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4 December 2017 05:13 pm

Al Terrace review: Lebanese comfort food coupled with serene cultural vibes

The ILQ team visited Souq Waqif to try out Al Terrace, a restaurant with a fantastic ambiance and authentic Lebanese cuisine. Read our review to learn more about it!
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Souq Waqif is the place people go to — doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist, longtime resident, or a Qatari national — for a dose of local culture, to shop for unique souvenirs, and, most importantly, food! There’s a myriad of cafés and restaurants to discover at the Souq. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Indian, or even Thai, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds. 

Picture for illustrative purposes from iStock

ILQ had the delicious opportunity to be invited to try a Lebanese restaurant called Al Terrace, which is one of the restaurants that belongs to the Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels by Tivoli. With Doha’s gorgeous winter weather, we opted to dine alfresco under the clear, beautiful night sky. The outdoor seating area was comfortable, with tables outside the restaurant and also within its veranda. Although it was nighttime, the outdoor area was brightly lit with little ornamental lanterns on all the tabletops — adding to the restaurant’s authenticity in terms of decor and ambiance. 

We were seated at our table and were introduced to two of the chefs from Al Terrace. They were both very welcoming and told us that we would be trying their new menu, which we were very excited about. Al Terrace’s menu is full of traditional Levantine dishes. What we liked about their menu is that they highlight which dishes contain nuts, are vegetarian, gluten free, and healthy alternatives. Before we commenced with the food, the environment got even better with live Arabic music playing in the background, which further added to the authenticity of the entire experience. 

For starters, we were served a number of mouthwatering (and healthy!) items. The lineup of dishes included Muhammarah (crumbled bread with crushed walnuts, chili paste and olive oil), Hummus, Baba Ghanoush (chopped eggplant, bell pepper, tomato and olive oil), Fattoush (a salad made with crispy bread, sumac, and lemon olive oil), and homemade Arayes Lahmeh (Lebanese bread stuffed with grilled minced lamb). Overall, we really liked the appetizers as they were fresh and light — perfect appetizers to build up our appetite for the main course. 

The Muhammarah was sweet and nutty, with a smooth texture. It complemented the other items like the Hummus, Fattoush, and Baba Ghanoush very well, as they had more of a tangy flavor. We really enjoyed the Hummus — it was fresh, creamy and zesty, and perfect when paired with their fresh bread. Although I’m not a big fan of eggplant, I found the Baba Ghanoush to be quite tasty and full of flavor. The Fattoush went well with pretty much everything — another fresh dish. My favorite dish from the appetizers was the homemade Arayes Lahmeh. You could tell it was homemade. It tasted like it came straight out of the oven. The filling was rich in flavor; the minced lamb, pine nuts and combination of spices were superb, and the bread was perfectly toasted.

We definitely built up our appetites for the main course and were excited to find out what we were going to dig into next. As we were waiting for it to arrive, the atmosphere got livelier as the night wore on, with more people milling around and exploring the Souq. The music also got more upbeat — it was as if they were building up the momentum for our main course. The main attraction of the night, the star of the show, finally arrived… it was a delectable live Lebanese mixed grill! All the meats! When I say live mixed grill, I mean the food was served to us on a miniature-sized live grill so that everything stayed fresh and warm. Their mixed grill was made up of lamb kofta, shish kabab, shish taouk, lamb chops, and arayes served with grilled vegetables. This array of grilled items was very well cooked. The meat was juicy and well-spiced, and the chicken was tender and packed with flavor. We really liked the presentation of this main dish as it was unique and unlike anything we’ve seen before. The food also stayed warm, so we weren’t in a rush to finish it all while it was still hot. 

Would we come back to Al Terrace? Most definitely! The food was great, the atmosphere serene yet lively, and the staff were very friendly. It was a unique and comfortable dining experience and we loved every moment of it! The prices are also affordable compared to other places that offer the same cuisine and standard of service. 

About Al Terrace:

Opening hours: 7:00 am to 11:30 pm 
Address: Ground Floor, Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels by Tivoli, Souq Waqif, Doha
Phone number: (+974) 44336402 

Have you tried Al Terrace in Souq Waqif before? Did you find our review helpful? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to give us a like and a share — it keeps us going!