A couple of interesting cuisines from the global platter come together in this café and get along pretty well with our Indian vada pav, potato wedges, buttery chicken and lamb chops. And if you love to have that childlike glee and some ‘uuuummm’ and ‘aaahs’ on the arrival of the food on your table, you will have many such moments here. The manager spoke so highly about the sizzling brownie that I was convinced to go for it despite being full on Thai, Korean and Egyptian delicacies. The lady delivered it with lots of confidence and a broad grin. Just the look of it told me they were right. You can’t not have it. I am talking about Cafe Maka Courtyard at Ambawatta One in Mehrauli, New Delhi. Have you been there yet?
My latest find in the city was refreshingly different from the usual eateries in the city. The pictures below will speak of their story but let me serve you three straight reasons why you must head there soon. First, it a picture-perfect open courtyard that will fetch you lovely Instagrammable pictures. Second, it is a designer café elevating the tea and coffee culture. Third, it has a very interesting menu amped up with local and global mix. As far as I know, it is the only place in Delhi NCR that serves an Egyptian Koshiyari rice. My husband had had Koshiyari rice in Sudan which shares border with Egypt and he was surprised to see it on the menu at Cafe Maka. Later as we savored it, nostalgia flowed in.
Where is Cafe Maka Courtyard located?
Cafe Maka Courtyard is located in one of the most fashionable and happening quarters of Mehrauli and shines in the company of designer showrooms at Ambawatta One. Those who already know about NITIN KOHLI HOME, a contemporary design house with an exclusive display need not be told much. But for the uninitiated, you have two reasons to visit Ambawatta One. First, walk around the design showroom and then visit Cafe Maka, which has been conceptualized by Mr. Nitin Kohli, an architect specializing in interior design and more. Ambawatta one is quite au courant with the fashion and food scene of the capital and it literally buzzes on the weekends. You will love to indulge in Delhi’s spirit here. Also, parking is not an issue.
Find your way to this inviting and intimate courtyard setting
We easily found our way to this creative and cool café. The artsy furniture and warm lights added immediate cheer to an otherwise, busy and cluttered day. We were received warmly by the staff. In no time, I chose the sofa right in the center and plonked on it with ease. The table settings were prim and proper with candles, cutlery and the cloth napkin but what really caught my eye was the round paper handout, neatly laid on the table, screaming for attention. It had printed images of eight places to see in Delhi. I quickly scanned if I had seen them all and I had. The traveller in me was happy to be reminded of these places, and I liked the idea of making the foreign travellers curious about must-visit places in Delhi. The human mind behind the idea deserves an appreciation.
Okay, so by the time we settled in, it was already 8 p.m. And I was hungry for sure. The neighboring designer stores had closed and the only place that was oozing with light and energy was Cafe Maka Courtyard. The restaurants on the first floor had also begun to buzz. The young crowd was walking in and around the passage, taking the stairs, stopping by for macaroons, etc. In the next two hours, the place was filled with music from the bars & restaurants on the upper floors. While the others were grooving their feet, some of us were indulging in great food.
What did I eat at Cafe Maka Courtyard?
The à-la-carte menu helped us to act further. In the first go, the dishes looked inspired with variety, intricacies and innovation, offering an interesting mix of choices. We began with the summer coolers-coconut cucumber and watermelon. Both were served fresh and devoid of syrups, and they were presented with élan. The watermelon carving stood out. I am fond of salads and was already eyeing a good green mix with feta cheese. My husband went for the Thai salad. Both were different, colourful and full of the ingredients that made them stand out. The Mediterranean platter made a healthy mix of chick peas, fresh rockets, avocado, bell peppers olives and cheese. The Thai combination was high on bell peppers, peanuts and sesame seeds.
After the healthy choices, it was important to balance it with something loaded with carbs. And just then the Indian pull-apart garlic pav seemed to be the perfect choice. It was literally calling out for us from the menu. We couldn’t resist the temptation and just as we had expected, it was cheesy, high on garlic flavors and mouth-melting. So far, the food had been great and I liked the focus on quality and ingredients.
The mood had been set and we were happy to move on to the next course. Having been smitten with k-dramas in the last few months, Ramyeon has been on my tasting palette these days. Without doubt, I had to try this one. Consciously, we avoided pizza, pastas, hot dogs and burgers but went for Koshiyari because we are travellers and we love trying fusion food from different places. Also, my husband had already eaten Koshiyari before and couldn’t wait to compare.
The egg ramyeon was super fun, yum and spicy. Asparagus and spinach added to the zing. I really needed this delectable kick for the weekend. But what really stood out for us was the Koshiyari rice. This Egyptian staple as well as the national dish of Egypt is a mix of pasta or macroni, fried rice, vermicelli, brown lentils and red beans. It is garnished with crispy browned onions, zesty tomato sauce and some vinegar. It may sound like a khichdi of sorts but it tastes delicious. This one on our table was made with utmost precision and perfection. The chef had got it right and we complimented him for the same. If you would like to mingle a few dishes together, this can become your cherished comfort food. Try it if you have not tasted it before.
We washed off the food with crisp and crunchy Mango waffles topped with ice cream. But this was not supposed to be the last bite. On the insistence of the manager, we ordered the sizzling brownie too. And like I mentioned before, you got to have it. Usually, I like to end my meal with green tea but that day, I wanted to cherish the after-taste on my way back home.
Cafe Maka Courtyard is happy to accommodate individual diners, couples and parties of up to certain number of guests with bookings done by prior agreement. They keep coming up with new seasonal offerings. Don’t miss their summer special making the best of the mangoes. They have lots of non-vegetarian dishes too on their menu.
Since the seating part is in an open courtyard, I bet it faces the wrath of sun and rains. Some rain stains on the furniture cloth was visible and its understandable too. There may be some pigeons around but they did not bother us. The menu card looked exhausted and overused. It called for a change. But most of all, you will love to socialize, have coffee, share food and click lots of pictures here. You can enjoy being there on a sunny as well as a rainy day. They have huge umbrellas above the table.
Cafe Maka Courtyard is open from 12 noon to 10 p.m on the weekdays and till midnight on the weekends. I was invited but the views, content and photographs are my own.