Published On: Wed, Sep 3rd, 2014

Airport food: Is it any better than airline food?

131002150411-best-airport-food-court-hartsfield-jackson-atlanta-international-airport-hmshosts-concourse-f-horizontal-galleryAirline food. We all love to whine about it – or the lack of it. But what about airports? With new swanky lounges popping up all over the globe, is the food fare keeping pace with the luxury of the surroundings?

Qatar Duty Free has opened three new restaurant concepts at Hamad International Airport: Soprafino, Qataf Café and Le Grand Comptoir. Located in concourse C, close to the iconic lamp bear, the new restaurants raise the bar yet again in airport dining by providing a sophisticated environment offering world-class cuisine.

“We are looking forward immensely to welcoming both international and regional travelers to our restaurants, which will offer an even more sophisticated level of dining at Hamad International Airport,” says Qatar Duty Free Senior Vice-President, Keith Hunter. “These unique concepts expand passenger choice for authentic and quality cuisine all within a contemporary setting,” he adds.

Qataf Café, which is named after the Qatari national flower, the Qataf, combines traditional Arabic hospitality with a contemporary design. The interior of the café contrasts the warm and rich ambiance of a majlis – complete with comfortable Arabic cushions and intricate Moroccan lamps – with a modern, copper and stainless steel counter that was handmade in Ireland exclusively for Qataf Café. A focal point of the café is the 1940s Italian Elektra coffee machine that also gives the café design a retro look and feel. Together with coffee and Arabic sweets, the Qataf Café menu offers a selection of mezze style platters for sharing and other traditional Arabic dishes with a modern edge such as the classic Moroccan tagine.

Soprafino is Qatar Duty Free’s Italian “al fresco” style restaurant brought to HIA in conjunction with celebrity chef Massimo Capra. Well-known for his simple and uncomplicated approach to classic Italian cuisine, which is executed with a sense of flair and fun, the chef always adds a contemporary twist to traditional dishes such as his signature minestrone soup, risotto and tiramisu. The menu at Soprafino embodies core Italian family values and offers child-size portions of any dish for children who are made very welcome at this friendly, family restaurant.

Le Grand Comptoir is a classy brasserie style restaurant that evolves throughout the day from a chic breakfast venue in the morning, where passengers can take their pick from a variety of international breakfast options, to a relaxed evening destination with low lighting and a pianist providing entertainment for diners. Meanwhile, at lunchtime, Le Grand Comptoir is the ideal place to enjoy a light bistro-style dish such as a fresh salad Niçoise or other classic French dish such as a croque monsie