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Food lovers from across the kingdom have been piling into their cars and parking at Al Aali Shopping Complex to enjoy the mall’s first drive-through food truck festival aimed at supporting local businesses, writes Mai Al Khatib-Camille.
The culinary event with social distancing features eight food trucks parked outside one of the entrances to the mall in Seef District, serving people daily, from 6pm to midnight. The festival will run until the end of the month with plans underway to possibly expand the concept further.
Zainab Alhayki, mall marketing head, said: “Our aim for this festival is to help support local businesses during these challenging times while still creating entertainment for people in a safe environment - while staying in their cars.
“Our plan is to update the trucks to give a chance for other local businesses to benefit and to cater for different tastes.
“We wish the best of luck to everyone on the island during these challenging times.”
The current trucks in place include Purple Swirl, Eighty Thirty, YaSalam!, The Forge, Streat, Tikka 2 Go by Tikka Ameen, Pro Pizza and The Planet Caravan.
Keeping in line with Covid-19 precautionary measures, cars can drive up to the food truck and place their orders with a waiter.
Zainab added: “We have created a very good car flow. The parking area has been packed since we launched the event and on Friday, two trucks sold out of the food they had on offer.”
Mariam Ebrahim, 29, from Riffa, who attended the festival on the opening night, enjoyed it so much that she went back for seconds on Friday. She said: “It is great. I got there at 9pm and it was pretty crowded.
“I ordered my food while I was in my car and had it delivered to me. I then parked on the side and enjoyed my meal. I felt safe that all the staff were wearing masks and gloves and I was impressed with the way people were also abiding by the government rules and not roaming around.
“This is such a great idea because it keeps businesses running and gives people something to do in an entertaining manner, at the same time as staying safe. I also liked the food options offered. They catered to both young and old.”
Raw Candy, a vegan chocolate bar and wellness café, dished out vegan cookies and cinnamon rolls at Purple Swirls food truck.
Olivia Middleton, Raw Candy’s marketing manager, said: “We are so excited to collaborate with another locally-grown Bahrain-based business such as Purple Swirl that is serving fresh, healthy frozen yogurt at the food truck festival, while we offer 100 per cent vegan baked goods.
“I think now, more than ever, we need to encourage and support one another in the food industry in Bahrain. The food truck festival is a great showcase of what Bahrain has to offer, whilst also giving customers a safe and easy way to pick up snacks and food!”