Ladies’ Night @ Trader Vic’s – A Snapchat Story

In case you missed it, here’s my Snapchat story from last week’s Ladies’ Night at Trader Vics!

In case you didn’t know, every Wednesday night is Ladies’ Night  at Trader Vics, Hilton Doha! Unlimited drinks and bites for two hours for 100QR! Even us hijabis and/or non drinkers can join in on the fun!🍹

You can read my review on Zomato and watch the full Snapchat story below!

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

mshala-pinkribbonWith the month of October being Breast Cancer Awareness in most parts of the world, I encourage all my peeps to show their support for the cause. Even if it’s as simple as wearing a pink ribbon, someone will ask you about it and you’ve started a dialogue.

Ladies, please go get screened!! Early detection is key to a peace of mind, treatment and recovery. You are never too old it too young, it’s 20 minutes every year, that’s all it takes.

If you’re in the US, visit the American Cancer Society or call the National Cancer Information Center at 1800.227.2345, any day, any time.

If you’re in Qatar, visit Screen For Life or call 8001112. There are three clinics as well as a mobile clinic.

Wherever you are in the world peeps, there is a resource out there for you to utilize. For more resources and information, please visit the World Health Organization.

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The sweet set up at InterContinental The City for the launch of Pink Afternoon Tea.

Earlier this week, I was invited to the launch of the informative Pink Afternoon Tea at the InterContinental The City. Throughout the month, the Pink Afternoon Tea will be held at The Lobby Lounge, amongst other “Pink” servings in the hotel, to support the initiative here in Qatar. If you know of any place doing anything in Qatar, the US or anywhere in the world, kindly share them in the comments below.

My goal this month is to start the dialogue on early screening and prevention. I’ll be wearing my pink ribbon and visitng outlets that are providing support to the initiative.

Will you be joining me?

For those whom missed the Pink Afternoon Tea Snapchat story from earlier this week, here it is. Forgive the neck breaking turns but it’s worth it, I promise!

#QatarLinkUp – My Favorite Restaurant(s) in Doha

Every month, bloggers across Qatar come together for what’s called #QatarLinkUp. This is a fantastic way for bloggers to write about a particular theme, read and share each other’s posts on the theme. This month’s theme is, “My Favorite Restaurant in Doha.” My first blog for the link up and I’m already struggling. How can I pick just one? Have you met me? I’m always hungry!

Since I’m an equal opportunity foodie, I decided to go through my Zomato collections and randomly pick a few restaurants to showcase. They are in no particular order other than being under the collection I have them in. Here’s a sampling of what makes Doha the great gastronomic city that it is.

When I had snails & loved it! via Instagram @MsHalaCo

Best Eats, Qatar Edition

IDAM by Alan Ducasse is literally the most luxurious dining experience you will have in Qatar. On the fifth floor of the Museum of Islamic Art, the architecture, the view, the decor, the service and of course, the fusion of French and Qatari cuisine is an experience to be had at least twice in Doha. And any place that has me craving snails, has done something right!

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Parmesan truffle ravioli! #JustDrooling

However, when we aren’t spending up to 1,000QR ($275) on a meal, there are a plenty good casual spots I enjoy going to on a regular basis. For Italian, try Papermoon and go for the truffle ravioli. For Indian, Caravan Bukhara has some delicious curry dishes. For Egyptian, Layali Al Qahira always hits the spot for me.

Just want the basics? Flavorful sandwiches, salads and good coffee can be found at Monte’s or Shades Cafe in West Bay. For the best hazelnut chai latte in all of Qatar, the drive to Coffee Time in Wakrah is totally worth it. On the other side in Al Rayyan? Al Shafi Street has you covered and is accessible despite all the Metro construction happening.

My favorite quinoa salad is at Shades Cafe! via SnapChat @MsHala.co
My favorite quinoa salad is at Shades Cafe. via SnapChat @MsHala.co

Hungry yet? I promise there’s more! *sips coffee and types faster*

Small but Mighty, Qatar Edition

Places like Gokul Gujarati and Thai Corner make you not only appreciate the diversity of cuisines in Doha, but the hidden gems throughout the city.

Seriously, who would’ve thought that a thali of vegetarian dishes can be so drool worthy. Or that delivery/take out from a store front in a plaza parking lot would be delicious and sufficient. Seriously, don’t ever doubt the small guys!

For My Sweet Tooth, Qatar Edition

Oreo flavored popcorn from Let's Popcorn
Oreos flavored popcorn via Zomato @MsHala

Qatar has an abundance of dessert shops with the perfect recipes for that sweet tooth of yours. From the ones that remind me of visiting family in New York to the innovative Qatari start ups, you really can’t go wrong here. Magnolia Bakery of New York has some great selections of cakes and cupcakes, especially in the fall when pumpkin pie is in season.

For the popcorn lovers, you will get addicted to Let’s Popcorn! My favorite from the shop has to be the Oreos flavored popcorn. Also try the caramel or even the nacho’s if you are keen on the spicy side of things. Again, it’s very addictive, you’ve been warned!

Hungry yet, because I sure am now. Then again, I’m always hungry!

*gets up to eat*

American Expats Voting Abroad

Are you an American living abroad like me? Are you following this year’s insane elections like the rest of the world is? Do you have any idea how to practice your voting rights aboard?

