Laura Morris discovered a new menu, alongside some staple favourites, at this cool venue at Fuwairit Kite Beach, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

Maybe this year you hope to get more active or perhaps take up a new hobby? Or maybe you plan to simply soak in more of what Qatar has to offer in terms of scenery and beaches! All of these can be accomplished at Fuwairit Kite Beach, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (FKB) where you’ll find The Rider, the resort’s laid-back casual dining restaurant.

The ‘Rock On’ statue situated centrally in the welcome space of FKB tells you everything you need to know about this place, specifically that it’s cool! Upon entering the restaurant, an immediate sense of chill and relaxation washed over me. Neon signs bathed the space in vibrant hues, harmonising with clashing colours on the walls. The tiled floor, camper vans and graffiti art contribute to an industrial charm, creating an atmosphere that seamlessly blends nostalgia with urban creativity. The high ceilings and open-plan layout add spaciousness, inviting patrons to linger and embrace the relaxed ethos. Quotes encouraging patrons to ‘Hang Loose’ adorn the walls, reinforcing the carefree spirit of the place. As I settled into my seat, a curated playlist of laid-back beats played softly, complementing the visual feast around me.

In recent weeks, a fresh breeze of innovation has swept into The Rider with the arrival of Chef Mohamad Al Ezzy. Just a few weeks into his tenure, his transformative touch is already set to make an indelible mark, promising a culinary adventure for all. Chef Mohamad has gone beyond the kitchen, engaging directly with customers to discern their preferences. This insightful approach has culminated in the creation of a vibrant new menu, set to launch this month, characterised by a fusion of Arabic influences and classic mezze options. One of his standout contributions lies in the expansion of the grill selection, promising an array of delights that reflect his commitment to elevating what is already a popular dining spot for those seeking something outside of the city.

First to arrive from the new menu was the Orange-Beet Salad. The combination of earthy beets, crunchy walnuts and zesty citrus slices, topped with finely cut feta and mesclun created a harmonious and memorable flavour profile. Next, we sampled the hummus. Now, if you are putting this on the menu in Doha, you have to do it right. And I am glad to report it was a velvety indulgence and boasted a smooth and creamy texture with subtle notes of tahini and garlic.

While changes to the menu have been made, some popular staples have been kept but elevated and enhanced. Such as the Combo Platter, elegantly presented on a reclaimed curve of wood, which was a much-needed serving of naughtiness and plenty of course to share. The in-house marinated Chicken Tenders, with their golden and crispy exterior, revealed a depth of flavour that’s lingered in memory. The Onion Rings, lightly battered and perfectly crisp, shared the spotlight with Mozzarella Sticks oozing with molten cheese. This grab-and-go assortment, a testament to convenience on busy days, is perfect for those wanting a quick bite between activities. A tip from me, be generous with the cocktail dip, it’s sweet and moreish!

While tucking into my feast I gazed out at the beach and the skyline came alive with a kaleidoscope of colourful kites, creating a mesmerising dance against the backdrop of the vast horizon.

Statues and street art murals adorned the sides of the hotel, adding a touch of whimsy to the coastal landscape. Their vibrant hues mirrored the dynamic energy of the kite surfers in action.

Enjoying the view, but ready to sample some mains, we relished the arrival of the Oriental Mixed Grill. Eating this would be akin to conquering a mountain of meats! Lamb cutlets, seared to perfection, yielded a succulent explosion of flavours that lingered on the palate. The chicken shish, tender and juicy, are served alongside delectable chunks of perfectly seasoned beef. I urge you to try these paired with the flatbread adorned with smoky tomato sauce and a fragrant parsley and coriander topping, the interplay of textures and tastes is most delightful! Lamb kofta, infused with exquisite seasoning, added a rich and savoury depth to this dish, as did the essence of the grilled veggies, which offered a refreshing contrast to the mighty meaty flavours.

Our final dish of the day, the Atlantic Salmon, was a masterpiece on the plate! Swelling with yellow tomatoes and avocado and bathed in a refreshing citrus and olive oil dressing infused with basil, this dish soared high above our expectations! Resting on a finely cut ratatouille base, the warm flaky salmon was flavourful and delicious. The beetroot purée added a rich and earthy undertone, creating a vibrant presentation that seamlessly echoed the lively and eclectic vibe of the restaurant. Each forkful unfolded a sophisticated freshness and was the perfect end to our meal.

…At least, we thought that was the end, but it didn’t take much encouragement to agree try the new star of the sweet offerings: a San Sebastian, baked, crustless cheesecake. I mean, we’ve all had good cheesecake before, right? But have you ever had a crustless one? I’m ready to tell you that it was a sensory experience like no other! Its texture, a perfect blend of lightness and creaminess, delicately melted in the mouth with every bite. Without a traditional crust, the cheesecake stood independently, allowing its ethereal consistency to shine. The dessert was further elevated with a lavish pour of rich chocolate sauce. I lapped up every morsel till I was fit to burst.

Whether you are a kite surfer yourself, or just along for the ride, The Rider will satisfy your appetite for sure. A laid-back oasis, where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and try something new to boot. If you haven’t yet made the journey up to FKB, what are you waiting for? ✤