Brew Bar (Zylan Luxury Villa).

Note: We did this review when they were located in Bauddhaloka Mawatha. Now they have moved to Rosmead place. 

Brew Bar is a new coffee shop located on the ground floor of The Outlet Store on Bauddhaloka Mawatha. We dropped by the other day to check it out, mostly intrigued by the chic graphics on their Facebook page.

The Coffee

Brew Bar has a selection of coffee and coffee-based beverages, tea, iced tea, bubble tea and specials like Banoffee Peanut Butter Mocha and Mochacapa (this sounds interesting).

We went ahead and ordered an espresso and a cappuccino to see what’s what. The espresso was a single shot (LKR 390) but the barista asked if I wanted to a double. The cappuccino was also priced at LKR 390. We weren’t happy with both of them. The espresso just did not live up to the marketing, overly bitter and harsh. It was a similar story with the cappuccino, which was served in a tall glass with a lot of foam. The unpleasant notes came through the milk and we didn’t even want to finish it (although my companion did as he was very hungry!). I assume the lack of quality was due to the fact that they use a consumer-grade espresso machine, which was surprising since Brew Bar (as the name suggests) displays a coffee-focused image.

But then again, if you’re looking for a caffeine-kick after some shopping or you’re looking for a coffee based beverage like an iced coffee or a hazelnut latte, Brew Bar should do just fine.

Although the espresso disappointed us, the bottled iced coffee (LKR 200) from the refrigerator actually managed to hit the spot. It was a tad too sweet for my taste, but I assume most won’t really find this to be a problem. Sweet but strong in coffee flavor – and very milky – this should make you happy on a warm day.

We didn’t try their specials (and I really want to try their Banoffee Peanut Butter Mocha) so if you’ve tried them, do share your thoughts.

The Food

My companion hadn’t had lunch when we dropped by so we decided to get some of the savouries on the display case. We ended up with a Chicken Pie (LKR 120) and a Chicken Roll (LKR 120). The pie was filling and had a reasonable amount of chicken in it. Chicken roll had a bit more veggies than expected. These were ordinary short eats, similar to what you’d find at a Fab. We liked them, although there wasn’t anything to write home about.

For sweets, we decided to get a brownie (LKR 190) and a Nutella Fudge in a Jar (LKR 390). The brownie was a massive disappointment, mostly because it was hard as a rock. I tried to have a piece with a fork and when it didn’t work, we had to band together to stab at it, scratching the plates and making a mess. We finally managed to have a few bites of the rocky brownie and we were obviously unimpressed.

They were kind enough to give us some ice cream to go with the brownie, but it didn’t do much to improve the experience. The Nutella fudge was not bad… but it was also a confusing experience. The jar consisted of a few things: something similar to chocolate mousse, dotted with blobs of what I assume was Nutella.

In the bottom we found hard chocolatey pieces, similar to the rocky brownie we had earlier. The mousse was soft and tasted good, but the hardened Nutella didn’t really go well with it due to the difference in the consistency. The rock hard brownie-like bits ruined it for us, and we left them in the jar.

Location and Interior

Brew Bar occupies a small space on the ground floor, near the car park of The Outlet Store. There’s not a lot of space inside but they’ve used the available space well and it doesn’t feel claustrophobic. The L shaped space has two fixed tables facing a wall and the car park with tall chairs. They’re not super comfortable, but they get the job done.

A large neon sign ‘bla blah bla’ lights up the place with coffee related puns and texts adorn the other walls. The music is surprisingly nice and the sound quality was pleasing with a solitary Bose speaker pumping out the jams. It’s not too loud and you can have a conversation without any worry.There is a refrigerator stocking Nutella fudge and iced coffee bottles in the middle of the space. You can grab these without bothering the staff. The barista’s station is on the other end, a number of ‘Java House’ coffee packets and decorating it. The well designed logo and menus are nice to look at. It’s very well put together. We like the space.

If you drop by, make sure that you open the door outwards because it catches the tables if you push the door!

Service

The service was good. No complaints there. Due to the small space, it’s only staffed by the barista and he’s quick, friendly and attentive. He did get our bill wrong, but it was a small amount so we weren’t really bothered.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a quick bite and a beverage if you’re around Bauddhaloka Mawatha or after going on a shopping spree at the Outlet Store, the Brew Bar is a good pitstop. Their iced coffee is refreshing and it’s a nice place to chill at for a short while. But if you’re looking for really good specialty coffee, you’d probably want to look elsewhere.

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