Doha: Are you a fan of vintage family-style dining, where everyone eats from a single, large platter? If so, the boodle seafood feast experience in the Middle East can be a real treat for you.
Lining up multitudes of yummy seafood options like crab, prawns, seer fish with flaky basmati rice and a special sauce, spread on plantain leaves or butter paper, the feast can trigger an explosion of flavours on your family's taste buds. The Dampa Seafood Village restaurant, named after a famous market in Philippines, introduced the boodle feast to draw foodies who love some 'marine flavours' and international cuisine on their plates. The term 'boodle feast' seems to be inspired from the Philipino military practice of eating a communal meal.
The Dampa restaurants in Qatar and Kuwait are helmed by Thrissur native chef Vijayan Ilantholil, who has more than a decade of experience in hospitality industry.
There are three Dampa restaurants at the Ezdan Mall in Al Wakrah, Zero One Mall in Abu Hamour and Zero Three Mall at New Salatha.
Interestingly, boodle feasts are available in North and South Indian flavours, at Dampa in the Ezdan Mall as Indians and Keralites are mostly the customers here.
At the Dampa Village in Qatar, one can eat carefree and slurp away to glory, without worrying whether it will mess up your attire, as customers are given plastic aprons and gloves before serving the feast. You could eat to your heart’s content without bothering about etiquette. Moreover, you need not care about spilling as you wear the apron and gloves. The tools for breaking the crab shells too are provided by the restaurant.
Flavours as you like them
The boodle feast is prepared as per the flavour preference and interests of the customer. One can customise them depending up on the country you hail from. Apparently, Keralites often prefer seafood curries that are spicy with hints of sourness.
The feast, spread on plantain leaves or sheets of butter paper, would have seafood dishes heaped in the centre with the rice and the sauces served on the sides.
The customers can sit around the table and enjoy the boodle as a group.
The sauce that has all the flavours is the star of the boodle feasts. Master chef and schezwan sauces are mostly used to prepare the dishes.
The recipes of these sauces were developed by the owner, chef Vijayan. You could wash everything down with a Dampa special drink as well.
The boodle feast including the drinks for four persons would set you back by 150 Riyal. Meanwhile, it would be up to 30 – 35 Riyals for a single customer. Besides the boodle feasts, baked and fried seafood dishes too are available here.
Served with love
Why isn't the boodle feast served on plates? The chef opines that the family bonds and friendships deepen when a meal is shared from a single table. Meanwhile, the families who try it vouch for the special vibe that dining in groups give.
The huge picture board in Dampa is filled with photographs that boast the great seafood legacy of the restaurant. The customers can post selfies and other joyous memories after enjoying delicious and satisfying boodle meals.