Informal survey on demand for home cooked Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian/Thai food (tiffin service)
Hi to all in Qatar.
I would like to conduct a survey on the demand for tiffin serviced home-cooked Asian food. I am not yet in Qatar. Hubby is considering offer in Ras Laffan area.If all goes well, I will join him in Qatar. I would like to know how much people expect to pay per month for home-cooked food prepared fresh each day (menu will vary) ready for pick up at the end of the work day. Charges will be per person. Food will be packed in a tiffin (multi-level containers, usually made of steel and stacked on top of each other). Service is available only on working days. Orders will need to be placed and paid in full at the start of each month. Cancellations will have to be notified at least two weeks prior for money back. I need to know what kind of food is most popular (or missed). menu is not finalised but may include nasi lemak (coconut rice), white rice with meat dishes(beef or chicken) and veges. sambal belacan(sambal terasi), thai green curry, masak lemak, sayur goreng belacan, soto, lontong, laksa lemak, mee kari, laksa penang, laksam (laksa kelantan), ayam percik (putih), mee hoon goreng, nasi goreng belacan, nasi goreng kampung, seafood cooked in various ways,nasi kerabu, nasi kerabu goreng, gulai asam pedas, sotong masak hitam, sayur paprik, murtabak, keropok (as side snack), mee hoon sup, sup tulang, nasi ayam, laksa johor,tom yam, masak rawon, ayam masak merah, nasi tomato, roti jala with curry and many more. one dish will be cooked per day and the menu will be rotated depending on how many types of dishes we offer and demand for those dishes.
please indicate an amount that is reasonable taking into account the costs of groceries in Qatar and utility bills. Prices will not be the same as in Malaysia.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this survey. Also , please tell me if such services already exist.
That i can't help you with.....
Yes. I am starving here. Also I miss Bak Kut Teh :)
u sound very hungry...
I miss Rojak. I miss Mee Soto. I miss Roti Prata Etc, Etc.
For instance in Thailand you can get curries/soups/stir fries/noodle dishes with Tofu, same with Malaysian food. Here they rarely use it.
Most the supermarkets sell it, and think it's a decent price...
'Our freedom is but a light that breaks through from another world'
hmmm... i love eating Japanese..but don't cook Japanese...maybe one day i will...
Vietnamese is very simple...at least the ones that i cook for own consumption...
there are lots of different kinds of tofu dishes...which ones are you talking about? is it easy to get tofu there?
I agree too. Keeping an open mind to everything new is very helpful when one is trying to adapt to a new place and to new faces. Life without surprises (even bad ones) would be pretty boring. I am looking forward to the adventures that moving to Qatar will provide. I love new places. We lived in Finland for a short time. And I have been living in Australia for the past ten years. Next destination..Qatar.. . And hopefully people like you novita and citygal will help make my experience a pleasant and memorable one.
I really miss Malaysian and Singapore food..oh and Vietanmese....I don't think you can get Vietnamese food in Doha. Can you???
Noodles soups Laksa, Penang, Mee Goreng etc. Everything Asian really!
The one thing that Asian restaurant's in Doha don't cook with often is Tofu. If you do happen to get it, it's overpriced!
Sounds like a great idea Qatarina! mmmmmm Asian food...Do you cook Japanese?
'Our freedom is but a light that breaks through from another world'
"I guess if you don't expect too much from it you will be find."
----> i like that idea. When your expectation is low, you wont be disappointed with the place. Just need an extra patient for everything :D
Will go back twice a year? that is good...I'm not sure if the goods come in as individual cargo (but preety sure there will be quarantine n taxes involve if u go thru airfreight.) but if you hand carry it will be safe coz my buddy have done that, it seems ok.
There is no specific Asian grocories store here. From what i see, its depend on what you want to cook, if you reffering to yr menus n the items mentioned earlier is the only item missing here. Of course the taste of spices is differ than malaysia coz all the spices here comes from india and the taste are stronger.As for santan, u could get the powdered one.etc..etc.. If you need to know more, just pm me n i'll try to help you.
