Bennigans: where the playground as big as the restaurant


My straightforward review:

– Food: **

Steak and chicken combo come in not too large size. But enough  for two people. Both chicken and steak are tasty with tendency to a bit salty. Lamb chop was cooked very well. No lamb meat smell remained. However it seems that lamb meat was not fresh (I mean cooked from frozen). Spagheti for children was far from delicious, not recommended. Buffalo chicken salad come in a full plate. Boneless chicken wings – again – salty, but the salad itself was fresh, and good. For drink, QR8 ice tea refill is recommended. Bennigans also offers regional favorites, tailored to Middle East such as hommous, taboula, fatoush, chicken or lamb kabab.

Bennigans lamb chop
Bennigans chicken and steak combo
Bennigans Buffalo chicken salad

– Service: ****

Staff is polite, communicative, efficient and friendly. Service is quick.

– Facilities: ***

As the title says, Bennigans boasts the largest indoor restaurant playground in Doha. Aside from this, an outdoor playground is also available. This 288-seat wood-panelled restaurant offers separate family and non-family seating. Ambience is good. Toilet facilities are clean. Unfortunately, no prayer room is available (if my observation is right)

Bennigans interior, non-family areas

– Location: ****

Easily accessed from Markhiya St. with plenty parking lots. Enough for maybe hundres of cars.

– Price: ***

Comparable with similar restaurants such as Apple Bee, chilis, or TGIF.

Steak and Chicken Combo: QR86, Lamb Chop: QR59, Buffalo Chicken Salad: QR36, Spagheti (children): QR19, Refill Ice Tea: QR8

Other price references: Fresh juice QR20, soft drink QR8, kabab QR49, hommous/taboula/fatoush QR15, sandwiches QR32-34, Fajitas QR51-65, seafood platter QR59, pasta QR47, all children menu QR19

About Bennigans:

Bennigan’s restaurants in Qatar is operated by Franchisee Sterling Catering Services. Sterling also operates franchised Ponderosa Steakhouse locations in Qatar. The Bennigan’s specialises in steaks, burgers and fast food, usual American diner-style fare. Very popular for family and class outings. 

Open: Saturday – Wednesday: 11.30 AM – 12.00 midnight, Thursday: 11.30 AM – 12.30 AM, Friday: 12.00 noon – 12.30 AM

Telephone: 483 1900

Bennigans vast carpeted indoor play area

Tea Boy

So familiar in Middle East. Might be called a pantry boy or office boy in other parts of the world. Main job: preparing a cup of tea. Side jobs: making cappucinno, serving drinks for all meeting attendees, and taking care of pantry. Oh by the way a tea boy that I have in the office (not mine actually, he belongs to the quarter floor) never fails in making a very tasteful cappucinno by his own hands. I can’t even make a successful cup of cappucino 😦

A tea boy will normallybe  going around room to room twice in the morning and one in the afternoon. Once everybody settled in the morning, say at 8 am, tea boy will ask if you need some drinks to energize your day. So long he has been in the office that he knows what everybody wants. If there is a meeting in the building floor under his responsibility, he will quietly interrupt a meeting, and offer a drink order sheet. He will be back to the meeting room with ordered drinks.

Most tea boys are coming from Nepal. Don’t know why, it’s like a mafia, in a positive way. And Nepaleses are well known for its loyal, service, dedication and obedient.

One day I saw a  replacement tea boy was coming to our office. He was assisted by the old tea boy for several days; ensuring a complete job handover. Hmmm….even for a simple job like this, on the job training and job handover are important.

Dhow Cruise

It’s only after 16 months in Doha have I got an opportunity to enjoy Doha Dhow Cruise :). And now I fulfill one of my Been There Done That lists. Dhow is basically a traditional Arabic sailing vessel. For the purpose of the cruise, this dhow has been modified to include seating for more than 30 people, and powered by engine.

Typical Dhow used for dhow cruise
  • You can enjoy a dhow cruise from many spots along Doha Corniche. At least there are four spots: one near Sheraton, one near Oryx statue, one in front of Al Bidda Park and one in fishing port area
  • Cruise w ill last for about half an hour
  • Fee is minimal. For a family like us: 2 adults 2 children under 12 yrs, dhow operator charged us QR60 only
  • Normally dhow operator does not wait until its dhow is full. In our case it was only us! Seem likes a privately booked cruise
  • Dhow will cruise around Doha Bay up to palm island then make a circle move back to corniche. Different dhow might take different routes
  • Best time to enjoy dhow cruise is about 10 minutes before sunset. You can get the best of both worlds: bright and dark and also the golden hours and light during sunset
  • Dhow can also be booked entirely for party, dinner, etc. with longer cruise
  • Some dhow operators offer dhow cruise to Al Safiliya Island, berth there for activities, lunch, and back to Doha after sunset
Stunning scenery of Doha skyscrappers from dhow
I like that color gradient!

