Al Katem Restaurant is a hugely popular destination for authentic Arabic cuisine in Doha, Qatar. Walking into the busy restaurant, it’s clear to see why – the delicious smells of food cooking over fire and the sight of rice bubbling away in giant pots is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
However, with such high demand also comes some downsides. In this post, we will break down the main pros and cons of dining in at Al Katem Restaurant based on hundreds of reviews.
Pros that will draw you in
The food itself consistently receives rave reviews, with dishes like chicken and mutton mandi, kabsa rice and machboos rice hailed as some of the best tasting traditional Arabic meals in Qatar. The rice appears exceptionally well cooked and tender every time.
Value for money:
Portion sizes are generous and prices are considered very reasonable for the quantity and quality provided. A full meal for two people can often be had for under 100 QAR.
Some appreciate the authentic dining experience of sitting on carpets in private “majlis” areas. This recreates the feel of traditional middle eastern dining.
Cons to be aware of
It’s almost always very busy, especially on weekends and evenings, making it difficult to find a table to dine. Waiting times are often long just to be seated. Space is limited.
Some criticize hygiene standards, particularly in washroom areas which are said to sometimes be messy and not cleaned properly.
Service quality variable:
While food quality is consistent, some complain that certain staff members can be rude, lacking customer service skills and smiling.
Noise levels high:
With full crowds, the restaurant atmosphere can become quite noisy, especially for families looking for a calmer dining experience.
Overall, while the food is undeniably delicious, the dining experience may not be the best for all. Those willing to wait and looking for an authentic taste of Saudi and Qatari cuisine will love it, but others preferring a more relaxed restaurant setting may want to order takeaway instead.
Al Katem Restaurant Menu
Mid Mac Roundabout, Salwa Road
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the restaurant’s busiest times?
A: The restaurant tends to be extremely crowded on weekends, especially Friday nights after prayers. Weekday lunches also tend to be very busy. It’s best to avoid these peak times if you don’t want to wait long for a table.
Q: How long do wait times tend to be?
A: On average, expect to wait at least 30 minutes for a table during busy periods. It can sometimes be over an hour on weekends. It’s wise to call ahead to check estimated wait times.
Q: What seating options are available?
A: You can opt to sit at traditional carpeted seating areas arranged in “majlis” style private rooms, or at tables. The majlis areas fill up quickly. There is limited outdoor covered seating too.
Q: Can we order takeaway instead of dining in?
A: Yes, takeaway is available for those who don’t want to wait or dine in the crowded environment. However, takeaway times during peak periods can also be long due to high order volumes.
Q: What dishes would you recommend trying?
A: Signature dishes like mutton/chicken mandi, kabsa rice, machboos rice and yogurt salads are highly recommended. The tomato rice dishes also receive good reviews.
Hope you found this guide on Al Katem Restaurant informative. Are you planning to visit this restaurant? Which dish you will try? Let us know in the comments below.