Sampling Aussie Cuisine in Qatar
While most people are familiar with the concept of an ‘Aussie barbie’ (a barbeque of meat, meat and more meat, a bit of seafood and one or two veg, such as tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers), wider Australian cuisine is somewhat harder to discern than the well-known foods of many other nations, and here’s why?
Australia’s original inhabitants, commonly known as Aboriginals or indigenous Australians, were hunter-gathers, living off the land on whatever foods were available – the country is so vast, with a climate that ranges from cool maritime to tropical, that the types of naturally found foods can be pretty diverse. However, commonly sourced foods included kangaroo, wallaby and emu, witchetty grubs, lizards and snakes, fish and bush berries. Such native ‘bush tucker’ did not appeal to early British settlers to Australia in the late 18th century, who adopted relatively little true Australian foods, preferring to import foods until they began farming crops (wheat, corn, potatoes) and breeding livestock animals from home (beef cattle and sheep). As such, early cuisine in Australia was heavily influenced by British and Irish tastes – roasted meats, stews and pies, served with vegetables and potatoes, as well as cereals, bread and other wheat-based products.
Since the early days of colonisation, Australia has experienced massive influxes of immigrants from other nations and cultures, such as the Chinese during the Australian Gold Rush of the 19th century, people from the Mediterranean, East Asia and South Asia following the first and second World Wars, and people from the Middle East during the 20th century. The diversity in people also changed the types of foods and ingredients found across the Antipodean nation. Cuisine from China and Asia brought more rice, noodle and bean-based dishes, more spices and herbs, a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, and curried, stir-fried and deep-fried dishes. Cuisine from southern Europe – predominantly Italy and Greece – saw a shift to more grain-based foods – bread and pasta, as well as olives, olive oils, fish, pork, poultry, cheeses, yoghurts, nuts, honey and citrus fruits. And foods brought from the Middle East saw the Australians use more grains (bulgur and couscous), beans and pulses, leavened bread, greater spice and herb mixes, grilled, skewered and ground meats, and vegetables and fruits, such as eggplants, okra, squash, figs and dates. The 21st century and globalisation brought American-style fast food and a vast mix of international cuisine from all over the world to the Aussies plate. The result is a melee of cuisines!
Nonetheless, some ‘traditional’ dishes from early colonisation remain the country’s favourites, with one or two being touted as the nation’s national dishes – roast dinner (roasted lamb or beef, with veggies, potatoes and gravy) and meat pie (traditionally beef and gravy encased in a flaky pastry shell and served with tomato ketchup). And meat, in general, still makes up a high proportion of foodstuffs consumed in Australia (think meaty BBQs), with three times more meat eaten than the world average. Other favourites, absorbed from later immigrants, include spaghetti bolognese, fish and chips, chicken parmigiana, chicken curry, and stir fry – all adapted to suit Australian tastes and ingredients. In recent years, bush tucker has also become increasingly popular, with kangaroo, emu and barramundi (a type of seabass) gracing more and more menus and supermarket shelves than ever before.
In short, if you are looking for typical Aussie food, you could try a diverse range of dishes. However, superlative steaks, flame-grilled meat (and shrimp), roasted joints, bountiful burgers and mighty meat pies are some of the best examples of great, typically Australian fare. So, if you have a hankering for hearty food with big flavours, check out Qatar’s top Australian restaurants:
Eating Out Aussie Style in Qatar’s Top Australian Restaurants
While Australian eateries aren’t prolific in Qatar, you can still find great chain restaurants serving food from down under with numerous outlets across Doha and its surrounding areas; there’s even a lively Aussie bar in the city centre, serving Australian-style food:
Aussie Grill by Outback
The Aussie Grill is an offshoot of the ever-popular Outback restaurant. Established in 2019, Aussie Grill is an antipodean version of fast food, where meat is the star of the show and fresh, quality ingredients and bold flavours enhance and showcase the main ingredient. Simply put, the eatery’s USP describes the menu best – hand-crafted fast food done well!
The Aussie Grill is in Lusail City’s luxurious Place Vendome Mall on the second-floor food court. The outlet is spread over three counters, which look decidedly like an outback eatery - shipping container-esq décor, exposed brick walls and industrial-style caged lighting, with a huge map of Australia on the floor. The venue serves a comprehensive menu of meaty burgers, sandwiches and sliders, steak, BBQ, grilled and crispy-style meat and fish, salads with grilled or crispy chicken, snacks, sides and a plethora of sauces – Aussie-style, ranch, smoky mayo, BBQ, honey mustard, creamy Cajun and honey sriracha.
