Best Salads in Doha

In my search for the best salads in town, I have come to share with you all the top 4 places where you can get really good salads and get your green in while eating out.

1. Shakespeare & Co. (Dar Al Salam Mall)

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This is probably the best salad I’ve tasted in Doha – Blue Cheese and Pear Salad. All of the ingredients blend wonderfully in this concoction. Walnuts, raisins, cranberries, lettuce, blue cheese, pear, etc. The dressing combined everything and will give you a smooth taste in the mouth. 🙂

2. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (Al Mana Tower, Al Sadd)

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The smoked salmon and avocado salad is a must try and so far had been the best on my list. The tastes all come together and for those who have no fish allergies, this salad could be heaven (at least for me, it was). You can also try their nicoise salad with tuna and egg, I loved the taste of that as well.

3. Spicy Pickle (The Gate Mall, West Bay)

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Their spinach salad (with walnuts and cheeses and lots of spinach) is a refreshing choice. It fills the stomach and you’ll feel good afterwards. E and I loved eating this during our overtime shifts. Our office is quite near the area.

4. MB Co (The Gate Mall, West Bay)

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Presentation wise, the caprese salad E ordered would have been pretty on point. What it lacks in leaves (which E was quite disappointed about), it more than makes up for the presentation. Lol. The cheese is soft and chewy and the tomatoes are quite good.

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How to send money from Doha to Philippines and USA

In Doha, exchange houses abound. These exchange houses also serves as remittance centers for anyone who wants to send money to their families back home. Back when I was based in Jakarta, I sent money online through my bank and I was charged USD 20 for every transaction which was too much really but I didn’t know any other cheaper alternative back then. And for every transaction you get charged, you would be re-charged at the home country for another 15-20 USD!

When I started working in Doha, my officemates told me of exchange houses and the hunt for the highest exchange rate with the lowest charge cost began. I started with Al Mana Exchange near the airport road because I lived 5 minutes walk away from there. The service charge for bank to bank transfers is fixed at QR 20. And the exchange rates are definitely lower than what I would have received from other houses.

Now, fast forward… I have stuck with Al Dar Exchange in Al Nasr which gives the best rates for me at QR 15 charge. It would be worth mentioning that what you sent to your home country would be the same amount your family member / loved one will be receiving, no other charges back home. So if I send 20,000 QAR at 12 PHP exchange rate, my sister would receive PHP 240,000 no charge in her bank account which is great!

Yesterday, I had to send money to the USA and the people I am in contact with there needs me to have the money transferred bank to bank. It was then that I only knew Al Dar Exchange is not able to transact bank to bank for some countries, USA included. So I tried Al Sadd Exchange, and fortunately they have the service. You can send money to the USA bank to bank at QR 50 charge. But the bank in the USA would charge USD 40 (pretty huge)… but at least that was one chore off my list during the week.

My officemates tell me these houses also have good rates and service charge combination:

1. Al Fardan
2. Al Mirqab

Doha – Massages

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Now, how cheap would cheap be in Doha?

Back in the Philippines, I could get a massage for as low as Php 200 (QR 20) for an hour. That’s pretty cheap by my standards. But, as many would come to know, if you want the whole therapeutic deal (outside of a tennis ball rolling on your back in between concrete walls – see youtube for reference) in Doha, you may just have to raise your pricing standards a bit.

I have tried a couple of hotel spa massage offerings in Doha and here’s how I’d rate them:

1. Intercontinental Doha – Damage would be around QR 600 – 650.  I went there twice, one was a treat by my generous boyfenemy (yes, I just made that word up). I had a filipina masseuse, very slender but can push all those knots out of your back well. Not going back. Too expensive for my pocket. I only went there cause I was really sick and was longing for the traditional “hilot” (how, we, Filipinos term massages back home). Overall rating: Performance – 4 stars. Price – 3 stars.

2. Crowne Plaza – Damage would be around QR 500. We got promotional vouchers, which means we could have a two for one price massage. The massage was disappointing. I got the deep tissue massage. My masseuse was thai, medium built but lacked the strength for deep tissue, no matter how respectfully I say to give it a harder push. Not going back, mainly because the performance was blah. Performance – 1 star. Price – 2 stars. (Based on regular pricing, not worth it).

3. Wyndham Hotel – Angsana Spa – I got the massage as a birthday gift this year. This was the most expensive massage I have ever had, the damage would be around QR 1,000 – 1,500. That was one long spa treatment — 4-6 hours long. The treatment included a body scrub, 9 rain water bath and then a fragrant rice massage. The ginger tea was also a big plus as they brew it fresh and really spicy. The masseuse was Indonesian and she was really good. Performance – 5 stars. Price – 2 stars. It was expensive but really worth checking out if you have the money to do so, or somebody is as generous as my partner-in-crime!

4. Holiday Villa – Amoaras Spa – I am saving the best for last. This is where I get my mini luxuries every month or every other month if I am really short on cash. This would only cost you QR 200. The place is clean. And my masseuse is Indonesian, big built and REALLY REALLY GOOD! I normally go there when I have really stiff muscles and it would seem like I’d about to be struck by fever. The massages are healing. And the price is understandable and affordable for Doha Hotel Range. They also offer you very good ginger tea at the beginning and end of the massage. Performance – 5 stars. Price – 4.5 stars.

Of course, you guys can surf around qatarliving and find good prices offered by individuals online, I haven’t tried that though as I am quite concerned about safety issues. I have tried a house service from a church friend of a house mate. She charges QR 100 and you just have to fetch her and bring her home. But her schedule is too full as she only do massages over weekends or free periods after her regular work. So I have not tried calling her again. That, and performance-wise, I’d have to rate it as average (3 stars).

Where do you get your massages in Doha?