The new fusion café in Roath blending flavoursome food with Instagrammable aesthetics

Aiming to kickstart the Cardiff brunch scene, Kaya Kafe is coming to snap up the two things everyone wants: food and Instagram likes

Hanging lanterns suspended over tables
Warm and cosy, the café hopes to be the highlight of customers’ Instagram stories. (Photo credit: Abby Allen)

A new café promising an instagrammable experience from start to finish is coming to Roath’s City Road in mid-November.

Hoping to expand their business in a post-lockdown venture, cousins Maithem and Shane Al-Kelaby will feature Cardiff’s first Middle Eastern-British fusion brunch spot amid suspended garlands, feature walls, and aperture lighting.

The café’s owner and creative mastermind Maithem, 28, originally planned to open at the start of October, but due to staff shortages, delivery issues, and a missing head chef, it was pushed back to mid-November.

Previous owners of La Shish, a restaurant across the road, the cousins decided to shut down their second business during covid and focus their efforts into Kaya Kafe.

“It was a hard time for us to be honest,” admitted Maithem, “we had to work out what we could do to differentiate, adapt, reinvent.”

Opting for a new business angle, they based the concept of Kaya Kafe on the one thing that guarantees likes: Instagram.

Adorning their pre-existing restaurant with lanterns and mood lighting, Maithem’s business partner and cousin Shane, 27, noticed that “people came just to get the photo shoot done and out they went”.

“That’s when the eureka moment came to me,” said Maithem. He thought that if they harnessed the power of social media to get people through the door and curated it with aesthetic food concepts, Kaya Kafe could succeed.

The menu is set to provide a Middle Eastern twist to traditional British brunches. (Image credit: Abby Allen)

Paying homage to his Iraqi-Welsh heritage, Maithem has designed plates such as The Full Arabic and The Turkey Breakfast, alongside Smashed Avocado and Eggs Royale.

Navigating the business through social media, Maithem hopes to be the first to successfully satisfy the Middle Eastern palate with locally sourced ingredients. The menu will also be halal, as well as non-pork, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.

Kaya Kafe plans to open mid-November and operate from 8am to 4pm.