Browsing 'food' News

QM

Museum of Islamic Art Doha

Organic coffee, Thai ice cream rolls, Indian chapati and poori, and local fusion food will be among the cuisines on offer when six food trucks open at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park in “the coming weeks.”

The trucks were chosen as part of an initiative by Qatar Museums (QM) and Qatar Development Bank.

The goal is to support local entrepreneurs while bolstering one of Doha’s most popular recreation spaces, the groups explained in a statement.

Gazanfarulla Khan

Doha Bus

In an announcement today, QM said the trucks will include a re-purposed hop-on Doha Bus, which will sell Qatari fusion food and drinks.

The other mobile outlets are:

  • Coffee-Bike: This mini-chain, which already has outlets in locations including The Pearl and Doha Festival City, will provide organic coffee, juices, smoothies, sandwiches and desserts.
  • Dareen Sweets: Serving sweet and savory biscuits, cakes and drinks, this store is already popular at Souq Al Wakrah.
  • Ice Rolls: The Thai concept that already has a stall at Gulf Mall will offer park customers rolled ice cream in cups.
  • Burger and Burmait: American food with a local twist will be on offer here, using locally sourced ingredients. The start-up already featured its wares at Chi Al-Shiqab earlier this year.
  • Poori & Karak: Here, Indian chapati, poori and parata sandwiches will be served. The MIA Park outlet will be the fifth in the country for the mini-chain, which already operates in Muaither, Al Gharafa, Abu Hamour and Al Wakrah.

QM described the winning businesses as “some of the best new arrivals on the Qatar food truck scene” and said they will open in the coming weeks.

“Additional food operators will be selected for future QM sites in the coming months,” it added.

Long-awaited

Local foodies have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of food trucks at MIA since QM opened the application process in June 2016.

At that time, it sought five trucks with a planned October 2016 launch. However, the project did not take off then.

Qatar’s food truck scene has been expanding in recent years.

Its first truck is operated by Burgeri, which tours the country offering gourmet burgers and hot dogs to hungry residents.

Cafe #999, outside Doha Fire Station, also has a truck. And other foodie ventures run pop-up stalls across town, particularly during the annual Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF).

Doha News

QIFF

Last December, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) sought to expand the market of mobile businesses.

It invited local entrepreneurs to apply to be one of 12 companies offering roaming food, beauty services and service repairs around Doha.

MIA/Facebook

MIA Park Bazaar

MIA Park is already popular with local foodies, thanks to its weekly bazaar. It features lots of home cooks and bakers keen to sell their wares.

Will you visit the new food trucks when they open soon? Thoughts?

Doha News

Vox Cinema at DFC

Updated at 2pm with new statement from Vox Cinemas

Less than four months after it opened, Vox Cinemas at Doha Festival City (DFC) has temporarily closed for health violations.

The 18-screen luxury movie theater was ordered to shut last Thursday (Aug. 10) by inspectors for flouting the country’s food and hygiene laws.

The shutters are down at the entrance of the cinema complex and stickers issued by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME/Baladiya) are attached to the entrance.

Doha News

Closure notice at Vox Cinema, DFC

The notices state that the premises were closed for “violating humans’ food control,” in breach of municipal laws and regulations.

The MME usually posts details of such closures online.

But its site has not been updated with information of the cinema closure and it is unclear how long Vox will be remain shut.

Murky details

Initially, some residents wondered if the closure was due to the ongoing dispute with Qatar’s neighbors.

Vox is operated by the UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim Group.

But in a statement to Doha News, Vox Cinemas said its Qatar outpost is “temporarily closed due to essential work behind the scenes to improve the cinema going experience for our guests.”

It later added:

“We are working with the Doha Festival City mall team to correct some concerns by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment that were raised in their recent inspections, and have taken immediate action to ensure that the Municipality’s requirements are exceeded at all times.

At VOX Cinemas, we are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for our guests.”

It has not responded to requests for more details.

Publicly, Vox tweeted last week that its theaters had shut due to “maintenance” issues. But this post has since been deleted.

It later posted a more general notice about its closure.

Meanwhile, a DFC spokesperson told Doha News that there was an “operational issue.”

“At Doha Festival City, ensuring our visitors’ have the best experience with us is of the utmost importance.

Hence we support our partner VOX Cinemas’ decision to temporarily close while they resolve an operational issue. We look forward to welcoming guests back soon.”

Food laws

The closure comes less than four months after Vox Cinemas opened to the public, on April 26 this year.

The multiplex has 18 screens, including theaters providing multi-sensory 4D viewing.

In addition to providing the usual cinema snacks of popcorn, chips and chocolate, Vox also has a private lounge where viewers can eat a meal with dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes while they watch a movie.

It is unclear which of Qatar’s food laws Vox violated to bring officials to order its temporary closure.

MME’s authority

Inspectors from the MME regularly undertake spot checks of all food establishments across the country, from local grocery stores and warehouses to mall restaurants and five-star hotels.

They have the power to order penalty closures of between a few days to two months if they find serious breaches.

The MME typically shuts establishments if they are found to have had expired foodstuffs, are selling food unfit for consumption or have been preparing food in unhygienic conditions.

MME

Lodz Restaurant

At least three other establishments were closed this month, according to MME’s website.

Yasrib Cafeteria, which serves affordable Indian fare in the Souq area, was closed on Aug. 9 for one month, for preparing food in unhygienic conditions.

On the same day, Indian eatery Lodz restaurants in Al Thumama was ordered to close for 10 days, also for unhygienic conditions.

Meanwhile yesterday, the butchery department at Big Bazaar hypermarket in Umm Slal Ali was shut for two weeks after inspectors found meat without an expiry date and with no information about its origins.

Thoughts?

Pietro Izzo / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar does not import eggs from the Netherlands and its products are thus contaminant-free and safe to eat, the local health ministry has said.

However, authorities have withdrawn some samples of eggs with European origins from shelves for extra testing.

The move comes after millions of chicken eggs were recalled in Europe this week over health concerns.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The eggs had apparently become contaminated after some Dutch farms illegally used a toxic pesticide called fipronil.

According to the World Health Organization, fipronil can cause organ damage if consumed in large quantities, Reuters reports.

Product testing

In a statement, Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health said egg imports in Qatar come from 10 different nations.

That includes six Arab nations, three European countries and one East Asian nation.

However, MOPH did not go into further details about the imports’ origins.

But it did say that all egg imports undergo “periodic analysis and inspection” at ministry food laboratories, and currently meet all approved standards.

Thoughts?