I don’t want to sound like a curmudgeonly old woman, but when I first arrived in Doha seven plus ago, there were very few breakfast/cafe destinations outside of five star hotels.
I know, this is one of the most Middle Class statements I have ever typed. but it’s true.
Today, as the population exploded and the dining populace became more demanding, we are spoiled for choice.
One of the newest is Shakespeare and Co which has just opened its second location at The Pearl Qatar.
For newcomers, this cafe is a Middle East brand with stores around the GCC and Lebanon. It’s also known for its rather distinctive interiors – like Alice in Wonderland Meets Willy Wonka on a very trippy day.
Diners can sit at multicolored chairs or perched on faux Victorian style couches. It’s fairy tale kitsch meets Middle East. but the food is very solidly in the cafe realm
But as Qatar General Manager and Chef Edgar Ayala told me, the patrons come as much for the look and the ambiance as they do the food. The day I visited, a group of 15 women occupied the cafe’s salon, playing Mahjong. I didn’t even know people still played that…but I am always ready to be surprised.
With a massive menu that spans breakfast favorites to full meals, Ayala told me they cater for all tastes.
“Sourcing ingredients can be a challenge, but we adapt the menu according to what is available,” he said.
The day I visited the diners ranged from Qatari families through to expats having a coffee and cake. The atmosphere is certainly unlike others in Doha with the staff actually knowing what they are selling a
I sampled the Mexican-style wrap with guacamole and sour cream on the recommendation of Edgar, who is Mexican. The food is fresh and tasty although I did suggest more of a kick in the guacamole.
“We have to cater to the tastes of the market,” the chef/GM explained mollifying me. this is after all, a cafe that has mass market appeal, which is why it is much loved already.
Shakespeare and Co have another location at the far flung Dar Al Salam Mall with two more outlets planned at Mall of Qatar and North Gate when they open.
Shakespeare and Co: Location: 12 LA Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl Qatar
*Life on the Wedge was a guest of Shakespeare and Co