Café Mela


Photos by Elizabeth Nyland

Café Mela | 784 Humboldt St. near Blanshard, Victoria | 250-383-0288 | No Website

This little café has changed hands again. Some of you may have enjoyed the sensational Turkish food at Nar Restaurant* in Oak Bay. Ozge, the daughter of Nar’s owners, is bringing a few Turkish favourites to Café Mela while retaining the previous owners’ focus on quality sandwiches. I probably don’t even need to mention that Turkish coffee is now on the menu at Mela. Soups change daily, but I wish you the good karma to arrive on Turkish Red Lentil day. This rich soup has a unique flavour thanks to Turkish pepper paste, which can be bought at Seven Valleys Market. It is garnished with sumac (yes, from the tree) and toasted mint. Delicious. The Tuzlu Kek, which means “savoury cake” and is labelled in the shop as “cheese and dill loaf,” is a great accompaniment to soup. This moist and airy bread is flavoured with both feta and bocconcini, as well as fresh dill and parsley. Other classic Turkish offerings are the bureks—buttery, croissant-like pastries filled with delicious combinations such as leek and beef or spinach and feta. Classic sandwiches are also available: the turkey provolone wrap was jazzed up with just the right amount of cranberry mayonnaise. And sometimes the two worlds merge. The roasted vegetable sandwich is certainly something you see on other menus, but not with Turkish walnut paste as one of the layers. To bring a little bit of Turkey with you, pick up some treats from a basket on your way out: roasted hazelnuts, a fig and walnut mix or a high quality Turkish delight. Sandwiches are $5.75 to $6.75, and bureks are $3.95, making for a lunch both affordable and interesting.

*Nar’s menu and hours are the same. It is under new ownership, and the former owner carefully taught the new people the recipes, so customers can expect the same great food.


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