Culture Food

MIA Cafe : My not so secret blogging getaway

February 28, 2014

You know the feeling when there’s work to finish from your laptop (aka blogging) but still need to get out of the house for a breather? Yes that! I get it a lot. It takes being in a certain state of mind, and for me, the one place I always love going to is the MIA Cafe at the Museum of Islamic Art when I’m in Doha.

That Qatari Sunset

That Qatari Sunset

It’s minimalist design of plush white sofas (on a different side not pictured below) and airy ceiling to floor glass windows framing the Doha skyline as a backdrop is nothing short of blissful. I love being aware of my surroundings. Im a huge people observer fan, the chit chat of others murmur in the background, aroma of freshly made Karak getting sipped, and the walkabouts of museum visitors clicking through their cameras, it all adds to the liveliness of this place. I am immediately put into a focused yet zen mode, and happy to find myself typing and browsing away to inspiration world.

DSCF0993

The cafe serves healthy and delicious french style food fused with middle eastern flair. I may not be a purist, but fusion food to me is the epitome of creativeness and experimentation. It’s what cooking is all about. Their meals are the reason I always LOVE to come back. Take your pick from mouthwatering salads and sandwiches on display or hot meals to order from the menu. If my belly wasn’t limited in size, I’d no doubt order at least 4 or 5 items at one go, but alas! I’ll be classy this time. Disclaimer Alert: The meals shown below were all taken at different days.

Over my numerous trips to the cafe, I’ve tried a lot of different dishes. Their Kebbe burger, whilst being fused with bulgur for a Levantine touch, is a delicious and strictly no fuss affair. In fact, despite it not having lettuce and onions as the usual suspects, I learned that you can enjoy a burger regardless. The bulgur wheat jeweled beef patty is chunky and drips of juiciness with a slice of what looks like Swiss or emmental cheese and semi sun dry tomato for a sharp tang. It’s served with salted crisps on the side instead of french fries. A rather refreshing twist, although secretly, I still wanted my fries, but let’s not gloat now shall we?

Kebbe Burger

Kebbe Burger

When I want something light, I go for this colorful salad that’s almost like a cocktail of summery vegetables sitting a top a lovely tomato salsa and a drizzle of minty pesto sauce. The combination of soft cooked veggies against the raw aniseed-ish fennel is ultra refreshing.

Grilled veg with crunchy fennel

Grilled veg with crunchy fennel

Im usually skeptical about having local rice dishes like Kabsa (or machboos) at western eateries. But this spiced basmati rice knocks the socks out of your grandmother’s version. Served piping hot, I effortlessly slice through the chicken pieces with a spoon in an effort to cool them. I waited for another two minutes before digging in with my eyes closed to savour the moment.

Chicken Kabsa

Chicken Kabsa

The MIA cafe is open from 12 pm to 7 pm everyday except Tuesdays. The earlier you go the better as they do tend to run out of certain dishes after 5:30 pm. Their menu can be found here, although it does slightly change everynow and then. Stay tuned for part 2 round of MIA Cafe review soon.