Past the hanging baskets of dried vegetables is a space that’s part rustic family home and part village bazaar. Wooden tables with bright patterned seat cushions are placed between thick timber columns that stretch to the wooden roof supports. The walls are decorated with tapestries and knick-knacks. It’s instantly welcoming, comfortable and relaxed.
As the cafe is family-run, it’s not uncommon to find the owner behind the counter or a relative at one of the tables. Find a seat and someone will bring the menus – and maybe even a taster of the soup of the day. Orders are placed at the till and served to the counter when ready. The cafe specialises in Kurdish cuisine such as stews with rice, dolma (stuffed vine leaves) and biryani. The falafel and halloumi dishes, along with the mixed mezze, are also very popular – they are all served with fresh hummus.
The menu offers plenty of salads, and tasty sides such as the spinach, falafel and potato bites. There’s a full selection of hot teas (lemon, mint, ginger) and coffees, and a nice selection of wines and spirits (don’t miss the ouzo). Not to mention an exhaustive list of fresh juices and fruit shakes, all blended on the spot. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try a sweet cake, cookie, brownie or one of the health bars sold at the till.
Downstairs, the cafe hosts occasional meetups, talks and discussions. On the main floor, you’ll find ceramics for sale, books for reading and artwork. Whether you visit for an evening meal or settle in for an afternoon, you’re guaranteed to feel at home. The cafe is an inviting escape from the outside world, an alcove of Middle Eastern food, music and decor.