After a really short walk along the corniche (and I mean really short because I couldn’t handle the heat at all!!! Give me air conditioning or give me death!), lunch at Souq Waqif was decided and Tajine was our target for the day. I’ve eaten there only once before, but it was a hot summer’s eve and I could only focus on the sweat running down the back of my neck, not much on the food. One thing did stick from that dinner though: the lemony goodness from their chicken tajine. Although I couldn’t focus on it 100% because I was swimming in sweat, the taste was good enough to leave an impression.
I love anything that tastes sour, especially when it’s lemon flavoured and it makes you pucker your lips and squeeze your eyes shut. That’s what made me order the Chicken Mecharmel (QR40) the first time after I read the description, and why I decided to order it again recently. I had a big internal battle because half of me felt like I should try something new and get the Lamb Marrakechia (QR55) instead, but yummy lemony goodness won. Maybe next time, baaa!
The meal started with a bowl of lentil soup each. Don’t let the picture fool you, it is massive. Good enough to be a meal on its own actually, especially since it’s served with bread, olives, and a super spicy chili sauce which I just could not handle. Why didn’t I get the ability to handle spice from my Indian genes?!
The chicken came straight after we finished the soup, and let me tell you I almost didn’t want to eat it since I was so full. The smell was too tempting to resist though, and we made more room in our tummies.
Served in a traditional Moroccan tagine (hence the name!!), the chicken was nice and juicy, although how could it not be when it was swimming in oil and lemon juice. The fries were also drenched, but I like soggy fries anyway so I wasn’t complaining. I enjoyed it thoroughly, though I began to tire of it towards the end. In Tagalog we have a word called ‘umay‘ for the feeling of getting tired of the same taste or tired of eating, but there’s no direct translation to English so that’s the only explanation I can give you! Maybe I needed another side dish with a different taste to add some contrast to the flavours?
On the other hand, J had ordered the Special Grilled Baby Chicken (QR45). It tasted good, but was quite average. It seemed like the sort of thing you could order at any Indian or Arabic restaurant, despite having the word ‘special’ in its name. It also didn’t look like a baby chicken, it was big! If grilled chicken marinated in herbs and spices is what you like, then you’d love this even if it isn’t extraordinary in Doha.
When we went and sat upstairs, we were almost alone. Everyone else was outside by the entrance smoking shisha or sitting in the terrace enjoying the summer heat. I just needed AC fast. Staff are helpful and quick (if they can see you!!), and though the restaurant isn’t grand and doesn’t feel as authentic as you’d like, it’s a good place to stop by at for good food. Sit outside and enjoy the shisha when the weather is good, or fight off others for a good spot near an AC when summer gets too much. I’m not an expert in Moroccan cuisine, and this is actually my first (or second!) experience with it, but the food tastes good and that’s all that matters to me.
I’m definitely going to try the lamb next though. Or maybe the baby camel…