Our all-time favourites from the menu include the perfectly cooked Sirloin Steak, tender and juicy and served with salad, fried potatoes and a peppercorn sauce, or the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, hand-breaded chicken, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, with pickles and fresh tomatoes and lettuce, sweet and spicy sriracha sauce all sandwiched in a soft bun – a mouthwatering experience!
So, if you fancy a flame-grilled feast bursting with flavour, you can check out Aussie Grill via the details below:
(nearest Tram, Lusail Central on the Orange Line)
Opening Hours: Sunday to Saturday, 10 am – 11 pm
Contact: +974 4029 5288
Image: Jess Pryles
Aussie Hive is a lively Australian-inspired bar at the InterContinental Hotel in Doha city centre. Though relatively small, the bar boasts a vibrant, friendly atmosphere that buzzes with guests, especially when sports are showing on the venue's many screens.
The bar has a relaxed Aussie vibe, with comfortable sofas, bar tables and chairs, all within a gnat's whisker from a TV screen. Aboriginal art adorns the bar's walls, as do wooden surfboards, boomerangs and many typical Aussie 'animal crossing' road signs. You can even find a giant wooden croc on the venue's ceiling and an old Triumph motorbike (beloved by Aussie bikers) by the bar's entrance!
To complete the Down Under theme, the tap house sports a typically Australian bar snack menu. You can order meat pies, fish and chips, beef and chicken sliders, fried calamari and prawns, chicken wings, a hearty mixed grill platter, meatballs, and various pizza and pasta dishes. The bar also offers a Saturday brunch – straight from the Barbie! We can heartily recommend trying the Aussie Meat Pies; whether you choose the beef pie with a BBQ dip or the chicken and mushroom with ketchup mustard, the dish is delightful – moreish, buttery, flaky pastry full of hot, meaty filling. The sticky Buffalo Wild Wings and the Grilled Beef Slider are also contenders for a top spot on the menu.
If you love sport and socialising in a fun, friendly environment with a bit of Aussie charm, check out this little venue via the details below:
(nearest Metro, DECC on the Red Line)
Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 12 pm – 12 am
Friday, 12:30 pm – 12 am
Contact: +974 7739 0265
The Outback Steakhouse is actually an American, Australian-themed steakhouse. Established in 1988 in the United States, the restaurant has grown from its humble beginnings to incorporate over 1,000 sister venues throughout North America, South America, Asia and Australia. Though the food served is more American-style cuisine, with hints of casual Australian fare, the chain restaurants home in on the relaxed Aussie vibe, their famously friendly service and, of course, the traditional outback-style décor.
Restaurants are designed to emulate retro outback cafes and restaurants – simple, no-nonsense décor, unadorned wooden tables, chairs and old-style booth seating, and bars and counters made from wood and corrugated iron, with an array of bar stools in attendance. However, each venue also sports modern additions - Aboriginal-inspired art and modern kitsch art - lampshades made from boomerangs, wall décor made from wood in the likeness of Uluru, and artsy maps of Australia on the walls and floors.
The menu at Outback Steakhouse venues in Doha, of which there are five, is, as the name suggests, decidedly meaty, with a vast array of steak choices and chicken, fish and seafood. The extensive plates on offer include signature flame-grilled steaks with a choice of sirloin, ribeye, filet and strip steak, beef ribs, fried, crispy, flame-grilled and breaded chicken, surf and turf meals, fish and chips, grilled salmon, fried shrimp, chicken, steak and shrimp salads, steak and chicken sandwiches and burgers and a signature appetiser (distinctly non-Australian, but extremely tasty nonetheless), the Bloomin Onion – a giant hand-carved onion, deep fried and served with mayo horseradish sauce. Our favourites include the flavoursome Chargrilled Bone-In Ribeye Steak and the smoky flavoured, grilled Beef Ribs with BBQ sauce.
If you like a themed restaurant that serves tasty, though not necessarily authentic, American/Aussie-style food, check out the various venues in Qatar via the details below:
Location, Contact and Opening Hours:
+974 4443 2423
Sunday to Saturday, 24 hours
(nearest Metro, DECC on the Red Line)
+974 4476 3098
Saturday to Thursday, 11 am – 11:30 pm
Friday, 1 pm – 11:30 pm
(nearest Metro, Legtaifiya on the Red Line)
+974 4414 9028
Sunday to Thursday, 12 pm – 12 am
Friday to Saturday, 8 am 12 am
(nearest Metro, Al Riffa on the Green Line)
+974 4415 0962
Sunday to Wednesday, 10 am – 10 pm
Thursday and Friday, 10 am – 12 am
Saturday, 10 am – 11 pm
(nearest Metro, Al Aziziyah on the Gold Line)
+974 4039 1982
Sunday to Thursday, 10 am – 11:30 pm
Friday and Saturday, 8 am – 11:30 pm
Contact: +974 4435 6440
Main image: BCB
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