Food from a particular region tells us a lot about its traditions, culture and its origins. Bringing to you the modern cooking techniques of India’s multi-faceted cuisines and rich culture through its culinary presentations is the restaurant – Qalamkarri. The style of this restaurant is inspired by the traditional Kalamkari art which is an intricate style of painting from the Indian subcontinent.
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team had the chance to dine at Qalamkarri in a beautiful setting and with amazing views of the city. Let’s dive into this culinary experience and tell you why you should be heading there next!
Set up on the 25th floor of the much-talked-about Banyan Tree Doha, as soon as you enter Qalamkarri, you’ll be greeted to stunning views of Doha. This is accentuated by the colourful, elegant and captivating ambience, that is just what you need while dining. Have you checked it out before?
The menu at Qalamkarri is something unique. This exciting and extensive menu is inclusive of some crowd favourite dishes and also has twists on some Indian classics. One thing is guaranteed that whichever dish you choose, you’ll be treated to exploding, authentic flavours with the right mix of spice and sizzle. Are you ready for this fantastic culinary experience?
Qalamkarri serves a range of interesting beverages that are a great addition to your meal. We were served a lip-smacking mocktail that consisted of orange juice, strawberries, pineapple juice, rimmed with desiccated coconut and garnished with sour jelly and a cherry. This was delicious and complimented the food that was served next.
We started with the chef’s special amuse-bouche – the pani puri, which is a popular Indian snack, made of crispy hollow dough ball that is filled with spicy potatoes and aromatic mint water. This isn’t like any other you might have had before. It consists of a crispy hollow dough ball, that is filled with mint-foam and topped off with yogurt foam.
This definitely awaked our senses and got us ready for the grand feast that was awaiting us. The presentation needs a special mention as it was brought to us on elephant-shaped stools that added to the excitement and wonder of the whole experience!
Taste the flavours of India in every dish at Qalamkarri. We kicked off our meal with some amazing starters like their Chettinad Prawn Mini Dosa - a lovely dish where thin rice pancakes are filled with spiced prawns and served taco-style along with coconut chutney, Fish Koliwada Chips - Indian style Fish & Chips with pickled curry mayo, Kache Nimbu Ka Jhinga - lime-marinated prawns, cooked in a tandoor, served with blue potato chaat.
If you're a vegetarian, worry not as they have many starters like Amchur Makai Ka Salad - mango, cucumber, corn salad with mustard vinaigrette dressing, Paneer Pasanda - cottage cheese served with dry fruits, rick tomato & spinach gravy, Crispy Cheese Dahi Kebab - crispy balls filled with truffle duxelle, yogurt & served with tomato chutney, and Vegetable Samosa Ragda- a crispy fried pastry filled with vegetables, served on a bed of cooked peas and drizzled with mint, tamarind chutney and yogurt.
Each plate takes inspiration from the different regions of India and were extremely flavourful. Do not miss trying the Kache Nimbu Ka Jhinga and their Vegetable Samosa Ragda as they topped the list for us!
Coming to the main event, Chef Craveen Crasta served us some crowd favourites from Qalamkarri’s long list of dishes. These included Seafood Moilley – which is a Kerala style mixed seafood dish in coconut gravy, Kozhi Ularthiyath – a sensational dish, consisting of smoked sautéed chicken in Kerala masala, Kadhai Sabzi – semi-dry mix vegetables kadhai gravy, Nalli Gosht – braised lamb shank in aromatic gravy, Tandoori Murgh Tikka Biryani - aromatic rice cooked with spiced chicken pieces baked in the tandoor, Kashmiri Sabzi Biryani - vegetables cooked with aromatic rice & topped with flavourful nuts and raisins.
These were accompanied by a selection of breads like their Garlic Tandoori Naan and Kulcha – one was stuffed with minced lamb and the other with vegetables. The dishes were cooked to perfection, each had a distinctive taste and they make great sharing plates.
Make sure to keep some room for dessert as Qalamkarri’s desserts will make the perfect ending to your meal. They have some unique twists on famous Indian sweets like the gulab jamun - a dish traditionally made with deep-fried milk dough balls, dunked in a sweet syrup. Qalamkarri served us the Gulab Jamun Cream Brulee, which consisted of vanilla ice cream, honey caramel and fresh berries. When eaten all together, it tasted divine!
Their take on the Indian kulfi- a traditional Indian ice cream made with milk and nuts was also unique. The Trio Kulfi Ice Cream was presented beautifully with Pistachio, Rabdi (milk cream) and Saffron flavoured Kulfi sticking out from a bowl of Chocolate Soil. This is something you shouldn’t miss trying!
Looking to treat a group of friends or the whole family? Qalamkarri also takes special bookings for 8 guests or more and can arrange for a set menu consisting of some delectable items. Their Trolley Experience is something to check out too. Specialty beverages and sips are made right in front of the guests and served in style to them.
They also have a current offer running where if a guest who comes in with a moustache gets one specialty beverage on the house when they order 3! How cool is this?
So when are you heading to Qalamkarri to enjoy the wonderful spread? Their menu is available for lunch and dinner, every day of the week!
Have you been to Qalamkarri before? What are some of your most-liked dishes from there? do let us know in the comments below. Do share this article - it keeps us going!
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