So it was just a Soft Opening that we witnessed yesterday. But we were already amazed by the volume of spectators very excited to be one of the first visitors of the Mall of Qatar. And yes, more shops are open and we’ve seen new brands now available in Qatar.
Here’s the link of my earlier blog post on the Soft Opening of the Mall of Qatar.
What made me excited during the opening of Qatar’s biggest mall to date was the opening of EATALY – dubbed as the largest Italian marketplace in the world. We were able to get a taste of Cheesecake Factory in Dubai Mall and so when we heard that Eataly will open here, I thought it was the best chance to try it in Qatar, too.
Since we came on the first day, it was expected that we will be queuing before we get a table. We were even told when we came that the restaurant was full owing to some media reservations and early patrons. After few minutes, we were seated and a friend also joined us for late lunch.
We ordered breaded calamari for appetizer, the kids loved it so much. For the main, we had pollo arrosto (roasted chicken), bistecca de manzo (grilled rib-eye steak), and salsiccia pizza (beef sausage with mushroom and basil) which were all superbly cooked to our delight.
Diners should be reminded that as an authentic Italian restaurant, side dishes are only limited to mashed, baked or boiled potatoes, sautéed mix veggies, or mixed green salad (definitely no rice!). But I guarantee, as a rice-person myself, our order were enough to fill us up that we didn’t have space for dessert.
Aside from their resto, EATALY also have food market and an Illy coffee shop on each side. The food market offers all the ingredients and the sauces used in their restaurant. Some of it could be a nice present on special occasions. The Illy coffee shop also comes with a Nutella counter which serves a good range of desserts to complete that Italian dining experience.
The first day of operation is sure to have some minor bloopers but I’m happy that the food was good and I’m surprised it wasn’t as expensive as it looks.
Their next Qatar branch will likely be at the Doha Festival City near IKEA.