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Sitting at a round table that resembles a sunny side up, there is absolutely no doubt right from the beginning that the star of this restaurant is the humble egg. The walls are painted bright yellow and dotted with funny egg quotes like ''Eggspats and locals are welcome!'' or ''Have an eggstraordinary day!'' Yello! The Egg Café, a quirky 25-cover casual café restaurant in Oud Metha, is a warm and friendly place where people can come and relax and enjoy eggs made just the way they want it.
The concept and menu of this popular restaurant has been developed by chef Anil Kumar. The bestsellers from the menu are the Yello Kathi Rolls (egg-coated paratha griddle cooked and rolled with spicy green and red chutneys and pickled onions), Anda Statement (the classic Indian egg bhurji or the spicy scramble), Local Eggsperience (shakshouka), Huevos Y Chilaquiles (tortilla chips topped with Habanero chilli sauce, eggs, cheese and cilantro), and Omelette Pizza Arabiatta (arrabbiata sauce topped with fresh rocca leaves and feta cheese). Customers can design their own omelettes or opt for an all-day breakfast combo. There are added twists to the menu inspired by ideas from around the world — so you have the Middle Eastern inspired Habibi Breakfast with foul medammes, hummus, grilled halloumi cheese, khuboos and karak chai, or the egg version of the popular dish Chicken 65 (a spicy, deep-fried chicken) from Chennai, India.
''My husband and I always wanted to open a café or a restaurant,'' says Deepa Bellani, the owner of Yello Café who hails from Gujarat, India. ''Initially we toyed with the idea of buying a readymade café, but the logistics proved so difficult that we thought of coming up with our own café with a different concept. Chef Anil has not only created the menu but also trained the staff to start us off. Some of the dishes are so popular that in the long run, we don't want to move too far away from the original menu.''
Bellani, who started the concept cafe in April last year, says the challenge has been to make people understand and gradually appreciate the concept, especially with many restaurants in the neighbourhood serving full meals like plates of biryani and curry. ''We keep innovating and new dishes are introduced. For example, two kinds of egg curries have been introduced to attract diners after sundown,'' she says. ''Although the intention is not to move away from the main menu, which is primarily egg based, one can also order a few vegetarian dishes like the egg-free omelette made with oatmeal.''
The other challenge has been to keep up with rising rents. For the 750-sq-ft café, Bellani has to cough up a rent of Dh160,000 a year. ''Our dishes are not highly priced. A meal for two would set you back only Dh50,'' she says. ''So sometimes during the low season of July and August, it does get difficult. But it's slowly becoming popular in the neighbourhood, specially among young diners looking for a quick bite.''
Yello Egg Café is located opposite Lamcy Plaza in Oud Metha
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Source: Ishita B. Saha, Special to Property Weekly