Please make sure to visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program, also known as FVAP, and follow the proper procedures for your state. Even if you missed the registration for the primaries, some states are still open until May or June. Otherwise, at least be sure you can vote, come November.

 

A kind reminder to my lady peeps… generations before us, ladies died for us to have a right to vote. Please do your part, make your vote count.

A Month In Food

A Month In Food, October 2015

Being that I have a job that relies on me going out to eat, October was one of my busiest monthes yet! I got to experience some new and awesome things for the first time. Grab a tissue because I promise you, there will be saliva.

French-Qatari Fusion

As a fan of this restaurant (which I’ve only tried for lunch), I was elated when asked to organize a fine dining experience meetup at IDAM by Alain Ducasse to showcase their new autumn dinner menu. There is nothing like this true gem on the 5th floor of the Museum of Islamic Art.

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For the first time, I willingly tried snails – SNAILS – and cleared my plate of it. I was never tempted to try snails or escargot but when I realized that was on the menu, I knew it was now or never to try it out. It was absolutely flavorful, sweet and without any bitter aftertaste, just perfection.

As an American, we are easily fooled when it comes to portions. However, we tend to forget that quality is above quantity. True, portions are small but extremely rich in flavor, you will leave stuffed . Start with the amazing breads and cleanse with the fantastic grape mocktails.

IDAM By Alain Ducasse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato IDAM brings fine dining and mutli-ethinic fusion to another level, under one very beautiful roof. Even before the food arrives, you are engulfed in a once in a lifetime experience that is to be had again and again. You leave knowing you’ve experienced everything that is to be experienced from the meticulous details of the decor to the elegance of it all.

Sushi

Now if you know me as well as you should peeps, you know I’m not a fan of sushi. I know, I know, I’m from California, home of the California Roll, it should be in my blood, blah blah blah. That’s not the case! Everyone I know but my little brother appreciates sushi. What’s my excuse? I can’t get past the “raw” factor of sushi. Give me seaweed, give me tofu in miso soup, but never raw fish.

Dragon Roll, Asia Live

Two foodie meetups allowed me to try some really good sushi. First was at Asia Live of Marriot Doha, where I actually went for seconds on this amazing Dragon Roll. Made with cooked tuna, shrimp and eel, it was absolutely spectacular. Many of us foodies went for seconds and thirds, it was that good. No aftertaste of sorts as I would’ve expected from an eel or mix of flavors. This is Asia Live’s most popular dish for only 50QR!

20151028_142014Another spot with some really creative takes on sushi was Blue of Grand Heritage Hotel. We were given the opportunity during our meetup to try some new and popular sushis, including fried sushi and tempura sushi. Seriously, there was a lot of variety I didn’t even know I could like let alone eat by the mouthfuls. I’ve learned that if the sushi contents are cooked or at least smoked, I’m all over it!

South Indian

There is a lot of misconception when it comes to South Indian cuisine, mainly because it’s already so diverse as it is. Mainly known for being vegetarian, not all foods out of South India is strictly that. However, we got a taste of it all at our foodie meetup hosted by Dakshin in Barwa Village.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 3.38.29 PMI got to have a taste of a few dishes familiar and new but the one new dish that stood out for me was the Murungakkai Soup. A lentils and drumstick soup spiced to perfection. Adding on top some really crispy and addictive chakkaras (think: airy crackers) for some pop, literally! The soup is just so warm and filling, it would be perfect for a San Francisco winter.

And at Dakshin, knowing that not everyone can handle the level of Indian spicy, they really do accomodate the level of spiciness your palette can handle. I recommend checking out their very diverse menu, selecting a few items and going on a South Indian taste journey.

Until next time peeps, stay hungry!

Food Bloggers Qatar Meet – November ’15

This meet introduced me to some amazing food bloggers and opened the door to my dream job. If you are a food blogger in Qatar, then this meet is not to be missed!

Food Bloggers Qatar

Its that time of the year again and with the fabulous weather change, we announce our second Food Bloggers Qatar Meet. As always, we aim at bringing the community a step closer as well as giving our social media followers an insight about our meet ups and word of mouth about the fantastic restaurant we will visit.

Food Bloggers Meet definitely calls for networking that is perfectly paired with decadent food and a gorgeous ambiance. And if food wasn’t enough, this time around, we have associated with the foodiepedias of Qatar –

Zomato
Dining in Doha
Messo App

And of course, Hungry Birds Doha will be there to host and welcome you to this one of its kind event in the region!

You can find all the delicious food information about the region from these pioneers and you are surely not going to be disappointed

And for the big question about our…

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What’s Your Motivation??

I posted the following on Instagram & SnapChat earlier today…
“Do you regret changing jobs?” they ask. “Are you happy now?” they ask. Regreting means you learned nothing & I strive to have no regrets especially when it comes to my career. Happier means I was miserable before which is far from the truth. I loved my last job as I’ve always had an appreciation for cars & my work gave me the challenges of my career. But what’s next when these challenges are conquered? You take on the next challenge!

“You’re living the dream” they say. “You’re new job is easy” they say. Yes, I’m living the dream of having my intellect (& pallete) challenged on a greater scale. Yes, my job is easy only because I’m motivated every morning to rise, “fuck mediocrity” & get to work! #Yalla!

What’s your motivation??