By Ashlee Starratt
Summer’s here and the heat is on. This begs the question – where are Doha’s foodies heading to fill their bellies and stay cool? Answer: The Santa Monica Breakfast Club. One of Qatar’s newest original restaurant concepts, this bright splash of California sunshine has taken over what was formerly The Grill, The Grand Hyatt Doha’s all-day dining staple. Having undergone a complete face-lift, the restaurant transformed into SMBC back in February, serving up SoCal comfort food with a focus on fresh, healthy, and wholesome – (with a generous dose of naughty thrown in for good measure).
Walk in and what hits you first is the ambiance. Bright primary colours and vibrant pop-art splashed throughout the space whet the appetite for what’s on the menu. Electric sky blues, bubble-gum pinks, Sunshine State yellows, and orange hues as juicy as a California clementine are the palette for the graffiti-style pop-art that adorns the interior. The walls have been done over in rustic tones of wood, while living accent walls of plants and foliage add swathes of greenery to further freshen the feel.
The space is broken down into several unique areas – distinctive from the standard layout of table-and-chairs. Robin’s-egg blue sofas with fuchsia throws offer a comfortable, this-is-your-friend’s-living-room vibe. Pull a book or magazine from the shelf, grab a coffee, and unwind. Or, head to the games corner for a round of foosball – and, if you’re sure in your shot, opt to beat the restaurant manager at a game of darts to win up to a 60% discount off your bill.
There’s also a colourful DJ booth where Grand Hyatt resident DJ Santiago Vittorelli will return after Ramadan to spin some cool California tunes while you sip your smoothie or navigate one of their mountainous milkshakes – topped with such shameless indulgences as cinnamon doughnuts, salted pretzels, and peanut butter and mini-waffles. Also, don’t forget to get your wings in front of the selfie wall by the entrance – (go, and you’ll see what we mean!)
Having recently included some lush new additions to the menu – don’t let the SMBC name fool you. While breakfast is served all day and night, it’s only one of their many gold-star standouts. Fresh, funky, and delish, with each visit it’s easy to find something new off their menu that you hadn’t noticed before. We spotted a stock-pile of goodies that we’ve made a mental note to come back for.
Topping our list of SMBC’s SoCal must-tries is a first-up off the ‘Dropped Egg’ section of the menu – and we have to admit we don’t mind cracking a few! The Crab Deluxe is a do-not-miss – so good we ordered it twice the second time we came back. An inspired take on the traditional Eggs Benny, delicate, sweet crab-meat is tossed with a spicy Sriracha mayo, topped with a perfectly-poached egg, scattered with a smattering of chives, and with a slice of honey-roasted turkey-ham tucked in for a tasty surprise. For the gluten-free among you, take note that all this deliciousness comes served on top of a corn-patty.
We’re also in love with their Full Monty breakfast skillet. And with half-a-dozen other varieties to choose from, think Full English fry-up with Middle Eastern, Mexican, and West Coast twists. If you need something hearty between two buns their hand-crafted burgers are works of art, as are the wood-fired sourdough pizzas, while those with a sweet tooth can reap their harvest from SMBC’s moreish selection of Belgian, buttermilk waffles, and lush buckwheat crêpes adorned with toppings best left to the imaginings of your appetite!
We also recommend not passing up any of the items off their new Hot Off The Grill menu. Think corn-fed chicken, Black Angus tenderloin flame-grilled to your liking, and Mediterranean sea-bass. Oh, and not to worry – in case you thought they forgot about you health-conscious foodies who are watching your waist-lines, there’s a new salad section on the menu that’s tossing up some flavoursome, nutrient-packed bowls. (Order their quinoa salad – you won’t be sorry.)
Hungry yet? No need to book your ticket to Cali – just book a table at SMBC instead.
Enter to win a dinner for two including soft drinks from Santa Monica Breakfast Club! We’ll be drawing the winner on Thursday, June 8, 2017 so don’t miss out! Click here to enter.
Santa Monica Breakfast Club
Location: The Grand Hyatt Doha
Timings: 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (daily, regular timings)
6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (during Ramadan)
· 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (breakfast buffet)
· 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (a la carte)
Contact Info: (+974) 4448-1240
Have you sampled the fare at Santa Monica Breakfast Club? Tell us about your experience along with which new Doha eateries are catching your eye right now in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to give us a like and a share – it keeps us going!
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