Florian Cafe, Filipino food in a French restaurant.
It's rather strange at first because you'd never expect a popular Filipino dish in a French themed restaurant.
Bulalo is beef leg (meat, bone and bone marrow included) boiled with garnish until the meat is tender. Florian Cafe originally started as a French themed restaurant. However, realizing the growing competition from other restaurants with nearly the same offering they decided to diversify. They must have recognized the significant size of the Filipino community in Qatar and the shortage of decent Filipino restaurants that they got the idea of offering Filipino cuisine as well. Nowadays, depending on the customer who come in, they would usually offer one of their two menus - the French cuisine menu to everyone else and the Filipino cuisine menu to Filipino customers. Filipinos come here for Filipino food anyway. But one can always ask for the French menu if one wishes to.
The Filipino menu consist of the ordinary food - tapsilog, daing na bangus, fried chicken, chopsuey, pansit canton to name a few - none of the more complicated dishes like kare-kare, palabok or paella. And no pork dishes. Anyway, people come here mostly for the two specialties which are bulalo and sinigang (both beef) available alternately each day. In other words, if bulalo is available today, sinigang is not but will be available tomorrow.
Today, I had lunch at Florian Cafe with a colleague and bulalo happened to be the one that's available. The bowl is very large and one order is suitable for two people to share (which me and my colleague did) or for one big eater. To me, the broth is what I'm paying for - absolutely delicious. The nicely cooked cabbage as garnish, the tender meat, the bone marrow; they're all secondary to me. The broth alone will do.
Bulalo at Florian Cafe
A bulalo meal includes a plate of rice and a softdrink of your choice which costs QR 20 (US$ 5.48 / PHP 280). I said I shared this with my colleague so we ordered an additional plate of rice and one more softdrink. That cost an additional QR 9 (US$ 2.46 / PHP 126) which I think is rather expensive.
If you (Filipinos) ever come to Doha, if it's your first time ever in the Middle East and if the local food tastes too alien to you, Florian Cafe is the place to go.
Florian Cafe is located at the 3rd Floor of the City Center Mall, Doha, Qatar.
*All photos taken with a Sony Ericsson K800i Cyber-shot.