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November giveaway winner

Instagram & Dine-in Giveaways

By Events No Comments

If you ate out at Yafa Café this past November, December or both, you will have great memories of our delicious food and the welcoming atmosphere. You probably also entered the draws we held each month for a our delightful giveaway.

November giveaway winner

Giveaways

The Moroccan style jute bags were repurposed from the coffee sacks used for coffee beans. They were designed and sewn by a Syrian refugee. It is important to us to recycle as much as possible as it’s a way for us to be more environmentally friendly. Each bag is unique, sturdy and practical. 

The handmade totes were stuffed with Middle Eastern groceries and a $100 Yafa Café gift card tucked in the top. We filled them with goodies and groceries from Blady Middle Eastern Foods.  The specialty grocery store is just a few blocks away from us located at 1325 Portage Avenue. They stock a variety of groceries from Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria and other Middle Eastern countries. If you haven’t been, it’s worth a visit.

November dine-in giveaway winnerGoodies

 Zaatar is one of the main herbs we use at Yafa Café so we included some of it in the giveaway bags. It is a mix of herbs and spices typically containing thyme, oregano, sumac, sesame seeds, salt and other ingredients.  We added some sage which flavours so many of our Arabic teas. Sage from the Middle East is different from sage picked elsewhere. When used in teas, it has many medicinal properties. Fig jam, dates, Turkish delight with pistachios and halvah made from tahini paste rounded out the groceries. We also added pretty Arabian scarves and the $100 Yafa Café gift card to each bag.

Instagram and dine-in giveaways

Foodies

To initiate the giveaways, we invited some Winnipeg foodies for a tasting. One set of giveaways was open to dine-in customers. Upon purchase, they were entered into a physical draw. We drew names weekly and announced winners in the café. The second and third giveaways were promoted on Instagram by Wai Chen @waieatthat and her team. She is a member of the Manitoba Food Bloggers group. Wai and her foodie bloggers came in one afternoon to try Yafa Café ‘s food. They were quite impressed and raved about how delicious it was.  

They were existing customers of Yafa Café but hosting a foodie event gave them the opportunity to experience new dishes.

Future Giveaways

The lucky winner will be able to treat their friends to a delicious dinner at Yafa Café with the $100 gift card and enjoy the goodies inside the bag as well as the bag itself! Of course, maybe whoever wins would rather treat themselves. We understand our food is irresistible. The gift card would stretch to a number of leisurely visits to savour any of our renowned coffee drinks paired with delectable pieces of freshly made baklava or basbousa. Our chai karak tea is pretty good too and our London Fog has been touted the best in the city! 

The good news is that we are going to be holding other giveaways in the months to come. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and keep an eye out for future giveaways.

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Happy Holidays_Xmas Part_IG

Yafa Café is Catering for The Christmas Season

By Events No Comments
This is a wonderful time of the year is upon us again, Christmas! The holiday season in Winnipeg is wonderful with a lot of family time. Yafa Café is here to assist you with your needs such as Christmas season catering, hosting parties or gift cards.

Christmas Holiday in Winnipeg

Despite the cold weather, tourists are excitedly experiencing great Manitoba winter activities and enjoying once a year Christmas treats. Ice skating on the rink at The Forks and on the overland trail is making them ooh and ahh over the spectacular Christmas light shows at Assiniboine Park.
They likely also appreciated the pop-up Christmas markets with beautiful handmade objects for sale more than they did as they prefer more active activities. We will be taking them ice skating again soon.
During one of our family excursions, we pulled out our camera and took some great photos of festive Winnipeg. Here is one of our daughter’s friend at the CMHR.

Haneen at the Forks in traditional Palestinian dress

Reservations For The Holidays

If you are too busy to cook but still want to share your hospitality with friends and family, make a reservation at our café. This time of year is bustling and cheery. Everyone is enjoying our great food with good company. Celebrate Christmas in the traditional Arabic way with our special Christmas menu. We also have new festive drinks that come with a White Candy Cane Icing. They are tasty and very pretty to look at and will put you in the Christmas spirit.
Yafa Café Christmas Season Catering
As Christmas draws closer, we want to let you know how grateful we are to share connection and community with you. Between all the holiday gatherings to attend, the shopping, the holiday cookies and all the magical light displays, we all sometimes feel overwhelmed. Spending time with family, friends and other loved ones is such a blessing but it can also present challenges. We want you to know our doors are always open, the coffee is always on and our kitchen is always cooking.

