Shams El Balad is a contemporary styled café that recently opened in Jabal Amman, promising farm-to-table eating in the heart of the city. My visit to Shams El Balad and the conversations I had with its owner, Hazem Malhas, were a delight that I felt the need to record.
I am so proud of Sham El Balad’s wholesome vision and the deliciously comforting food on the menu. Their nutritious dishes remind me of those my mother used to cook and still cooks today, and many other people’s too!
The owner, Hazem Malhas, is a humble entrepreneur with an inspiring vision to build and serve a better Jordan. He aims to achieve this by supporting local organic farmers and enabling women in rural areas to go into production, stimulating local economies and empowering the populations. It helps that these women make the best breads and traditional preserves! Hazem has created a comforting and peaceful environment in the centre of Amman that is suitable for all ages since it is a smoke free zone. The whole place really has its own unique and artistic charm.
Shams El Balad offers Jordanian tapas that include hummus, labaneh, foul, eggs, beet hummus, seasonal vegetables, mana’eesh and more. The drive through the small cosy streets of Jabal Amman is a journey on its own. Being inside in the space leaves a significant spark inside of you. The view that overlooks both the Citadel and the sunset (if you’re there at the right time of day) has a very calming effect within. You feel that the people who work there are preparing the food with so much love, and the entire atmosphere is so real, rich and organic.
Shams El Balad holds a space where friendship is made possible, laughter is real, and we are able to enjoy the present moment as it is. It is a place that connects us with so many others inspiring individuals in our hometown.