MK Café: A Legacy
By Valerie Ferdinands
Originally published in My Village News May Peninsula 2023 edition.
Walking into MK Café across from New Farm Park, one thing’s for sure. It’s not Café 63, in fact far from it. New menu, new hours and new local owners have well and truly stamped their identity on the business.
I sat down for a chat with husband-and-wife team Padma and Raghu, the second owners of MK Café. Padma had a full-time career in management before taking a leap of faith and giving hospitality a go, which let’s face it, hasn’t been easy. I can certainly relate.
They have had to deal with the café flooding, Covid lockdowns, and staff shortages, but through all this Padma says she was the driving force behind the decision to start the business. She said her father ran a canteen in India and in a sense, this was a way to carry on his legacy.
The two loved the idea of making New Farm their home; they felt the area offered so much for their 5 year-old son Advait too. Raghu says he would sit in the park and watch the restaurant for months and observed the people and area as “vibrant, community-minded, heathy and full of positivity”.
Once they took over MK Café, Raghu worked in the kitchen alongside chefs to learn every aspect of food preparation and service and says with pride some of the menu items are his brainchild. I love his enthusiasm.
MK offers an extensive breakfast menu with a signature range using free range eggs – the “Renaissance Omelette” – a best-seller including mushrooms, parmesan, prawns and truffle oil. My three-year-old granddaughter Evie and I love stopping by for takeaway breakfast, freshly squeezed juice and coffee enroute to the park across the road, so convenient.
There’s a thoughtful lunch menu with lamb shank taking my fancy, cooked for eight hrs with aromats including cinnamon sticks and star anise, served with mash peas and gravy – delish. Raghu says they pride themselves on using quality ingredients and locally-sourced produce.
I see the menu is extensive, reasonably priced and has something for everyone. This could stem from a longing to do whatever it takes to make MK Café a desirable location for locals, being a locals themselves and very much part of our New Farm community. Padma and Raghu are a delightful couple, I can see they have put their heart and soul into this venture and I look forward to the legacy continuing.