Gift Cards

Time is a precious commodity during the hustle and bustle of the average holiday season. It’s filled with Christmas parties, office engagements and other commitments. If you are tired of shopping for gifts, our new Christmas gift cards make the perfect present for clients.
The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each other’s’ burdens, easing other’s loads and spending time with each other is the real magic of Christmas. It truly is not about presents but about PRESENCE.

Hosting Parties

If you are still seeking a location to host your Christmas party, look no further. We would be delighted to host you and your guests. We provide the catering and live Arabic music, and you bring the crowd. For $35 per person, we are sure you will find this a steal. We accommodate all dietary restrictions.
Happy Holidays_Xmas Part_IG
Still looking for a place to celebrate New Year’s Eve? Join us on this celebratory night with a Middle Eastern style feast and live Arabic music to dance the night away. Book now for you and your friends at $35 per person.

New Year's Eve Party at Yafa Café_IG

Christmas Season Catering

If you prefer to have our food to share with your friends and family in the comfort of your own home, we can cater! Call us today to ask about our prices and menu.

Appreciating Our Customers

Our team at Yafa Café has vowed to pause and reflect on the things that we value, cherish, appreciate and enjoy. As we reflect, we want to let you know that our thoughts extend toward you and your family. We are thankful to be part of a movement that is impacting lives and that continues to build a loving community that includes you. Whether it is Christmas season catering, hosting a party or joining us for New Year’s Eve, we’re happy to enjoy good times with you. It is an honour to be able to share our lives, work, and service together with you in joy and love.
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year filled with gratitude!
Brunch buffet items at Yafa Cafe

Our Fabulous Weekend Brunch Buffet Has Arrived

By Update No Comments

You can only wish you were in a warmer climate like Bethlehem, Beirut or Casablanca. Yafa Café’s new weekend brunch menu will transport you there. We may not have a magic carpet but our food is wonderful and we have put a lot of thought into our new brunch menu.

Weekend Brunch Standards

It is served on weekends until 3pm so you can still sleep in before coming in. The great food, the warm ambience and the good vibes in our café will bring you back weekend after weekend. We feature many of our team’s favourite dishes on the new menu. It is a wonderfully middle eastern medley of tastes ranging from Tunisian Shakshuka to Lebanese Batinjen. Of course, It is still the Arab street food you love but done brunch style instead. Each dish is freshly made using locally sourced fresh vegetables (whenever possible), halal meat and hand dried spices.

Brunch buffet items at Yafa CafeYou choose your brunch menu when you come in. We have added special menus for those who are vegan or don’t eat gluten. Pick a drink from the extensive menu. We recommend trying our coffee specialities and traditional Middle Eastern teas. For more fruity tastes, check out our juices flavoured with orange blossom. 

Traditionally Arabic Brunch

The “Traditionally Arabic” brunch is commonly eaten in many Arab countries. Creamy hummus, foul (fava beans flavoured with lemon juice and garlic, served with olive oil, chopped parsley, tomatoes and lemon juice), falafel and zaatar paired with hot bread straight out of the oven. Satisfying and filling, this much loved breakfast has stood the test of time and taste buds everywhere.

For some, brunch isn’t it without eggs. Shakshuka (slow-cooked sweet smokey tomato, red onion, pepper, garlic sauce, mixed with parsley, coriander and topped with an egg and herbs) is a traditional Tunisian dish that has been widely adopted throughout the Middle East. The Shakshuka is paired with a manakeesh (Mediterranean flatbread topped with zaatar, cheese or meat) and a dip for the pita bread. This brunch will surely keep you full for hours. 

Vegan & Gluten-free Options

Whether you are vegan or not, there’s lots to love about the Village Vegan Brunch. Age old Middle Eastern spice combinations bring out the rich flavours in the vegetable combinations in every dish. From Batinjen (eggplant stew) to Khodra (Lebanese vegetable casserole), our plant based brunch is the perfect marriage of dishes. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised. 

If you don’t consume gluten, we have the Without Gluten Brunch choice that’s perfect fo you. Mini mix grill, falafels, vegetables, labneh (thick yogourt) dip are all part of this great deal. You can also opt for mini mix grill, mutabal dip, falafels if that suits you better.

Just Desserts

Add a freshly baked baklawa or basbousa to your brunch for just $2 extra. Babousa means “just one kiss” in Arabic. It is a traditional Middle Eastern cake that originated in Egypt. It’s made with semolina batter, sweetened with orange flower water and topped with an almond. Very sweet and tasty especially with tea!

