Windhoek’s city centre has some urban flair and a sweet new spot in the recently opened Café Maca.
Street-facing at Gutenberg Plaza, Café Maca is the latest from chef Angelo M Tilahun, who first graced the scene in 2020 with Maca Maca Café, a speciality macaron outfit.
Three years later, Café Maca offers melt-in-your-mouth macarons and much more. On an easy Tuesday morning, the café’s aesthetic, burnt orange, macaron-inspired interior provides a sophisticated backdrop for a trio of suited professionals awaiting goddess smoothies, filled English muffins and perfectly brewed Namibian Coffee Roasters cappuccinos.
A regular walks by on Werner List Street and a barista muses as to whether he’s on his way to the gym before a business chic beauty ducks in to place her lunch order of a bacon cheeseburger.
For an eatery that has only been open just shy of a month, Café Maca seems to tick along nicely. It’s a small spot, elegantly expanded with large windows and a sparkling mirror, and I’m pleased to see every seating area has a plug point for the desk-independent to make the most of the free Wi-Fi.
On Café Maca’s statement wall, a sign issues a neon directive: “fuel your pace”.
And Bradley, a friendly barista, explains that the café is whatever you need it to be.
“The question is: How are you feeling?” Bradley says.
“Are you feeling fast, are you taking it slow, or are you just trying to calm down? Do you need something hot or cold? We help you fuel your pace, whatever that pace may be.”
As the lone diner not dressed for the demands of corporate success, my pace is slow so I order a cappuccino and dive into the French side of the menu with a delightfully blue caramel macaron alongside a chocolate-covered madeleine.
Both are delicious and far more dainty than the impressive Maca Grande, which is a supersized macaron about the size of your palm.
Besides the pâtisserie fare, Café Maca’s menu is focused and eclectic.
For lunch, patrons can enjoy a taste of Tuscany with a homemade braised beef pappardelle and a succulent helping of orange chicken alongside burgers, salads and a selection of handhelds, including pulled beef scallion parathas and a buffalo mozzarella, mortadella ham, pistachio and truffle oil focaccia.
Come lunchtime and the scorching summer heat, Café Maca’s home-brewed lemonade, passion fruit lemonade and ice tea are also hot property.
“The idea is not to make you too full, because a lot of our customers are coming from and returning to their work environment,” says Mimi, a lovely Café Maca server, barista and host.
“So the food and beverages are mostly something you can eat, drink and keep going on for the rest of the day.”
Asked what the most popular dish is so far, Mimi is thoughtful.
“I feel like what the first two customers order is what goes the whole day. There are times the orange chicken will just be selling all day,” she says.
“On other days, once you tell them our pasta is home-made, then the pappardelle really goes. The scallion wraps are also homemade. There’s more flavour that way, and they’re made with love,” Mimi says.
“Anything you do with love comes out great.”
Café Maca is situated at 51 to 55 Werner List Street, Gutenberg Plaza, Shop 1 in Windhoek.
Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 07h30 to 17h30.
Follow them on social media for more information.
– email@example.com; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram; marthamukaiwa.com
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