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Ramallah cultivates café culture

Ramallah cultivates café culture

Think of Ramallah and a flourishing F&B sector isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. But Mohammed Assadi finds business is so good some fear it’s become oversaturated.

April 7, 2011 2:11 by

In addition, many Palestinians from adjoining East Jerusalem prefer to head into the liberal Ramallah for a relaxing evening, rather than stay in their own, tenser neighbourhood, which has seen little development in recent times.

“This is a small country. We have no places for fun and entertainment besides the restaurants,” said Jaber Khader, who opened ‘Karaz’, featuring French and Italian cuisine, in March.

The ever-expanding sector is also a good thing for local gourmets, ensuring that restaurateurs constantly have to up their game or else risk closure.

Many places at present offer similar menus of unadventurous Middle Eastern fare or bland international food and have no chance of winning a coveted Michelin star should the famous French restaurant guide ever come to town.

The growing number of eateries is not only bringing more variety but also a discernible rise in quality.

“Competition is good. It pushes us to be more creative,” said Azure’s Nasir, who nonetheless admits that the clientele is not growing as quickly as the number of new bistros.

“When there are few customers at my restaurant I know that it must be crowded elsewhere as the same people rotate around.”

(By Mohammed Assadi, Editing by Crispian Balmer)

Photo credit: West Bank World

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