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YAMU In The Daily FT: Froyo And Books


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This is YAMU's weekly column in the Daily FT newspaper. We've reproduced the text below:

FROYO 3.0

As far as we’re aware there are only three places in Colombo that sell frozen yoghurt – or froyo as it’s more affectionately known; at Yo-Mo, located on the ground floor of the World Trade Centre, Il Gelato and the Avirate Café.

Frozen yoghurt is a globally popular treat and provides the both delicious and healthy way to sort out sugar cravings – yes, it’s almost good to be true but not quite, froyos are 98% fat free.

We decided to eat our way through Colombo’s triumvirate of frozen yoghurts to discover which one’s tastes the best and is most worth your money.

Aviraté Café: Maitland Crescent

Avirate is a high-end clothing store on Maitland Crescent which now has it’s own café, just next to the shop. It’s a tiny little place, but very nice and the staff are lovely. They serve food (sandwiches, short eats, etc) and coffee – and now frozen yoghurt.

The froyo at Avirate is tasty, and there’s a selection of toppings to go with it – sprinkles chocolate chips, etc. Wish they had some fresh fruit or a nice berry compote – but it’s still good.

There’s a few flavours to choose from including chocolate, strawberry, and mango – but only two are available per day.

We recommend going for the cone, which is an affordable Rs. 120. A small cup costs Rs. 280, and the price just goes up from there – how much do you really want to spend on frozen yoghurt?

So go for the cone – it’s really quite good and is the tasty way to cool down after an morning spent in a tuk tuk with traffic. (read more)

Yo-Mo: World Trade Center

Yo-Mo is a small stall on the ground floor of the World Trade Centre selling frozen yoghurt – just that. The place is quite new, opening only about six months ago and their stuff is delicious. They’ve got a bunch of flavours including blueberry, passion fruit, strawberry and a whole variety of toppings to choose from like smarties, oreo cookes, mango slices and fresh strawberries. It’s great that they include fruit – this goes so well with the yoghurt. We’d recommend you try the plain with your choice of fruit – yum.

A normal cone costs just Rs. 100 and a waffle cone Rs. 150. You can get a regular cup for Rs 200 and a large for Rs. 300.

So how do Yo-Mo and Aviraté compare? Well, Yo-Mo is significantly cheaper and tastes just as good. Fro-yo comes from a machine anyway, so how much room for difference in quality can there be?

It really is a great way to cool down on a hot afternoon. Try it. Oh and best of all it’s 98% fat free. Win. (read more)

Il Gelato: ODEL, Duplication Road, Galle Road

Having sampled the frozen yoghurt at both Aviraté Café and Yo-Mo the final contender in Colombo’s triumvirate of froyos remained Il Gelato.

Il Gelato sells ice cream – about 16 different flavours – and has an outlet at ODEL as well as a branches on Duplication Road and at the new Seven Stories on Galle Road. We’ve had their ice cream before and always liked it, but never got round to trying the yoghurt.

They sell one flavour – plain – but it’s really quite good. The yoghurt is nice and tart, and not too ice-creamy as can sometimes be the case with frozen yoghurt. It’s not cheap though – one scoop cost a surprising Rs. 240. We also had a scoop of the fruits of the forest. This is a delicious delicious ice cream, nice and tangy and full of berries, but at Rs. 320 for a scoop it’s just too expensive. Who can afford that? You can get a litre of Kotmale for like Rs. 200.

The froyo at Il Gelato is good, really good. We might even like it best out of the three despite the lack of other flavours, but it’s still far too expensive for such a tiny treat. Stick with Yo-Mo. It’s tasty and affordable. (read more)

The Colombo Book Fair

The annual Colombo International Book Fair is the largest consumer/public fair in Colombo - attracting, their website claims, over 1 million visitors over its usual nine day run. The terrible state of the traffic in the vicinity of Baudhaloka Mawatha is a frustrating, diesel-belching testament to its popularity.

Virtually all the country’s major publishers run stalls at fair and ply their bound, and paperback wares at 15-20% discount.

Just about all the printed matter in the country seems to be available but beyond books the fair has evolved into something of a Colombo recreational event. With Rs. 10 tickets, lots of inexpensive food, a large, pleasant public space in which young men and women can meet and mingle without the imminent danger of sleaze, it’s not hard to see why people travel from as far as Galle and Negombo to attend this annual anomaly. (read more)
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