The Fire Station has been wildly popular in Doha and FACT’s Anushay Taimur Khan stans the delicacies that Cafe #999 offers after spending the evening mesmerised at one of their tables…

The Fire Station has been a second home for me since I joined the FACT family. My hub for all things new and amazing in the art and culture industry here, the Fire Station is actually a recycled contemporary version of the actual fire station built way back in 1982. As it sits in the heart of Doha next to Al Bidda park, I believe it is the most convenient position that you can find an art gallery in.

I remember I was invited for the amazing initiative of being introduced to the concept of the ‘Artist in Residence’ at the station when I discovered Cafe #999. A comfortable and casual environment that reflects the station’s raw look, this unique concept is the perfect addition to the gallery. I had wandered off to find some water and came across an entire restaurant so I was already grateful to the food Gods for hearing me out on this one.

However, this time around, the cafe offered way more than it had during my initial visit. In all honesty, I hadn’t even tried going back because the food had not been memorable for me so when I took a pitstop for a juice, I was welcomed by an entirely new set-up and ambience. First and foremost, let’s talk about how they’ve updated their food experience to cater to a range of dietary requirements as well, since the Doha crowd has been diet-conscious for a while now.

Healthy meals with vegan offerings as well, I was already enjoying this newly found attraction for the joint. Naturally, I was inclined towards all chicken dishes while the mister went for all the healthy options – don’t ask me how we still dine together.

I saw a few regular international bites that included pizzas, pastas and burgers so I asked the staff to help me out with my selection. A 999 twist to the popular regulars such as the chicken spring rolls that had a tinge of spice in their glaze, the exotic chicken salad with its Asian dressing elevating its flavour and the good old guac decorated on a bed of lentils; all the goods in life could easily be available here – that too on a calorie count! The serving was big enough for the two of us to share so there was absolutely no food wasted at our table.

As for the main-course; I will hold this cafe as a benchmark for all others I try from today. Minced chicken wrapped in a brown crust, engulfing the flavours of the spices, came with an audible crunch in every bite, the Chicken Surprise was a dream. Even though the dish came bathed in cheese sauce, I never once felt like it was dry enough to dip into the sauce. In fact, the flavour on its own was so rich that I swiped the sauce off from my bites!

The lightweight baked san sebastian cheesecake was a new addition to my palate and even though it was not particularly for a person like me who likes her desserts sweeter than honey, the balance of the cream and crusty biscuits come together perfectly for someone with balanced taste buds. As for Mr. Healthy, he opted for the bite-sized energy balls in coconut, pistachio and chocolate.

Sinful bites of devilish goods made me take a mental note to take these beauties home as munchies. As I asked for a banana caramel milkshake for takeaway and enjoyed the frothiness of the candied drink, I was ecstatic to be able to have this sublime experience.

Their late breakfast that lasts until 3pm is definitely the silver lining to my life as I am someone who just craves breakfast foods during the day and having the opportunity only to do so until 11am for a beautiful eggs benedict is a dream. Thank you, Café #999 for making it happen with this menu! ✤