Tucked in a corner of Borella lies a building with a bunch of offices, a dentists clinic and a restaurant. And in all our time of passing this particular corner, we had somehow missed it, that is, until Vishvi asked Chathu and me to check it out.
Cafe 993 isn't a particularly fancy restaurant, neither is it a cafe per say, but instead, expect something more along the lines of a mix between a coffee club and a joint selling Sri Lankan Chinese food.
Fairy lights, a parking lot and a couple of tables with wooden chairs to pair it with, we found the ambience at Cafe 993 to be quite all right.
We happened to go sometime during late afternoon so neither the sun nor the heat was much of a problem to us, but, if you do happen to go during the day, they have an air-conditioned space in the back you can go with. Having said that, the ideal time to pay them a visit would have to be at night. There won't be any cars going up and down and the air would be much cooler.
The menu at Cafe 993 mainly comprises of rice and noodle-based dishes and a whole heap of meaty dishes to accompany whatever carb you choose to go with. From mutton to chicken to fish to a whole bunch of other things and maybe one page dedicated to veggies, it is pretty good.
We happened to kick things off with a Mixed Fried Rice(Rs. 680). The size small was big enough for one person to eat a giant meal of, or if you're not with someone who eats too much, you can get this to share. That being said though, we wouldn't necessarily suggest getting this because while it referred itself to mixed rice, the only mix we really saw was between a few minute pieces of sausage and veggies. And while the dish in itself was quite all right, we couldn't wrap our heads around the lack of diversity in the dish, which is essentially why we choose to say it is all right and nothing more.
Cafe 993 has a whole myriad of meaty options to choose from, and we decided to go with the Singapore Chilli Chicken (Rs. 780). At first, it did look promising. Maybe not in a " Singapore Chilli Chicken" kinda way, but as a dish to accompany your rice, it looked all right.
With a couple of pieces of slightly battered chicken pieces, the dish too followed suit to which we again say that it was okay. The taste of tomato sauce rang loud and clear on this one and paying Rs. 780 for a dish that essentially tastes like a mix between a Chinese style Chicken and a very tomato-ed version of Chop-suey, we wouldn't recommend it. Plus, the dish was sweet, it's okay if the dish had a level of spice to match, but it didn't, unfortunately.
The Fried Bean Curd with 3 kinds of Mushroom (Rs. 550) was pretty much the golden lining to our experience here. Tasting like a stranger version of chop suey, we really really liked this one. Accompanying 3 kinds of mushroom, the bean curd in the dish was the softest bean curd we've tried, period.
Packed with flavour, with just the right amount of salt and the surprise factor of an almost cloud-like Bean curd, we would definitely recommend this the next time you check the place out.
Apart from the rice-y options, Cafe 993 also happens to do things in the likeness of sandwiches and such. A 5 tiered sandwich with layers of tomato, cheese, creamy tuna, chicken ham, lettuce, mustard and egg, the Club Sandwich was priced at Rs. 950.
It was far too big for someone to get a bite of everything and once and reducing on the amount fo bread would have made the flavours in the sandwich stand a lot more clear. Accompanied by a coleslaw and a batch od fries that lacked salt, we weren't necessarily blown away by this one.
Pictured Above: Lime Juice (Left), Chocolate milkshake (Right)
If there's one thing we're sure of, it's that Cafe 993 does an absolute solid job on their drinks. Spiked with an almost excessive amount of lime, the Lime Juice (Rs. 250) came in a tall glass and had just the right balance between lime and sugar. Unfortunately, it arrived at our table unchilled, so when we sent it back for ice, they wound up refilling the glass with more lime juice as well.
The Chocolate Milkshake (Rs. 600) was a tad expensive but was all in all a success. Thick, creamy and packed with chocolate, this too arrived slightly warm but tasted quite good. Having just the right level of sweetness to wrap it all up, we loved this.
We can't really complain in terms of service, the staff was attentive and helped bring our food between 10/ 15 minutes of placing our order.
Our experience at Cafe 993 was all right, while they had some very good bits, they lacked a bit in others. But that being said though, it doesn't mean that our experience here was necessarily a bad one, we left satisfied and that's essentially what you look for in a restaurant.