Mahā Café: Durban Point Waterfront’s hot new brunch spot

New to the Durban scene at the Point Waterfront, Mahā Café has fast become a firm favourite for the breakfast and brunch crowds, with ex-9th Avenue Bistro (now 9th Avenue Waterside) chef Charlie Lakin taking centre stage. With a penchant for foraging and sourcing local produce, he sets about baking, basting, sautéeing, poaching and braaiing – whatever takes his fancy as he’s been given free rein by owners, Dustin and Farran Hayman who also own the Point Waterfront Apartments above.

Fast facts

Food type: Café-style fare
Cost: R55 average main meal
Parking: Directly outside on the street or in one of the side streets
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 5; Service: 4; Ambience: 4


A breakfast menu is available from 6am and features a variety of hot and cold dishes, including various iterations of egg, as well as vegan offerings. Enjoy a delicately fragrant cup of layered homemade granola, yoghurt, strawberries and elderflower; or roasted pineapple with a hint of chilli and basil layered with lime curd, vanilla yoghurt and homemade granola. Vegan options could include a moreish stack of zucchini fritters, roast peppers, fennel jam, jugo-bean hummus and pumpkin-seed dukkah; or plump sourdough crumpets topped with sautéed button mushrooms, scallions and macadamia-nut cheese.

Feeling adventurous? Give the ox tongue a go, featuring baby potatoes, red onion and tomato hash. It comes topped with a poached egg and leek ash mayo. You won’t regret the perfectly seasoned smoked salmon slivers with poached egg, served on sourdough crumpets and drizzled with elderflower caper and chive butter sauce; or a mature cheddar rarebit topped with crispy coppa ham and braaied apple ketchup.

A smorgasbord lunch menu is currently available from 1pm daily, offering charcuterie boards and nibbles. The homemade fennel salami is a highlight, along with salty olives, roast peppers, button mushrooms and corn. The deli counter groans with an array of freshly made sweet and savoury treats that you can eat in or take away – think focaccia dotted with beetroot, onion and feta; pillows of chorizo-and-bacon cornbread; bacon and cheddar or ham-and-scallion croissants; as well as sourdough and rye loaves.

Sweet treats could include peanut butter and choc-chip muffins topped with toffee sauce; millionaire’s shortbread; poppy-seed muffins; or carrot-and-macadamia cake. But it’s the gin-soaked almond-and-apple marmalade Danish that literally takes the cake – it’s heaven!


Beans, from local KZN roastery Terbodore Coffee Roaster, are expertly ground. The iced coffee is perfect for a hot Durban day, as is a butterscotch milkshake topped with toasted marshmallow whip. The restaurant is currently unlicensed, but hopes to offer alcohol from April 2020.


Mosey up to the counter to select from the array on offer and the barista or waiters will happily assist, or sit down and be served by the friendly staff – Chef Charlie pops his head out regularly too.


The intention is to launch a supper club on select evenings, which will offer a fine-dining experience in a relaxed environment. The space is industrial chic and perfect for kicking back in with great food and company. It’s a small space with a raw concrete ceiling and floor, but the addition of delicate gold pendants suspended above a green marble counter, white wall panelling and a deep velvet couch in a cosy pause area create an unfussy yet cosy space where the menu is the hero.

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here

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Brought to you by Retail Capital, sponsors of the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year Award. Want to find more new restaurants in your city? Check out our new restaurants section.

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