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Café #999 – the talk of the town

Café #999 – the talk of the town

Maneesh Bakshi
Café #999 was officially inaugurated by throwing its gates open to receive members of the public amidst a musical extravaganza and tasting of food. The café is very strategically located at the old fire station, ready to tackle any emergency related to hunger.
Café #999 received its name from the heritage of the iconic building complex in which it is located that everyone in Doha recognises as fire station building since it housed the headquarters of the civil defence department of Doha until recently.
To know more about the Café #999, there can’t be a better person than Italian Antonio Lotito, who is the executive sous chef, to throw light over the nuances of the menu of the café. He said, “Our menu is towards the lighter side with some burgers wrapped in Arabic bread instead of conventional buns.” “To give a touch of this place, we included different types of burgers and wraps in our menu. Besides, there are also salads and a Panini selection.
To give a feel of Doha, we have wraps with camel meat.
We have burgers with chicken as well as minced camel meat, in what we call Doha Burger, which is wrapped in Arabic bread instead of usual buns,” Lotito explained.
“Moreover, there is much stress on healthy eating and for the benefit of our customers, we have segregated some of the dishes as either gluten-free or healthy or organic so that they may have the best according to their choice,” he said.
In his welcome address, Salam Hospitality General Manager Alan Massouh said, “We consider ourselves very fortunate to be part of the Fire Station project originally conceived by Qatar Museums. The very name Café #999 shares the heritage of the Fire Station building, which used to be the headquarters of the civil defence department until recently.
“The iconic building of the Fire Station has stood the test of time for years and has overseen the progress of Doha by being a silent witness to the fast-changing topography of this city for the past many decades. That which once was a nerve centre of civil defence department, is now the residency of artists who will find the open spaces of Café #999 inspiring for new ideas.” Café #999 has also come out with a novel idea of having a food dispensing truck parked in the parking area to cater to the drive-in customers who don’t have time go to the restaurant and rather wish to take away food.
“The takeaway service is the unique feature of Café #999. We have plans to keep the truck open until late night, to cater to the ‘night owls’. It used to be a fire truck in service by the fire department and was retired a couple of years ago and is now being utilised as a food truck after modifying its interior to serve our purpose,” said Lotito.
Italian expatriate Claudia Casadei, an architect by profession, was present at the inauguration of the restaurant. While talking to Qatar Tribune, she expressed happiness over the addition of one more casualstyle restaurant in Doha. “It’s a great location in the heart of the city. No matter in which direction you travel, one has to pass the Fire Station. The menu also looks very attractive and is definitely going to be the talk of the town,” she said.

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