 More pictures are in my Facebook – Been There Done That – Doha Dhow Cruise

Overloaded March

I’ve never been so overloaded at work. This March sees me withuninterrupted days of workshop representation, risk assessment, safety studies, meeting, site visit, and technical review. Just to name a few, I am/will be involved in Helium Project Technical Review, Pipeline Integrity Management System, 5 Shutdown Risk Assessments, 2 Terminal Risk Assessments, HAZOP for QG3&4, day-to-day operational  & technical issues. But those are consequences of being a service provider. As a senior loss prevention engineer in QG Operating Company, my tasks are among others dealing with providing loss prevention engineering advices, technical review of design and modification, facilitating a risk assessment or similar safety study. With now QG Opco operating 5 trains (2 more trains are coming shortly), a refinery, terminal, and many common facilities, much more pressures are put on us to provide the same quality level of work amid limited resources; not to mention some requests occasionally from capital projects.

One risk assessment meeting will only last about one or two hours, but it is the preparation work what takes much time: for planning, reading and understanding scope of work, method statement, technical standard and references, and discussing with related parties.

The beauty is however the opportunity to learn something new , interact with many parties, and sharpen my technical skills.

Housing Characteristics in Qatar

Interesting facts about housing characteristics in Qatar. See about labour camp.

A new study has urged for changing housing approaches among Qatari nationals to make them more acceptable of occupying small and medium residential units, saying that only 3% of the Qatari families stay in apartments, while a majority of 96% live in villas, palaces, or Arab houses.
The “Housing Characteristics in Qatar” study, prepared by the Permanent Population Committee, said that Qatari families always preferred living in independent residential units which have no sharing entries or stairs with others.
“The trend of living in towers is still very low among Qataris although it will cost them less,” the study added.
It indicated that most of the residential units used by Qatari families include more rooms than they need.
About the non-Qatari families, the study said 50.9% of the expatriate families stay in apartments, while 26.3% of them stay in villas and 14.3% in Arab houses.
About the rates of occupancy, the study estimated that a total of 21,000 residential units in the country were either vacant or closed, with 4.5% of them were for rent, which the study said was a high rate compared to other Arab countries including Syria (1%), Jordan (2.1%) and Oman (3%).
The study also noted that 70% of the Qatari families live in owned houses, with only 7.7% of them are using rented houses, and 2.7% are benefiting from government housing programmes.
About the expatriate families, the study indicated that a majority of 55.7% of them is using rented apartments, and 12.3% are benefiting from government housing programmes and 21.4% are provided accommodations by companies they are working for, while less than 2% of the expatriate families own their units.
Quoting a survey conducted by the Qatar Statistics Authority in 2008, it indicated that average number of people per room among Qatari families were 1.38 persons per room, which was higher than that of the non-Qatari families (1.3 person per room).
About labour camps, the study estimated the rate at 3.44 persons per room. However, the study added that such a rate was found to be 11 persons per room in the labour camps which include 15 rooms or more, while it fell to 2-4 persons in camps which have fewer than 10 rooms.

(Source: Gulf-Times. 13 Mar 2010)

About one year ago

1 March 2009, that was when my family started joining me here in Qatar to endeavour a new life. And time flies fast. One year had passed since. Looking back what one year my family passed makes me smiling:

– I remember the hard time during the first three months when we are separated by thousands miles distance.

– I remember the time when we need to move to a temporary accomodation as our permanent accommodation is not ready yet. We move ourself, fully packed my new car with our stuffs.

– I remember the time when my youngest son crying whenever he goes to school. But I am proud of him that within 2 weeks he can cope with new friends and new environment

– I remember the time when my oldest son threatened me to not live in Qatar for more than 3 years but now he says that he wants to stay longer in Qatar

– I remember the time when my family started to build relationship with friends and glad that we are among best friends here in Qatar

– I remember the time when we experience the first summer, escaped from the heat to UAE and Oman via 11-day of driving tour.

– I remember the time when I and my wife were separated from our sons due to our Hajj pilgrimage; and I proud of them how they adhere to study schedule I made for their stay in Indonesia

We were not sure until when we live in Qatar. Although I set some personal objectives; some of them show good progress; I don’t want to jump into conclusion should the objectives be met. As long as my family are happy I don’t have any reasons to not continue staying in here.