Printed from:
2023-10-04 06:30:07


DINING -> Restaurants
By Andra Kunstgerga. 16.01.2014

Palasta 7 , Riga Mobile: 2976 5445
Skype: 3
Working hours: Mon-Thu 09.00 - 21.00
Fri 09.00 - 23.00
Sat 10.00 - 23.00
Sun 10.00 - 16.00

With unusual features and objects adorning the interior, this cafe also poses as a gallery space for design ideas. This wafer-thin restaurant and café is often fully occupied with the small-scale corporate events it hosts upstairs. With unusual features and objects adorning the interior, Makonis also poses as something of a gallery space for novel design ideas.

Run by a friendly bunch of smiling young chaps recently returned from working in London, Makonis always pours a great cup of Illy coffee, and if it’s not too busy the food is excellent too. A German chef works behind the scenes together with two young assistants.

Choose from four tiny tables downstairs – some no bigger than a plank of wood – or a marginally larger space above, reached via a pencil-thin spiral staircase behind the bar. There are two more floors as well, used as additional function zones.

Seven options are usually available for breakfast up to midday, followed by business lunch until 4pm that changes every day, and a menu for the late afternoon and evening that changes each week. If the details aren’t chalked up clearly on the board, one of the lads will explain in English.

On the day we visited, chicken and coconut soup was up for lunch followed by whitefish and couscous plus a glass of lemon water, all for €5.60. Breakfast could be a club sandwich (also €5.60), a slice of veggie quiche (€2.80), or muesli with yoghurt and fresh fruit (€4).

In the evenings, homemade “eco-syrups” that take a month to prepare go into the cocktails.

Amid the red-brick walls and vaulted ceilings, many of the intriguing objects on show have been designed in Latvia and can be purchased by customers – even the sturdy iron-and-a-plank-of-wood tables.

New ideas for combining materials are not lacking in Latvia, clearly. In Makonis you’ll see, among others things, tastefully designed black electricity sockets, a huge clock made of little round mirrors and fur, mirrors fashioned from old frying pans, framed photos of bubbles, and a massive central ball-shaped lampshade made of white crepe paper. And that’s just the first floor. It’s a work in progress, one of the fellows assures me.

The mother of one of the chaps is the president of the Latvian Designers’ Society, which obviously helps a bit, and artists and designers often congregate on the fourth floor. Whether it’s food or design or both, Makonis is a hive of artistic activity.