as pleasantly surprised as I was. Ask for Krishna, he will look after you.
The Al Mourjan Restaurant located on the Corniche is quite literally one of the finest Lebanese Restaurants in the world
I’m not an expert on Lebanese food. But I know plenty of people who are, and they all tell me that the Al Mourjan is a world class Lebanese restaurant. And you can tell by all the awards on their reception wall, that experts think so as well. All I know is that I love going to this restaurant. I love their food, I love the setting and I love their award winning service.
I have been going to the Al Mourjan for over 6 years now, and have never written about it. Last Tuesday Victoria and I were there again for what was meant to be a ‘pop in visit’. However as usual we ended up spending a whole evening there.
We are not very adventurous with our menu selection in the Al Mourjan. We know what we like, and we tend to order pretty much the same thing every time. A mixed hot and cold mezza with salad, then I always have the mixed grill, and Vic either joins me with a mixed grill or goes for their spaghetti.
For desert we always have the same thing as well. And I have no idea what it’s called (I told you I wasn’t an expert on Lebanese food). We describe what we want, and we always get the right thing. Whatever it is called (see photo below) it is to die for. And I have to hold myself back from ordering a second one.
The view from the Al Mourjan is absolutely gorgeous. And on Tuesday the weather was perfect. Not too hot, not to cold. And we just completely chilled out sitting on the waterfront admiring the view.
I can also strongly recommend the Al Mourjan as a somewhere to spend Qatar National Day. You get probably the best seat in the country to watch the firework display, and some fabulous food to go with it.
If you haven’t been already, I strongly recommend the Al Moujan. Take friends and if you have family visiting you simply have to bring them here.