Need to find that unique ingredient? Or maybe something that reminds you of home or that trip to Italy (when we still could travel!)? There was a time when you had to wait to travel or ask a friend bring in that special vinegar or sauce. Not any more.
In some cases you can thank COVID-19 – some suppliers opened their doors to the public during the lockdown. In other cases, specialty food shops across Doha are popping up all over the city offering a range of items and in many cases, home delivery or through Whatsapp.
Here’s my a few from my little black book of great food and unique produce. Please share in the comments if you have your own!
1. Yellow River Supermarket
This little gem on the main street of Al Aziziya (maybe one too many zzzz there) has fast earned cult status among foodies and home cooks. If you would have told me five years ago I would find authentic Chinese ingredients in the suburban wilds of Al Aziziya, I would have laughed hysterically. It’s small but packed with goodies from China and beyond including 1kg bags of frozen handmade dumplings and the once elusive Chinese black vinegar. It’s cash only but the staff are super friendly. Plug Yellow River Supermarket into WAZE or follow this link.
Must buy: Szechuan pepper, jars of funky Chinese pickles and black vinegar. You can also score the legendary Hong Kong sauces Lee Kum Kee here.
2. The Meat Market
Meat has gone haute couture in Qatar with the emergence of The Meat Market at The Gate Mall. Located on the first floor in Tavola, this is temple of high end meat including wagyu from Australia, slabs of beautiful brisket and more. Meat is taken from the fridges and prepped in front of you. The staff – including trained butchers – will give advice on the best cuts as well as wrap for you or vacuum pack. You can sit in a comfy chair while they take care of everything. Prices are as you would expect for this kind of quality but the experience is unique.
Must buy: some lovely Australian rib-eye for steak night at home.
3. Colosseum Deli
One of the biggest suppliers of all things gourmet in Qatar, the website is a treasure trove of cheese, meat and pasta. their frozen pizzas are made at their factory and the bases are crispy and light and QR14.50 per pack. They also have a brand of premium gelato made here in Qatar. Colosseum have recently branched out to offering bulk spices and grains plus tofu and home cooks will love the selection of flour for pizza and pasta. The best thing? You can order online and they deliver – check their website for details.
Must buy: Their dried pasta as well as any of the cheeses (a little secret – they often stock rare ones like scamorza), the packets of par-cooked rissotto rice with seasonings and bulk bottles of quality olive oil.
4. Torba Store
The ever-popular Torba Market has adapted to COVID-19 and opened their farm shop at Duhail to the public. With a range of locally produced and organic items like raw cow milk, eggs and yoghurt, you can also browse food products from their vendors such as sourdough bread, home made dumplings, kombucha and more. There is a small cafe area plus a garden center out the back offering seedlings and other bigger plants. they hold regular workshops in this space as well.
Must buy: the sour dough bread, kombucha and be sure to check out the ready-made snacks and meals.
5. Vision Mart
Vision Mart has been feeding Qatar’s almost relentless hunger for Korean and Japanese food items for some time now. they stock all kinds of weird and wonderful items including kimchi, Japanese Kit Kat bars, Korean chili paste and more. You can orer online through their website or visit their new location at the DECC Metro station or their flagship shop in Al Sadd. Head to the freezers for bags of frozen gyozas or stock up on their endless varieties of ramen.
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Hello. We have original Japanese mochi!! Also Amazing frozen cakes, Fresh chocolate and castella breads. We have all kinds of Japanese and Korean sweets. Please visit us in Al Sadd shop. Type "Vision Mart" in google map. You can order through carriage and talabat. Also free delivery from our website www.vision-mart.com For any inquiry call 7067 5184 #koreanfood #japanesefood #koreansweets #mochi
Must buy: the cold brew cans festooned with K Pop stars or the Japanese Mochi.
6. Korean Food Center
Remember when I said the appetite for Korean and Japanese food in Qatar was endless? Here is another example. The Korean Food Center in Bin Mahmoud is another place offering Korean and Japanese staples and a few surprises, such as their stock of Korean K Pop band BTS range of Medi Heal masks. Check their Facebook page for regular specials and new products.
Must buy: their blocks of tofu
7. IFG Qatar
Another gourmet food supplier open to the public they have just launched a new website but also sell their products through Talabat as well as through major supermarkets. the website offers free home delivery seven days a week and a range of fresh fruit and veggies including pre-cut packs. their gourmet products include Lavazza coffee and Pomita sugo pasta sauce and dry pasta.
Must buy: The Lavazza coffee capsules for your coffee machine and San Benedetto mineral water.
8. Bluefin Qatar
A wholesaler who offers home delivery of their products, the range is eclectic and interesting. It includes beef, vegan products like the Beyond Meat products, coffee, bakery items and sushi. They also offer a selection through Talabat but you can whatsapp them on +97460044500. Check their Instagram for regular specials and new products.
Must buy: Their Beyond Burger patties and the Eden Vegan Potato buns (QR10.50 for two) as well as their frozen imported seafood selection.Their sushi selection is also fresh.
9. Qatindo-Qatar Indonesia Supermarket
This treasure trove in Old Al Ghanim specializes in ingredients for Indonesian and Malaysian dishes. you will also find all in one place some of those more difficult to get fresh produce like candelnut and jackfruit. Whatsapp them on 5508 3250 and they will deliver to you.
Must buy: the sticky sweet kecap manis sauce.
10. Saffron and Caviar International
I was trawling Matar Qadeem street a few months back (nothing ever moves fast on that street) when I stumbled across this unlikely store. As their name suggests, they sell caviar and saffron as well as honey and truffles. This may actually be heaven. On Matar Street.
Must buy: Well it would be rude not to take home some caviar and saffron!