Ottawa foodie talks life as a food blogger

Manal Abdurahman sitting on a patio holding a drink wearing a white long sleeve shirt.Manal Abdurahman discusses her food blog Nala’s Big Bite. Photo courtesy of Manal Abdurahman.

Community, Culture

Manal Abdurahman runs a food blog on Instagram called Nala’s Big Bite where she captures photos of food from all different types of local restaurants.

Abdurahman said that she had often been posting food photos on her personal Instagram account before she even knew about food blogging.

She decided to make a dedicated account to post food photos and was able to find an entire community of people who post this same kind of content.

Before creating her platform, Abdurahman felt she was missing an outlet where she could express herself.

“I’m a nurse now, and I feel like there’s not a lot of room for creativity in my day to day in my job so my food blog or my Instagram page is the place where I can just totally be myself,” she said.

“It’s a safe space just for me,” she added.

Abdurahman said that as a food blogger, she rarely saw people that looked like her in the space, so she was able to become the representation that was lacking in the community and connect with other food bloggers worldwide that share her ethnicity.

To figure out what restaurant will make it on her blog next,  Abdurahman looks to the Instagram pages of restaurants within the city.

“It doesn’t take a lot for me to checkout a restaurant, as long as it’s local in Ottawa and the food looks good, I’ll probably be there,” she said.

Abdurahman said her most recent good food find is a sushi spot in Centretown called J:Unique.

“I saw this picture on Instagram of a plate of food, of sushi on fire” Abdurahman said, adding that she was drawn to the restaurant from this photo and after trying it said that the food was amazing.

Since Abdurahman works as a nurse, she has a busy schedule, but she does find the time to post to her blog as much as she can.

“I try and visit new spots at least once a week on my days off,” she said.

When the lockdown started due to COVID-19 last March, Abdurahman faced difficulties posting to her blog.

“I kind of struggled a little bit at first,” she said.

Abdurahman turned to cooking her own meals to document her food adventures on her Instagram page.

“The thing about a food blog is you don’t always have to go to restaurants which is really cool, you can make your own or you can bake or you can use other people’s recipes and take pictures of that,” she said.

“I feel like it’s a space that will never kind of die especially with social media, I feel like it’s always evolving,” Abdurahman added.

Once patio season started Abdurahman was excited to get back out there and try new foods.

Abdurahman’s food blog can be found here.

Here is Manal Abdurahman speaking with CHUO:

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