Agora Restaurant – Doha, is the signature restaurant of the Mövenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah Doha but when we were here the Chef was Emre Gok who is by now the Head Chef at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. I am not aware what the new Chef presents these days, but my review is based on our last visit. Agora Restaurant Doha is highlighted as a Turkish restaurant influenced by Balkan cookery with touches of the Mediterranean cuisine as well. I have always been fond of the Turkish cuisine and as always I am very selective about food.
Emre’s combination of cooking is a challenge because he combines culture with cooking. The Chef who is a good frien, although young, he is ambitious with a great zeal. His creative cuisine is one to be remembered. You can now find the Chef at Kiyi, signature restaurant of the new Fairmont Ajman, a beachfront 5* luxury hotel. Personally I plan to visit Dubai shortly and the Fermont Ajman is in my pucket list. If you are lucky to go there, get ready for a taste of heaven. Emre works miracles in his cuisin.
Agora Restaurant – Doha
The colorful and Oriental style of the interior of the restaurant travels us. It features exquisite luxury, rich wood paneling, an amazing roof lighting effect and crystal chandeliers. Wall paintings and colorful vitro art dominate the interior walls. Comfortable channel-back seats with high fabric back. Wooden floor partly carpeted, cushions and decorative features in bold warm noble shades of live wood, ruby, violet and crimson colors.
Agora Restaurant – Doha
We started off with the Cold Mezze sampler. I guess it should be your #1 request. Six different appetizers –small portions like the Cypriot meze, that included stuffed vine leaves, hummus, Kisir –the Turkish tabbouleh, Acili Ezme, a tomatoe dip, Haydari, which was thick yoghurt dip and finally the Patlican salatsi which is an aubergine dip. We had the Gavurdagi Salatasi -rocket leaves salad with a pomegranate dressing. The Arnavut Cigeri was presented in a silver pot and it was fried beef liver served with sumac, onion and parsley salad. I love liver and usually have it grilled. The presentation was superb but tasting it was also a challenge.
You have to keep coming back to try everything because the menu list includes a plethora of dishes. If you get lost in the menu, just rely on the Chef who will suggest the best for you depending on your likes. There is no doubt that you will be back for more. Customers can preview the dishes before placing their orders through iMenus. Alcohol is prohibited, so we had a refreshing cocktail at first to start with until we decide what to have, but later on I had an ayran, the Turkish drink which I love.
The Head Chef of Agora, Emre who happens to be a good friend, was out with us when he finished everything in the kitchen and it was nice having him joining us that evening. At a nearby table there was the owner of the hotel with his bunch of friends enjoying their evening meal as well.
The service was top notch and the staff was always nearby if you should need anything. Time for the main course, and I start thinking that I would have another round in the Aspire Park after dinner tonight!
The Iskender Kebab was great too. It comes in a Silver-plate cover pot, the presentation is noble, but the surprise is inside. It is a dish that will excite your palate. Beef and lamb kebab topped with Turkish tomato gravy, accompanied by strained yoghurt. You can have it with a crispy pita homemade bread. It’s a dish with strong flavour and rich texture of yoghurt.
We had the platter of Grilled Lamb chops, Anatolian kebab, Rib-eye and Chicken. A meat-lovers’ delight and a great choice for summer grilling. The meat was seared over charcoal flame and was so tender that could be cut with a fork.
Of course, I am nibbling throughout our meal as I do the majority of times when I am out on similar culinary tasting experiences. What we had was already much, and there was still more to come. Normally to consume all these we would perhaps need 2 days. There are times when I think how lucky I am that I have managed to control my appetite through the years and no matter how tempting the food can be, I always have a bite or two. In some cases Chefs think that I leave food almost untouched because I don’t like it. 🙂
If you prefer Chicken instead you can have the Beyti Chicken kebab. I have to say that I tried this as well and it comes in Saj bread folded kebab with cheese, yoghurt and tomato sauce. The presentation is outstanding and the taste great.
Finally time for dessert but with all these, even a bite or two was already much. The Turkish cuisine is irresistible, not to mention the desserts. How could I say no to what Emre had personally prepared for us that evening!
After the delectable feast, I could not take much but I did save some space for anything exceptional that was to follow. We had the Crème Broulete and the Kaymakli Kunefe, another dainty morsel. The latter was a very crispy kadaif dough with cheese filling and clotted cream. I tried both and found them finger licking good.
And in the place of dessert-wine, in a Turkish restaurant, expect tea instead…what else!
Considering the fine cuisine, the impeccable professional service and the glamorous ambience I can say that the cuisine of my dear friend Emre impressed me once again. Agora is highly recommended for a romantic outing, a business meal, or a special occasion. I wonder if the new Chef of Agora is as professional as Emre Gok. If back to Doha I would love to return and check this personally.
Disclaimer: I was a guest at the Agora Restaurant – Doha during this visit, but the opinions expressed in this article are, as always my own.
Phone and Reserve Your Table +974 4445 5540
Have you tried the cuisine of Agora? What was your experience like? Your comments are mostly welcomed!