Palato Frosty’s: Aisha loves chocolate | Lonumedhu

Palato Frosty’s: Aisha loves chocolate

Category: Interviews

 

There are times in life when you need a really hard hit of chocolate. Lucky for us in Male’, for such times there’s Palato Frosty’s. The choco-centric café turned one just a few weeks ago and we caught up with co-owner Aishath Nishath Ali Fahmy (Aisha) to have a chat about the café and her other foodie experiences.

 

Lonumedhu: Let’s start with the name of your café. I know that ‘palato’ has something to do with palate, but what about the ‘Frosty’s’ part?

Aisha: We were known as Frosty Cupcakes before. But its not just cupcakes that we planned to serve here; it’s food, cakes plus desserts, so this is something that represents our palate, Frosty’s palate, therefore Palato Frosty’s.

 

Lonumedhu: Ah, I see! What made you turn your cupcake business into a café?

Aisha: Frosty Cupcakes was a home-based business and we took orders through our Facebook page. A home-based business can only grow to a certain extent and we had reached that point. And we wanted more people to be able to come and enjoy our food.

 

Lonumedhu: You guys recently celebrated your first anniversary. How has the journey been so far? I remember the place being really tiny when you started.

Aisha: When we opened the café, our focus was on takeaways. The thing was, when we first rented the space, it wasn’t finished, and when the place was finally completed, it was a bit smaller than we expected. So we actually didn’t have space to put tables. Customers complained about the café being too tiny, and we also had people coming in and leaving after having a look. So we decided to expand. It’s been really tough, very stressful (laughs), especially because we don’t live here. First of all running a café itself is really challenging. And running it from three thousand miles away is an even bigger challenge.

 

Lonumedhu: So do you have to visit Male’ often to take care of business?

Aisha: Yes. We come here like almost once a month.

Lonumedhu: Okay, that sounds a bit hectic.

 

Lonumedhu: My first impression of the place is a very chocolaty one. Do you happen to like chocolate a lot or is it one of your favourite ingredients or something like that?

Aisha: Yes! Absolutely (laughs), always! Everything chocolate, that’s absolutely my favourite, I can eat an entire chocolate on my own in one go.

 

Lonumedhu: All right, wow.

Aisha: And whenever I eat chocolate I always wonder how I could make it into a dessert. That’s why we are mostly focused on chocolate. And we try to get the best chocolate out there.

 

Lonumedhu: Your chocolate drink here is so strong. It’s like drinking coffee. I had it too late at night and couldn’t sleep.

Aisha: Really?

Lonumedhu: Yes.

Aisha: That’s actually made from melted 64% dark single origin chocolate; it comes from rare cocoa beans from Madagascar that has acidic, sharp and red fruit notes, and its caffeine content is also relatively high.

 

Lonumedhu: I love the turkey and beef sandwich here too. What did you have in mind when you designed the menu?

Aisha: We wanted to bring something different that excites the palate and makes your day. The turkey and beef sandwich is a very simple sandwich in essence, but it’s elevated by the brioche bread we make it in. It’s not everyday that you eat sandwiches made in brioche bread. Our aim always is to add a little bit more love to the food that is served here.

 

Lonumedhu: What other goodies can we get from here?

Aisha: There are over eight different flavours of desserts, cupcakes, scones, cookies, artisan tea, espresso based coffee, filter coffees & made-to-order cakes.

 

Lonumedhu: So, we’ve reached that part of the interview where we ask the big question; what’s your relationship with food?

Aisha: Food is love for me. Good food makes my day. I think it’s another way of spreading happiness. When I was a kid, I remember my dad inviting people over for huge meals and they would enjoy it. I found that very intriguing. That’s one of my strongest childhood memories and I think those memories somehow instilled a relationship with food in me. I tend to do the same thing now, cook up feasts, invite friends and share the joy. It’s just beautiful. Makes my day and theirs too.

 

Lonumedhu: What about baking?

Aisha: Baking is very close to my heart. My mom’s sister loves baking. She would make these apple and orange cakes, phenomenal chocolate cakes and they were just legit pieces of edible happiness. The phenomenon of creating something and watching it become a legit piece of an edible thing that puts a smile on people’s faces is my favourite bit of it.

 

Lonumedhu: How’d you learn to bake?

Aisha: By trial and error and research. But the first cake I ever baked was for one of my best friends’ birthday, before I learned anything about baking. I wanted to make something chocolaty and special, because we share the same craze for chocolate. So I baked a cake using my aunt’s recipe. And I decided to add more chocolate to it to make it even more chocolaty, and also with the resolve of baking a better cake than my aunt. And it turned out pretty good and everybody loved it. And people actually compared the cake with my aunt’s and preferred mine. So I was over the moon. After that I had a lot of time to myself when I moved, which I spent researching techniques used in professional kitchens and baking & food chemistry. I learned through videos recorded by students in practical lessons, I watched those and read textbooks used in schools as well. Actually if you don’t have that knowledge, it would be challenging to create something of your own.

 

Lonumedhu: What about the eating part of food? Do you explore different cuisines?

Aisha: I do try different cuisines though not very daringly. I don’t think I like Korean food or Chinese food. I don’t think those are for me. For me the aroma has to be appealing and inviting.

 

Lonumedhu: What’s your favourite cuisine?

Aisha: I love French food. I think they have a real connection with food and they understand it and appreciate it a little bit more. I love how they always put so much butter in their food that completely transforms the food.

 

Lonumedhu: Yes, they do put a lot of butter in it. We’ve reached the end of the interview, so last question; what’s next for Palato Frosty’s?

Aisha: Along with our sandwich and Saturday brunch, right now we are serving food only for breakfast. So we are looking into creating a regular food menu with options different to what’s usually available in the current food-sphere here. We feel like our customers want us to have food here.

Lonumedhu: Yes, regular food would really be nice. That’s something to look forward to. Anyway, happy anniversary and thanks so much for having us here!

 

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