Come on by and ask us about our new weekend brunch.

Family having Arabic food brunch at Yafa Cafe

Updated dishes from Yafa Café, msakhan wrap

Updated Dishes & New Look to Serve You Better

By Update No Comments

Summer is here, and so are all our visitors, family and friends. It’s an excellent time for all of us, especially that we have updated dishes and a new look for you.

The sun is shining and the surf beckons. Thanks to everyone who visited and has taken the time to review our café.

Updated dishes from Yafa Café, msakhan wrapRemodelling

After an extended period of remodelling, we feel like the butterfly emerging from her cocoon. We’ve transformed and free to soar.
We are thrilled to serve you the most delicious cuisine inspired by the simplicity of Arabic street food. With flavours so divine and always prices affordable. Whether vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or meat-lover, we create dishes to please every palate.

New Services

Each ingredient for every meal is lovingly prepared according to the traditions of our family. Authenticity is truly something you can taste. If you have never before travelled to the Arabic coastal communities, rest assured, we’re delivering their delicacies to you right here. You can dine-in, take-out, get delivered, book catering or reserve for parties at our café.

Updated Dishes

We want to make it effortless for you to enjoy the many new dishes added to our menu. It’s all possible thanks to the additional equipment we bought to offer you even more delicious options:

  • Try the falafel — made from chickpeas and spices, rolled into balls and deep-fried to perfection
  • Treat yourself to shawarma — seasoned meats that are thinly cut and stacked on a vertical rotisserie
  • Give it a go with the ever-popular manakeesh — a versatile flatbread made sweet or savoury according to its toppings, like a pizza

Menu Specials

In honour of introducing our new menu, we created some food and drink specials you will surely to love:

  • Baklawa and coffee, $5
  • Seniors who are 60+ get a 10 % daily discount off any order

Final Words

We’re cooking up love from the other side of the world. It brings people together. It comforts, it nourishes, it delights. Thank you for letting us share the love with you. We hope you’ll be back for more.

Tunisian Shakshuka in Kalaya-style

Sneak Peek Into Our New Menu Options

By Update No Comments

Happy Canada Day! We’ve been working hard over the last few months. Our menu got a makeover with summer flavours infused. To celebrate the new season, our chef has introduced a selection of new menu options. These exceptional dishes showcase the best Arabic cuisine.

New Menu Options

We’ve kept some original dishes plus added a great new selection with some exciting and delicious new menu options. Here are some of the updates for you.

Appetizers

The best place to start is the appetizers. We’ve kept the most popular items and added 3 new ones to introduce our Taghmees “dipping” culture. It means sharing practice in Arabic cuisine.

We introduced the Tunisian Shakshuka in Kalaya-style and the Potato Mfarrakeh Kallaya, potato and eggs marinated with spices.  Also, we added the famous Lebanese Batata Harra, cubed potato fries mixed with cilantro, lemon, garlic, and chilli flakes.

Tunisian Shakshuka in Kalaya-style

Main Entrées

The masterpiece of Syrian Cuisine are a new addition. The Shishbarak Dumplings, ear-shaped dough filled with meat, spices, and herbs, dipped in a cooked yogurt sauce with garlicky olive oil infused with dry mint. Shishbarak was initially sampled as a special and the response was overwhelming.

You are going to love the Bamya (ladies’ fingers). This stew cooked in a tantalizing tomato base topped with fried garlic and served with fresh bread.

Farrouj Mashwi is our latest feature. Get a whole grilled chicken with a taste to remember.

Wraps

The Msakhan sandwich wrapped with veggies and introduced the Iraqi Vegetarian Sandwich-Baghdadi Arous, are back. Some of our guests tried it, and they raved about it so much that we just had to add it to the main menu. You will see that this is the most incredible sandwich you have ever tried. Filled with fried vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, salad, shatta (hot sauce), hummus, and pickled mangos with fenugreek, it’s a taste you will remember.

Iraqui sandwich, Baghdadi Arous

Family Platters & Combos

Next, we went heavy on the family platters and the combos. We realized that everyone has their own individual taste, different but all good. When you’re dining out with a group of people it gives you the freedom of choice.

Desserts

The signature baklava recipe took years to perfect. The winning result is a melt-in-your-mouth treat. It has since become a customer favourite. Handmade in the Yafa Café bakery, this sweet Arabic dessert is crafted with 60 paper-thin phyllo pastry leaves. It features layers of minced walnuts, almonds, plant-based ghee, cinnamon, honey, rose water, and a splash of lemon.

