Doaa Jabir is the founder and blogger of Qatar’s newest food blog Hungry Birds Doha – A Foodie’s Experience. By profession, however, Doaa is an Indian interior designer, which she is currently taking a break from to be a full time mother to her new born son.
If you’re looking for a blog that consists of restaurant reviews, Hungry Birds Doha is the place to go. ‘I’ve read reviews online about various restaurants that fall in mid to high range mostly. I aim at writing about low range restaurants as well. As a foodie, it’s the food that matters at the end of the day; ambience just follows,’ said Doaa who began writing restaurant reviews for the blog for only about a month in July 2013. Her blog includes reviews on the latest and oldest restaurants in Qatar such as California Tortilla, Doha Rocks Cafe, Al Khaima Restaurant, TGI Friday’s, Ninos Restaurant and much more. Her most popular reviews are of California Tortilla and Red Velvet Cupcakery.
Besides being a food lover, Doaa found inspiration to start Hungry Birds Doha from supporting family and friends. ‘I’ve always been asked about various restaurants by friends and colleagues wherever I’ve stayed be it Kuwait, Bahrain, India and now Qatar. Though I don’t always have the best of experiments in cuisines but am open to trying new things each time I visit a place. This and encouragement from my sister and the husband inspired me to finally pen down my experiences. As a foodie, I constantly look for reviews myself before any visit and fail often. Hungry Birds Doha is my initiative for all the food lovers who would like to know about a place before they go physically,’ said Doaa, who’s also a cook. Finding peace in eating and writing about food, Doaa compares food to praying – both divine. ‘Blogging about food to me is reliving the goodness of prayers. I’m in a trance of the food that I’ve relished and nothing gives me more pleasure than to think that my readers can involve with me in my experience. To think that I’ve reached out to someone and let them decide on a place for a romantic getaway, casual dining or special occasions gives me joy,’ she said.
As a restaurant reviewer, Doaa spends a lot of time eating out in affordable restaurants in Qatar. However, she’s been eating out before starting Hungry Birds Doha. ‘That goes back to my childhood days. We are a family of five who love to eat out. As kids, Wednesday was our family eat out day. This has been a tradition since I can remember. My parents taught me to try new foods. Today, I continue the same with my husband and son. I can proudly state that my family is of the niche ones that could eat out at all their meals and still ask for more,’ said Doaa. Whether a restaurant is good or bad isn’t Doaa’s concern. ‘I aim at telling my readers about what I experience at a restaurant in terms of the food, ambience, service, hospitality and the price. I do a general rating about the place on the scale of 1 to 5 – 5 being extraordinary…I also input what I dislike about the place, if any, in all honesty,’ she said. Each restaurant review Doaa writes also includes the price she paid for a specific meal or dish she tried, and lets her reader decide if the price is heavy or moderate. Although new to Qatar, talking about her observation on restaurants in Qatar, Doaa said, ‘restaurants are pretty much diversified in Qatar. What I like here is that one can eat in QR 30 and in QR 300 per person. That’s a big range we are talking about. I call it a little something for everyone. Though there are many international restaurants I’ve eaten at, I would like to see them opening soon in Qatar like our dear neighboring Middle Eastern countries.’
With Hungry Birds Doha, ‘you now have reviews on the go before you make those reservations’, said Doaa.