Life in Qatar...I guess its ok. I managed to adjust myself to the gcc lifestyle. Thanks to my lovely husband. He is egyptian, so as much as he can, he try to guide me through on every single way and me as much as i can, i try to adapt it. Apart from the lifestyle that you need to adjust, also yr expectation. I guess if you don't expect too much from it you will be find. But qatar for me is a good country for you to save on your retirement goal.That is one thing that I could tell.
appreciate the info. I plan to ship some of them from Malaysia and do plan to go home twice a year if hubby's schedule permits and if financially viable. what are the import laws like? Are they strict about bringing in cooking ingredients?
I usually cook octopus here too (in Australia). they either have to be seared quickly or they have to be boiled till soft. Nevertheless your suggestion is helpful. I guess I will be able to know what ingredients are available once i am really there.I will have to make do with the ingredients i can find there in Qatar. How good are the goods sold in Asian groceries? Do they have most of our malay cooking ingredients? In Australia we have everything including belacan and durian (frozen ones of course, complete with skin). I probably got carried away with the menu list. This is a working progress. So , we'll see how it turns out.
But really appreciate the suggestions. keep it coming.
By the way, how are you finding Qatar?
Hi Qatarina, I'm a Malaysian living in Qatar for almost 6 months now. I support you. That'll be nice. But there is few things here that you must consider.. You might want to narrow down the menu coz u'll find difficuities on finding some of the ingredient here in qatar unless u get it shipped specially from Malaysia. eg. Daun Kesum & bunga Kantan (for laksa) Keropok Ikan, Belacan,Mee kuning (for mee curry) & Ikan bilis. Also, the vege here is seasonal. The Sotong here are not the same. They do not have sotong but octopus. Its chewy. Other than that I guess its ok. Pricing...hmmm...I find the prices here doubled from Malaysia (that includes of logistic cost i guess).
Thank you for your feedback. i hope more feedbacks come in so I could get a clearer picture of the situation there. I would consider catering and it depends on the kind of food people request. I have been living in Australia for the past ten years and so have been cooking mostly western and vietnamese food. I love vietnamese food.
There may be scope to expand the menu to western dishes in the future but I guess for now my menu would concentrate on Asian dishes and my target market group for now are Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian bachelors (i know how much they miss home cooked food..haha). I know that a lot of Aussies and Brits are familiar with Asian food especially Malaysian/Indonesian/Vietnamese/Thai. Hopefully this idea takes off. Thanks for the support.
I am living in Al Khor and am sure that many of the expats would be interested in a catering service. I think you may do well also offering catering for dinner parties at weekends. I'm not sure a lot of expats would necessarily want the same type of meal each evening. In Al Khor community the take out food is very cheap (it is subsidised) and varied, we have italian, chinese, indian, english etc. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Frog - i miss Singapore food toooooooooo muchhhhhhhhhhhhh.
LOl Char I guess you never do such a request while working :D
Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise
I will be one of your regular customers. Keep me updated. Like to have a chicken Rice 1st.
Looking forward to meeting you too novita77. Keep in touch.
Thank you canarybird. I would appreciate that very much. I understand the importance of good food handling and hygiene practices. I plan to attend a safe food handling course before I start any kind of food business. plus the food i cook to sell will be the food my family will be eating as well. so you can see how important food hygiene is to me. I am a stickler for cleanliness and health safety. plus living in Australia for the past ten years have taught me good food handling sense. looking forward to the documents.
You can't start any kind of business without a permit and a partner. One other thing is that the Municipality for Agriculture and Municiple Affairs are checking all premises that are producing food and selling it. So if you start anything like that you shuld be aware of these facts, due to many cases of food poisoning and unclean premisses they are sending inspectors regularly to inspect. I will get the information for you for you what papers exactly you may need, and forward at a soon as I can.
bring on the home cook meal business :D lol ... good luck Qatarina. Probably you can drop me a PM if you ended up arriving in Qatar. And we can meet up.