We have introduced the basbousa, made with semolina ghee and our yummy syrup. Both are a vegan option to satisfy the sweet tooth.

New menu options, Basbousa dessertDrinks

In the drinks department, we added more than 10 new fantastic selections of drinks that our baristas have crafted. It will impress you for sure!

Final Words

Discover the dishes scented with aromatic spices, succulent desserts and lovely drinks served at our café.  Those are the highlights from the new menu. Come on in and try them out and let us know your thoughts!

 

Helping People like Maria

Helping People like Maria Start a New Life

By Update 2 Comments

We are helping one of our own, and we hope you will join in.

Helping People like Maria

Ghada, Maria’s Mom

We are helping one of our own, and we hope you will join in. Ghada, Maria’s mom, arrived in Canada in August 2015. She lost 4 of her children. Ghada’s journey to Canada was one of much hardship and pain. She is thankful every day that two of her surviving children, aged 14 and 19 are happy, safe and can go to school here. Ghada is longing to have her other daughter Maria (28) and her grandchildren to join her. She hopes that Maria and her family are going to be safe. Canadian supporters would help them once they reach Canada.

Support From Winnipeg

A group of concerned Winnipeg-based Canadians, and the owners, employees and members of the Yafa Café, have partnered with the Mennonite Church. We are working together to facilitate the sponsorship of Maria and her family: the parents and their two children. Our mission is to sponsor and make a difference in the lives of this family of four. We aim to bring them to safety and security in Canada. To do that, we have a massive goal of raising $12,800 for the family. The in-kind deductions have reduced the amount set out by Canada. The family we are sponsoring is related to a Winnipeg family and a worker at Yafa Café. We raised some money to pay for the family to be sponsored to come to Canada.

How Far Would You Go?

How far would a mother go to save her family? For Maria, the question was one of life and death. When Ghada, a widowed mother, first worked for us at Yafa Cafe in the winter of 2017, she was a proud woman. She didn’t want to stay on social assistance. However, it was apparent that she was in distress.

Later we found that four of her children had died during the Syrian war. The reasons were diverse:

  • lack of medications
  • bombing
  • sudden illness
  • not finding treatment
  • a disabled child who could not live under the stress of war

She was in a dire situation. Ghada sold her last remaining pieces of gold jewellery to pay for their medical treatment. It did not help. She lost her husband and four children. With a heavy heart, she walked the journey to Jordan with her remaining three children.

Dangerous Road Ahead

They had to make a dangerous journey through a war zone. Passing countless checkpoints, they were at the mercy of cruel security forces. Ghada and her children lived in a tent at Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Her daughter Maria got married. She did not qualify as accompanying dependent with her mother when Ghada was selected as a refugee by Canada. The situation for this beautiful family could not be more perilous. These are people with lives and families and careers that are facing a choice that none of us can imagine. Our Yafa Café Group, like so many others that I know, wants to do something. But it is expensive to get a family relocated to Winnipeg.

Raising Funds

For each adult and family, we must raise enough money to help with rent, furniture, food, clothing, medical aid, and general living expenses. We will be responsible for all their needs for one full year. We are a very committed group. Mobilizing the passion and concern within our community to act and help those affected and displaced by civil war is our aim. Along the way, we are organizing and hosting other awareness events and activities. This will bring awareness to the plight of this displaced family and hope you can join us.

Celebrate Father’s Day With Us

Father’s Day is coming up on June 16th! The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. A great way to show Dad you care by treating him to Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner at Yafa Cafe this month! We’ve got a menu that’s sure to suit his every craving. Catch up over hearty favorites like our Makloubeh, grilled BBQ platters, Manakeesh and extravagant Arabic desserts.

Share a Yafa Cafe Gift Card With Someone You Love

Summer and holidays are right around the corner. This is a perfect opportunity to give the gift of an Award-Winning Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch this season! Yafa’s gift cards are perfect for Easter Baskets, Mother’s Day, End-of-Year Teacher Gifts, Graduations, Father’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries & more!

Mother's Day

Celebrating Mother’s Day at Yafa Café

By Events No Comments

Each May we gather to celebrate the first woman in our lives — Mama! This Mother’s Day, we collected thoughts from our staff.

