Last night after some retail therapy at the Mall of Qatar, we decided to have dinner at Basta 23. It’s located on the first floor with several other restaurants, overlooking the oasis area of the mall.
What appealed us was the whole outlook of the place. With wooden doors and cemented stairs, the interiors represent the old, traditional Qatari times. The place looks quite small from the outside, but once you are in, you see that it’s quite massive. They have got three floors with plenty of seating options such as sofas and majlis.
Once we got seated, we were presented the menu. The menu had quite a lot of variety of traditional Arabic dishes. Most of the items thats we asked for were not available.
For drinks, we ordered Mint lemonade, Pineapple juice and Sherbet vimto. Well we guess everyone knows how Vimto tastes like (right?)! The mint lemonade was just average. While the pineapple juice tasted like the packaged one.
For the mains, we ordered Hammour Machbous, Meat Machbous and Chicken Penne Pasta. The food came in way too quick (That quick when you feel that pre-prepared food was just re-heated for you :P).
Hammour Machbous: The rice were flavorsome and well cooked. However, the hammour fish was over-cooked due to which it had become really dry spoiling the entire taste.
Meat Machbous: As mentioned above, the rice were just perfect, full of flavor, just how the machbous rice are supposed to be. The meat was very tender and tasted good too. But guess what, we found a piece of chicken in our ‘meat’ machbous. We still can’t figure out that how it landed there, though!
Chicken Penne Pasta: It was more like a fusion of Italian and Qatari food. The pasta was cooked well. We liked it.
For desserts we had Guimeet. This traditional dessert looked nice and tasted good too. Not very sweet nor bland. Just the right balance.
Overall we felt that the food itself didn’t quite meet our expectations. Most of it didn’t even taste fresh. The prices were high while the serving size was small. We don’t think we will be stopping by anytime soon!
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