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Ratings and reviews

Travellers' Choice


USD 7 - USD 18
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
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meals, features, about
Reviews (247)
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All reviews goat tasting plate flat bread injera stews red lentil meat stew peas cake ethiopian food one man show the owner chef shared platter amazing food friendly service dishes shai
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Reviewed 12 April 2022

A welcoming, unpretentious eatery in a prime Ballarat location. The food was delicious, and the numerous groups were well managed by the dedicated owner. We had the pre-booked coffee ceremony which was a lovely experience. While sitting for lunch we were already planning our next...visit with the kids.More

Date of visit: April 2022
Reviewed 12 March 2022

Very friendly and helpful service with a tea given initially while waiting. Interesting selection of many veggie dishes with the varying meat ones and of course the Injera.. Easier to park than in Sturt St.

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed 8 January 2022 via mobile

Owner/chef warmly welcomed us and served hot tea. Copied another table and ordered tasting platter for two. Myself and two teens - food was more than enough with addition of bread & rice. Boys first try of African and enjoyed the new gourmet flavours. Tapas-like...bowls (8) with 2 meat stew plus 6 vegetarian varieties. Delicious. Payment at end options: cash or send to his BSB/acct.More

Date of visit: January 2022
Reviewed 4 November 2021

We had a really great meal with the shared platter. The food is delicious. I recommend ordering rice as well as bread. The owner is very helpful, although when you first sit down and wait for service, it's a bit confusing until you realise one...person is doing it all. It is BYO. For payment you either need cash or can do it via bank transfer. Once you know the way the restaurant works, it is fine! Would have appreciated a takeaway menu.More

Date of visit: October 2021
Reviewed 5 October 2021 via mobile

Terrific food and an unexpected find in Ballarat. Big flavours and low prices. Relaxed vibe in this unpretentious eatery. Definitely worth the effort to visit. Staff were friendly and only too happy to assist us in picking some suitable dishes. Highly recommend you try when...next in town.More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 19 September 2021

We were in Ballarat last week and needed to grab a quick meal. We chose Merkama on the strength of the positive reviews. We decided to have samosas and cake as we did not have tome to do justice to the curries. We sat down...and very quickly we were given some welcome (free) Ethiopian tea, Shai, and it was really good. We ended up ordering two pots more of this as we enjoyed it so much. We had a couple of meat and a couple of vegetarian samosas each. They were really nice. We then finished with a slice of Persian Love cake each which was really yummy. Apart from a person who came in for some takeaway we were the only customers at that time. We found the owner/chef/waiter to be friendly and obliging. We plan to return and have the full curry experience another time.More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 29 July 2021 via mobile

Absolutely incredible food! And such friendly staff I would 110% recommend going to this amazing place! Food was incredible, I could hardly stop eating! Owner/staff was so friendly, funny and a beautiful human. You are missing out if you have not eaten here!! 5/5

Date of visit: July 2021
Temam Akmel Hussen, Owner at Cafe Merkama, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2021

Thank you

Reviewed 29 July 2021

Such lovely food and a great atmosphere. We went as a table of 10 and got shared platters, which was perfect for our group. Everyone loved all the dishes we were served and cleaned up the plates before they were collected. Absolutely to die for...Persian Love cake!!!More

Date of visit: July 2021
Temam Akmel Hussen, Owner at Cafe Merkama, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2021

Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it.

Reviewed 8 July 2021 via mobile

Good marketing and high rating on TripAdvisor. Therefore apart from another one table young tourists sitting next to us, there is not one walk-in, no local residents at all during whole lunch time. The meal tastes are bit salty but acceptable, overall the quantity and...quality compare with the price is less satisfied.More

Date of visit: June 2021
Temam Akmel Hussen, Owner at Cafe Merkama, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2021

Sorry dear, the place is for dinner. If you come evening time you will see more people.

Reviewed 30 June 2021 via mobile

Having not had African cuisine for several years we were excited to find one in Ballarat! It is a basic looking restaurant with authentic decor and appears to be run by one passionate chef/server/cashier/owner? The menu is straight forward and easy to share with a...small or large group. Pick your favorites and go for it! Very well priced for amount of food and the service was excellent. Wish we lived closer so we could go back again and again!!!More

Date of visit: June 2021
Temam Akmel Hussen, Owner at Cafe Merkama, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2021

Thank you

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Questions & Answers
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22 February 2020|
Response from jamessQ7235AW | Reviewed this property |
Yep, from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
Rosemary P
28 June 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from IntrepidNomad69 | Reviewed this property |
Yes, byo is welcome.
Marie D
26 August 2015|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from cafemerkama | Property representative |
From 12pm to 9pm
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Frequently Asked Questions about Cafe Merkama

Yes, Cafe Merkama offers takeaway services.

Cafe Merkama is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4