Shay Al Shoomoos, located in one corner of Souq Waqif, is a restaurant owned and actively run by Shams Al Qassabi, a Qatari mother of five. Shay Al Shoomoos’ specialty is Qatari food. Their menu includes hot plates of baid o tomate (eggs and tomato), baid shakshoka (scrambled eggs), aseeda (local porridge made from wheat or corn), khobiz regag (crepe-like bread), macboush (rice with chicken, lamb or goat, smeared with a tomato paste marinade, then crisped up in a hot oven), and balaleet (sweet egg omelet breakfast dish made with vermicelli, turmeric, and sugar), among others.
This restaurant not only serves authentic Qatari food, it also serves as a symbol of women’s financial freedom in a country where they have traditionally played a domestic role. This distinction got a stamp of approval when Sheikha Moza visited the restaurant and its owner in 2014. Lining the restaurant’s walls are the pictures of numerous regional celebrities, Kuwaiti footballers, ministers, and food critics.
It’s not a fancy place; instead Shay al Shoomoos is a gem of authentic Qatari food, in the most authentic place in Qatar: the beloved Souq Waqif.