Yalamaya Kendra – Dhokaima Cafe complex dates back to the 1920s, when it was used as horse-carriage house, stable, cowshed and offices for a Rana palace. Much of the complex retains its original architectural features of wood, mud-mortar, brick, tile, and lime pointing and embellishments.
The outer wall of the Dhokaima outdoors is part of the original city walls of Patan town, and overhead is a tall and spreading walnut tree.
The interior of Dhokaima is designed by architect Siddhartha Gopalan to reflect the first two decades of the 20th century. The elements used include of steel I-beams, in both structure and motifs, rolled tin sheets at the bakery counter, and light fixtures to reflect the era. The prints of deities by Raja Ravi Verma of Kerala are of the same period. A sofa designed by the architect Le Corbusier in 1929 has been recreated for the Rukhmuni Bar (under the Silver Cotton tree). The floor is of telia (oiled) bricks.
Dhokaima (‘right at the gate’) is named for its proximity to Patan Dhoka, leading into the old city of Patan (also called Yala and Lalitpur). The gate replaced an earlier structure after the Great Earthquake of 1934. The restaurant also opens to the Patan Bookshop.