Barista (Bambalapitiya).

Barista has been here for a while now. A coffee chain hailing from India, it's now operated by Lavazza.  On a happy Monday, while cruising by Majestic City, we dropped by this roadside cafe to grab something to boost up our energy.  

Food & Drinks

Our past experience with them wasn’t the best there is, so, we didn’t really have high expectations of them during our visit. But, seeing how they have updated their menu by adding a few new items managed to spark our interest.

Scanning through their menu, you can see the new items have the “new” moniker next to them. They have separate menus for breakfast and lunch, sporting hot/ cold coffee-based items, sandwiches, wraps and meals. Given that we dropped by around 11:30 am, they graciously let us order from the lunch menu as well.

The Nutella Shake (Rs. 690) was adequately chilled, served in a tall glass, and jumping ropes with the line of being too sweet – but the thick chocolate flavour kept it in balance with the signature Nutella flavour seeping through. This frothy shake did the job of adding the much needed chocolatey goodness to the day.

Affogato (Rs. 350) was another new item on their menu and this one came with a shot of espresso topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The ice cream subdues the bitterness of the espresso shot, so even if you're not the biggest coffee drinker, it works out just fine. Plus, you don't need any sugar here to make sense.

Our Tandoori Chicken Wrap (Rs. 560) came filled with pieces of chicken, lettuce, onions, as well as a fried egg and chunks of chicken sausages which we got as add-ons as per the recommendation of the staff.

The chicken pieces were delightfully marinated which gave a nice spicy flavour and a peppery undertone that we quite frankly didn’t expect. The spiciness was well balanced by the lettuce and the cucumber. We appreciated the egg add-on because it helped to boost up the flavour mix in the wrap.

While I didn’t mind the sausages, my colleague found that it was unnecessary and ended up removing it. But all in all, we are happy with it.

We were curious about what they did with their old items so we ordered the Ham & Cheese (Rs. 320). This too came with the same suggested add-ons – egg and sausages. The bread nicely toasted with the right touch of the panini maker, while the insides were all soft. Stuffed with a slice of cheddar cheese, a slice of ham, a fried egg and a slathering of butter on the inside, it was alright.

The ham seemed fresh and it covered most of the bread, while sharp cheesy taste took authority on the flavour. It paired went well with the egg and made things more balanced. The sausages helped to increase the general meatiness of the sandwich, which we enjoyed. 

Ambience & Service

The place hasn’t changed much and it is still giving the same comfortable café vibes. We didn’t have any intrusions from the noise and the place was clean. You can chill inside with the AC or enjoy a smoke outside if you prefer. The place can hold about a dozen people, if not more.

We appreciate the cashier suggesting the add-ons even though she forgot to mention the price of each up front (Rs 120 each if you are wondering). While the food didn’t take “long” to come to us, we definitely felt “hey, where is it” running through our mind once or twice.

From the moment we stepped in, we were greeted with a warm welcome and we were thanked when heading out too.

Conclusion

We were pleasantly surprised with the overall experience we had over at the Bambalapitiya of branch Barista. With the tweaks they’re doing, maybe they are making a comeback. While their food is not the cheapest there is, you can drop by them if you want to chill and grab a quick decent meal with a friend or two.

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