by Dubai Forum
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As we head into spring, the winds are sometimes still chill enough to require comfort food. Seeking some of the best, FACT’s Asad Khan’s first stop: Business Lunch at La Veranda.

We’re always on the lookout for the perfect open-air eateries as spring comes around, and we place La Veranda, at Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, high on that list.

Many restaurants in Doha have jumped on the trend for Business Lunch, but La Veranda’s offering is something not to be missed in a plethora of options around town. By the beautiful sea and with the view of the skyline, this place ensures a classy, elegant and tasteful experience that takes you to Italy without ever boarding the flight.

The Business Lunch at La Veranda is a hybrid between a buffet and à la carte. There’s an assorted spread of appetisers, including salads and dips and for your main, you choose one dish from a set menu. The contemporary and innovative food choices can be enjoyed within the walls of this elegant establishment, featuring a Vespa as a centrepiece, or from the beautiful terrace.

We began our lunch with some cold salads along with warm bread and goats’ cheese and an array of delectable spreads: lots of lettuce here and there, beetroot, carrots, smoked salmon, roast beef and rocca. For the cold appetisers we highly recommend the Lamb Meatballs and Caprese Salad, the beauty lies in the simplicity of the ingredients. The meat was well-done and the salad perfectly light, whilst the goat cheese added warmth to the taste buds. This is the definition of comfort food.

Speaking about comfort food, our mains were the perfect companion for a nice chilly afternoon. The Caserecci Ai Funghi Porcini (homemade short pasta toasted in creamy porcini mushroom sauce and truffle essence) and Pizza Crudaiola (tomato sauce, mozzarella, rocket leaves, fresh cherry tomato and Parmesan) were hearty and full of flavour. These were indisputable top choices — winning over the palate convincingly. The Porcini Pasta there is a pasta lover’s dream. Rich, creamy and loaded with cheesy mushroom goodness. Paired with glorious buttery sauce, it was the perfect dish for an afternoon hangout.

Don’t get sidetracked by just the pasta though. The pizza looked Neapolitan in a real sense. And tasted Neapolitan. But it was fundamentally different, eliminating the gene that turns the crust wet. It was crispy and supple. Both the mains we didn’t chew, we didn’t breathe. It was more like inhaling culinary nitrous oxide and going into a food comma right there.

Pro tip: leave some room for desserts because you will want to try the ones at La Veranda, even if you’re feeling really full. My favourite of them? The ultimate strawberry tart. It’s hard to make a perfect tart, but I can tell you that the chefs at La Veranda have the secret. The light and airy cream cheese filling, with a velvety texture, perfectly harmonised with the warm biscuit on the outside and has stuck in my mind.

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to food and selection of cuisines in Doha but La Veranda is a gem standing out on flavour and presentation in terms of food whilst boasting views and a vibe that are hard to beat. A place for traditional, fresh and flavoursome Italian cuisine. ✤



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