مطعم قصر الياسمين Yasmine Palace Restaurant
In Arabic you say mateam qasr al yasmin. Located in of the prettiest areas of Doha, Qatar known as the Pearl. A very luxurious and affluent island that is both residential and commercial. Yasmine Palace Restaurant is extraordinary and nothing short of over the top and fabulous. It’s like you have landed right back into the Disney movie Aladdin. Majestic, violet and sapphire blue walls, this restaurant feels like you are royal from the moment you enter. Even the staff uniform and presentation is unreal!
This is how you imagine the top restaurants to be in the gulf. Extravagant and all out to impress. This restaurant sets the bar extremely high with the level of service, the decor, the mixture of cuisines as well as the overall atmosphere here. Authentic arab architecture to traditional cuisine this is a breathe of fresh air from the habit of dining at western chains over and over again in the Gulf. You can loose that Middle Eastern experience and culture due to how many international western restaurants are available now. So I’d highly recommend this place for a true Arabian experience when in Qatar.
The Andalusia restaurant offers oriental cuisines and classed as the central, main space in the complex. This restaurant can cater many guests here due to the size along with a gorgeous fountain as the centre piece of decoration. It’s also worth mentioning that they play live music here which is a delight to listen too in the warm, summer evenings.
AL RABWA الربوة
You then have Al Rabwa restaurant, offering delicious Levantine dishes. This is a garden themed restaurant, with a gorgeous plant wall and impressive decor everywhere you look. Enjoy your flavours? This is the place to try!
From the websites own words it ‘has a Qatari character that combines traditional with modern, and passion with magic’. This restaurant is known for combining the new with the old. Very elegant with beautiful Arabic calligraphy on the walls.
THE TERRACE الشرفة
Now comes my favourite part, the terrace! If there is ever an option for outdoor seating, I’m there! Something that we are not able to enjoy as much back in the U.K. due to the weather, I always love to take advantage of the outdoor seating area. I just think it gives that more of a social vibe. Here you also have the option of doing one of my favourite hobbies on the weekend, smoking shisha. Bubblegum, raspberry, lemon and mint, you name it I’ve probably had it 😀 Here you also have the glorious views of the marina, which is beautifully lit up at night.
THE DRESS CODE
As you can imagine, smart and elegant though it does state casual smart. Therefore you don’t need to be done up to a tea but making an effort when coming here is appreciated. Sometimes its nice to have somewhere to go to be able to dress up and unwind on the weekend. This is the place! When you are teaching 5 days a week and often doing planning till the late evening, it’s really nice to be able to put on your favourite outfit at the end of it, doing your hair and makeup and overall feeling like you have made a real effort in your appearance that sometimes slightly slacks throughout the week. Don’t know about you but some days I get back from school and look like I’ve been dragged through the hedge. The kids are also always on form to let me know when I’ve worn a dress or top more than twice in that year. So places like this give me the excuse to put on my red lippy, my lancome eyeliner and feel great.
THE MENU قائمة طعام
(Some of what is listed on the menu)
Qatari Arabian Gulf Dishes
. Chicken Samosa (38QR ) سموسة دجاج
. Vegetable Samosa (35QR) سموسة خضار
. Harees Meat (60QR). هريس لحم
. Majboos Chicken with Salona (85QR) مجبوس دجاج مع الصالونة
. Meat Majboos (95QR) مجبوس لحم
. Biryani Shrimp with Salona (165QR) برياني روبيان مع الصالونة
. Briyani Hamour with Salona (145QR) برياني هامور مع الصالونة
What is a samosa? It is a fried or baked pastry with a savoury filling.
What is harees meat? It is a dish of boiled, cracked or coarsely ground wheat mixed with meat.
What is majboos? It is the national dish in Qatar, consisting of rice, meat and vegetables.
What is salona? It is a classic Arabian stew
Main Dishes & BBQ
. Kebab Halabi (95QR) كباب حلبي
. Kebab with eggplant (115QR) كباب باذنجان
. Shish Taouk (95QR) شيش طاووق
. Mixed Grill (135QR) طبق مشاوي مشكل
. Maria Arayes (55QR) عرايس ماريا
. Lahmeh Bel-Seniya (90QR) لحمة بالصينية
. Chicken Freekeh (95QR) فريكة بالدجاج
. Makloba Eggplant with chicken (95QR) مقلوبة باذنجان بالدجاج
. Mansaf Lahem with Jameed (135QR) منسف لحم مع لبن الجميد
What is kebab halabi? It is a type of kebab, common in Syria and Lebanon, that is served with a spicy tomato sauce and Aleppo pepper.
What is arayes? It is a delicious grilled pita bread
Lahmeh means meat in Arabic! Seniya refers to dishes that have tahini sauce on them.
What is freekeh? It is a cereal food made from green durum wheat that is roasted.
What is makloba? It is a traditional Middle Eastern dish served throughout the Levant region. It consists of meat, rice and fried vegetables.
What is mansaf? It is again a traditional Middle Eastern dish, the national dish of Jordan, made up of cooked lamb in a sauce of fermented dried yoghurt and usually served with rice.
Sometimes it’s hard to try something new if we don’t understand what they are. This is a small breakdown of what some dishes are made up of. Trying traditional food in the Middle East is a great experience, often combined with a cultural experience and history of the country. You learn so much through the national and traditional dishes of that country.
For prices, I listed what they are in Qatari Riyal which is the currency of Qatar. However to give a rough idea of the prices in pounds, 5QR is around £1 so 50QR is around £50. Therefore the dishes I have listed there are just over £7 up to £34.
The Yasmine Palace also has one of the most elegant and exquisite diwanias you could imagine. Incase you aren’t familiar with what a diwania is, it is a reception like area where men gather and is classed as an important part of social life in the Gulf. You can often find diwanias attached to the front of the house. It originates from the Arabic word ‘Diwan’.
A diwania also holds great political and social significance, with many political subjects often discussed here in a formal setting. You will find some diwanias more modern than others. People often enjoy drinking tea, having desserts and tasting delicious dishes here with a very relaxed atmosphere. The Middle Eastern culture thrives on hospitality and the importance of family life. The presence of diwanias are for that reason, very popular in the Middle East and create a great social dynamic that often hosts and invites guests round.
PLAY OASIS واحة اللعب
Yep! You heard it. They even have their own kids play room, perfect for families.
When you go to such fancy restaurants as this, if you have children you probably feel you can’t bring them here they will get too bored and could end up breaking something! But this kids oasis is absolutely perfect for them to enjoy their time in a safe and well looked after place.
The Play Oasis can be used from children between 5 years old up to 15 years old. You have the VR slider, Air Hockey and interactive touch screen etc.
For children who are under 5 years old, they have a trained nursery team who provides excellent care here in the nursery and ensures your child has a fun and exciting experience at the Yasmine Palace!
What else do they have?
VIP AREA غرفة خاصة
You know the restaurant is at the top of the game when it has a VIP area! A very luxurious private lounge for guests. This area is great for business partners to come for meetings etc in a very classy setting.
PRAYER ROOMS غرفة الصلاة
Located on the first floor of Yasmine Palace there is a prayer room for men and then a separate prayer room for women. The prayer rooms can have up to 50 people at a time!
Overall this has been one of the most impressive restaurants I’ve been to date. It has everything you would want for a Middle Eastern dining experience. It allows you to explore traditional cuisines from all over the region, offers entertainment with live music and has numerous outdoor terraces for shisha.
So if you are thinking of visiting Qatar at some point or even are living there now and haven’t tried this place out yet I’d highly suggest doing so 🙂