The food is of good value but not marvellously presented. In fact, everything is remarkably inexpensive, except for one or two prawn items. The menu provides a variety of things, though sadly not that many Bangladeshi items. The owners are Bangladeshi, but the popular local call is for Pakistani food.
Move past the hot dog and hamburger sections of the menu and you’ll find dal dishes like the Cholly Masala, a deliciously gingery white chickpea stew. The biryanis are exciting choices; the mutton, fish and vegetable ones are all outstanding. Recommended by the staff is the chicken tikka masala and the mutton Karahi, with a butter roti. Al-Makka’s rotis are delicate and exquisitely tasty.
There’s also an English section and a vast Chinese section, if those are more to your tastes.
For dessert, try the spicily fragrant Kheer, a rice pudding combined with nuts, fruit, tapioca and wheat.
There are the usual teas, coldrinks and milkshakes, as well as good lassis, especially the salt one.
The waiters are jovial and very helpful.
You’ll see take-away counter when you enter, with display stands of savouries on the left. Beyond it is the unassuming restaurant. At first you may think the place seems a little unloved, but the wood is still shined and the tablecloths clean. It’s generally very busy, especially because of the take-away business, but the tables also fill with local people. Forgive the odd chipped plate.
It’s family-friendly, especially over weekends.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay their own way. Read our editorial policy here.
With so many food choices on offer, you’ll need to take a few minutes to take them all in and then make your choice by process of elimination. Schwarmas, burgers, curries, seafood, bunny chows, noodles all make an appearance on the menu but the restaurant is best known for its authentic preparation of Indian cuisine – all prepared with a blend of spices and masalas from Pakistan.
Whether you’re ordering to go or to stay in, if you’re eating in groups, the specials are a good way to go, catering from three to eight people per order. If you’re a family of vegetarians, there is plenty on offer including the “Vegetable for Family” for R380 special. Serving four people, it includes cholly and paneer masala, one palak paneer, one vegeterian biryani, four chapati rotis, six poppadoms, four tandoori rotis, two plain rice and a 2l coke.
No alcohol is served but patrons have a selection of hot and cold beverages - from Masala tea to lassi (a blend of yogurt and spices, salty and sweet) and milk shakes.
Service is on point – staff is attentive and ready to help you decipher the menu and explain the various dishes on offer. Don’t ask them to recommend their specialty dish though – they’ll tell you everything is special *wink*.
No bells or whistles – just a relaxed home-away-from-home set up with basic décor and a warmth created by families who have been dining here for the 15-plus years its been in business.
Ask about the special for a group of 20 or more people.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.
Al Makka has been operational for 15 years and they really know their stuff; you can tell by the taste of the dishes that this is generations of cooking expertise at work. The food is authentic and highly flavoursome, and their selection of Indian dishes is really something to write home about – from prawn style curries to chicken and lamb, you’ll find it all there. Staff members recommend going for the butter chicken, the chicken korma or the mutton masala. The butter chicken is tender and bursting with flavour, although it should be noted that this little chicken is cooked on the bone. The mutton masala is equally delicious, a real treat, and something that you’d want to go back and sample again and again. Surprisingly, they also offer a selection of street food, from chips to Russians and hot dogs.
This is a dry establishment, so order a soft drink, or better yet, an authentic lassi (sweet, salty and mango) to sooth the curry bite. Their range of milkshakes will also do that trick.
Great service from friendly and accommodating staff members.
The look and feel is quite basic – the food is the star here.
Keep an eye out for their speciality chicken biryani, which is served only on Fridays.
This eatery serves the real deal: the dishes are in each and every part authentic, with a real distinction of character and flavour.
To start with, the samosas are light and crisp, with flavourful fillings. They offer all the usual flavours, but they're rich and melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Order the mixed selection, which provides tastes of chicken, mince, vegetables, potato and cheese and onion.
Brain masala and the Al Makka special beef (nihari) are two of their signature dishes, but in order to taste a cross-section of their menu, go in a group and try one of each of their main sections. The chicken tikka masala is heavenly, mutton dhal gosht with chana dhal and masala has all the right ingredients, the prawns korma in the seafood section is a firm favourite, and there’s a good selection of vegetable dishes for vegetarians.
Other options include fast food like chicken roti rolls and hamburgers, as well as bunny chows.
Al Makka does not serve alcohol, but try their masala tea, or order one of their sweet, salty or mango lassis.
Service is relaxed with a gentle, eager-to-please attitude.
It’s a real Indian neighbourhood spot. From the outside it might look a bit low-key, but inside you’ll find a pristine dining are with white table cloths and a private area in the back.
If you don’t want to have a sit-down meal, call beforehand and they’ll have your take away order ready when you arrive. Also, the Market Theatre is not far away, so this is an ideal place to enjoy a pre-show meal.