Al Qasmia Cafeteria
Location: Istiqlal Square, Abu Shagara, Sharjah, U.A.E.
Al Qasmia Cafeteria, a small teashop located alongside a busy junction of Abu Shagara, Sharjah. It has been in existence for thirty years and is still going strong.
My husband recounts fond memories of his time at the cafeteria way back during his high school years.
The entryway is crowded with cars stopping by for tea and snacks; the frequent honks signaling for an order punctuate the shop. People sit on the side ledges with friends catching up over a cup of tea.
A worker at the shop moved around swiftly from car to car with an unfaltering smile. Mr. Kamarudhin from Aluva, Kerala. A gem among the chaos. Five minutes that made quite an impression. I wanted to sit down and have a chat with him but he clearly was much too occupied with the peak time traffic at the cafeteria.
When asked for a picture he politely obliged and smiled nervously. He said that “tea is always brewing here” and that they sell more than 1500 cups per day of tea alone. He then rushed to make fresh hot paratha’s for our tea.
From the car I saw him roll out fresh dough, flatten them out and then do a swirl in the air all with such precision. The aroma of freshly made buttered paratha’s wrapped in ingredients of choice. My favorite is the cheese omelet and Oman chips wrap. Melted cheese and the crunch of the chips with a cup of hot milk tea.
The paratha and tea combination is a must-try. Roll the paratha and dunk it in your tea. Melt in the mouth deliciousness.
Small tea shops tucked away in little corners of Sharjah, each with people and stories of their own. Stories mostly untold. Unveiling these hidden gems would be quite an exciting task to take up. The Pardesi Trotter is on it!
Do you have a favorite teashop or chai walla?
“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” – Lewis Carrol