Mother’s Day Thoughts

In honour of Mother’s Day, we asked Yafa Café’s staff to share a few words about why they are grateful for their mothers. Here are some answers:

Mother's Day

Cooking Genes

“… I get my cooking genes from her! She was always an amazing chef and educator. I loved how she cooked when I was a kid — my favourite is the salad Mom made every day. The key to this delicious salad is the freshness of the ingredients. It is rare to have a Palestinian meal without including a salad. The vibrant colours act as an electrifying addition to the main dish. My father always added hot peppery bites, which gave it an amazingly delicious taste. This salad is authentic, flavourful & super healthy.”

Always There For Me

Mom made me who I am in every sense of the word. She has always been there for me and understood me, encouraged and pushed me to be my best. She makes my heart smile. My mother, who’s from Iraq, is my role model. Caring, compassionate, supportive, patient, flexible, dependable, honest, hardworking, organized, creative, handy, appreciative, is who my mother was. This woman taught me so many life lessons and core values, which make me who I am today.”

Biggest Support

“She taught me I could do anything and supported all the crazy things I did in life as long as they were connected to a purpose.” Mom encouraged me to pursue the highest education. Mama knows me better than anyone else. Everything I learned from her I want to infuse in my children, the open heartedness, the acceptance, the self-worth, honesty and intelligence. Thank you, Mama.”

I Wish I Knew Better

“…As I grew older, I wish I had known better; I stopped making mistakes when my mother became my very best friend. She knows me inside and out and has taught me to be everything that I am proud of!”

The Bond Was Broken

Mother-daughter bond was broken early, as mom left me to take care of my five siblings, no custody battle. Seeing them so sad broke my heart, even though I was only 18. I wanted to make them happy again. Doing all the cleaning and cooking was my way of trying to cheer them up. Now I feel sad for the young girl who was me. I should have been studying, not worrying about raising my brothers and sisters.

There were good times before she left. She always made a fuss on our birthdays. Christmas was always wonderful. She would make a special game to find exactly the things we asked for. Almost four years later, I still bear the scars of my mother’s decision to leave her family for another man. The abandonment and rejection that shaped my life, but I love my mom and wish to send her a big HUG.”

With Love From Yafa

Yafa’s Cafe team is sending an “I Love You” to all the mother figures in your lives.

Share a Yafa Cafe Gift Card With Someone You Love

Summer and holidays are right around the corner. This is a perfect opportunity to give the gift of an Award-Winning Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch this season! Yafa’s gift cards are perfect for Easter Baskets, Mother’s Day, End-of-Year Teacher Gifts, Graduations, Father’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries & more!

Barista Chyna, valuable member

Valuable Member Spotlight – Chyna Morissette

By Newsletter No Comments

Showing off our employees on our blog gives us an avenue for our customers to learn about them – the valuable member spotlight. Chyna Morissette was born in Vancouver. She joined Yafa Cafe as a Barista when we opened the cafe back in 2017.

Barista Chyna, valuable member

Valuable Member

Ever since then, Chyna became an extremely valuable member of the Yafa Café team. Chyna is knowledgeable, reliable, hardworking, and a team player. She is always willing to lend an extra set of hands. Most importantly, she comes to work every day with a smile on her face and has a can-do attitude that inspires her fellow team members. No doubt, Chyna is a very valued member of the team.

Chyna came to work for Yafa Cafe as she was previously working for the owners when they had their previous business. They recognized her value, and asked her to join them in their new venture. She happily accepted and stayed with them for over a year and a half before setting off on a new adventure.

Work Like I’m Playing a Violin

Coming to work is like playing the violin for Chyna: “I do this work the way a violinist plays her instrument,” she said, “with feeling.” It’s an interesting way of looking at one’s work but surely a very creative way, that shows passion and affection.

Chyna loved Yafa Café so much that after she left, she asked the owners to hire her sister.

Yafa Cafe Gift Card

Yafa Café gift cards

Share a Yafa Cafe gift card with someone you love. It’s a great, easy gift to give to anyone for any occasion.

Summer and holidays are right around the corner. This is a perfect opportunity to give the gift of an award-winning breakfast, brunch or lunch restaurant this season. Yafa’s gift cards are suitable for Easter baskets, Mother’s Day, end-of-year teacher gifts, graduations, Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries and more!

Arab Cultural Exhibition 2018

By Events No Comments
We are proud to have had the opportunity to sponsor the 3rd annual Arab cultural exhibition at the University of Manitoba on March 2nd, 2018. 
The exhibition featured multiple countries from the Middle East and gave attendees an idea of the Arab culture. From dress, to food, to accessories, to music to art, there was much to enjoy at the event.

Photo Gallery

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