The restaurant business is probably too ambitious for me now. I might have to import mum to Doha. lol. I dont want to be too formal with this. Its just a tiffin service. nothing major. but then again i dont want to be in trouble either.
If its possible even i could start i am good in italian, chinese and BBQ cooking
If you can't change your fate, change your attitude.
if you really good in cooking ... maybe you should thinking opening a malaysian restaurant in Doha.
Yes I guess catering is a possibility. sorry to get your hopes up. I am Malaysian by the way. My mum is a great cook. She has been doing catering for years. she and my youngest brother have a restaurant together in Malaysia. My uncle runs his own restaurant too and my aunties cater and sell frozen food while my cousin bakes western cakes, pastries etc. and we all looove eating.haha..
Qatarina ... there are loads of bachelor quarter in Ras Laffan. You defenitely will get customer for your food business.
As t coffee said ... i am not too sure about the legality stand on this. As far as i know to open any form of business in Qatar you would need a 51 percents ownership Qatari partner.
In the other hand i know some people doing home business and just fine. Especially cooking and tutoring.
Please tell me if i do because i dont want to have a run in with the law. I prefer to do things by the book. If i need a permit then please tell me how to do it.
I guess the survey will allow me to find out more about what people's needs are and their lifestyle and work schedule. I am willing to be quite flexible depending on individual circumstances. however, i may not be able to do it for everyone. I can understand that some people may not want it everyday of the working week and so may opt for a more flexible option like every other day or half a week service.I guess once I have more info I will be able to get a clearer picture of how things are in Qatar. I dont mind cooking for an extra person on short notice but i may have to decline if it is more than two person as there may not be enough time to accommodate the request and it will too disruptive to the cooking schedule. I guess my main target group are bachelors. and i am looking for consistency. but like i said i can be flexible.
Dont you need permision or some thing to start a home business.... just asking ....
If you can't change your fate, change your attitude.
Urgh ... Ras Laffan is a way out of Doha. 90 kms from Doha. Dont think i would go all the way there to pick it up :-( Here i am getting excited will get that service again.
Most ppl who work in Ras Laffan they housed the family in Al Khor, it is half way from Doha to Ras Laffan. Still too far for me to pick it up.
Well at least still can ask you to cook for me when i had a house party.
People like you is my saviour. I dont cook, can't cook, and wont cook. :-(
My nationality is Indonesian, how about urs?
Hi novita77. That was a pretty quick reply. I think my hubby will be working in Ras Laffan.I dont know how close that is to where you are. Also I am not sure where we will be housed. But if it four stories up, just give me a missed call when you're ready and i will send it down to you.haha.. I will be bringing my Indonesian maid with me if everything goes well. She will be able to cook more of the Indonesian dishes. I guess once we are up and running I might consider catering as well. May I know what your nationality is?
p/s You'll be the first person to know if this happens. And because you were the first to reply, first meal is on the house.haha....
I dont pay monthly to this lady, since i go out and socialize alot ... some of the weeks i invited to people house for ladies lunch / breakfast, and some weekend we invited to dinner as a family. I paid to her cash and carry.
I give this lady like 1 day notice ... since she already have business going she normally just cook extra for me.
But i truely understand if you want people to pay in advance to you, and will be more than happy to do so.
i used to do that with one of indonesian lady. I picked it up daily to her flat. I stopped because parking is hard and have to climb up to 4th floor on stairs.
About less than 2 yrs ago i pay 20 QR a day. It is normally 1 meat dishes, 1 vegs and 1 soup.
Let me know if you start the business i would be on your door step as your first customer (provided you not living too far away where i live).
I also used the same lady to cook Indonesian home cook meal when we had a house party. She deliver it to our house ... and i pay QR 30 extra for delivering fees.