Café La Défense.

Located at Park Road, Café La Défense is a coffee shop that serves a range of desserts, coffees and frappés. It's been less than a month since they opened their doors to Colombo's growing coffee shop scene, and here's what we gathered from our First Look.

Desserts and Drinks

Although their Facebook page and website speak of freshly made salads and sandwiches, when we dropped by there was only an array of desserts to choose from. So, we opted for a slice of Chocolate Cake (Rs 350), Mango Delight (Rs 450), a Muffin (Rs 250) and a Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping (Rs 450).

This was your average baked cheesecake topped with strawberry sauce. The tart sauce cut well through the mild tasting cheesecake, although a slightly sweeter and creamier cheesecake would have taken this a couple of notches higher.

Mango Delight, as they call it, was a construction comprising of three layers – chocolate for the base, followed by vanilla, and, finally, topped with a mango mousse. While we weren't too happy with the crumbly, flaky bottom and tasteless vanilla, the top tasted strongly of mango and balanced off the unappealing chocolate and vanilla layers.

The slice of what looks like a good old chocolate cake, sadly, wasn't good enough for our liking. Although coated generously with ganache, we found the cake to be a little dry. 

Our muffin was reheated in a microwave. Soft with bits of blueberry thrown about, this was not too bad – it was your mediocre muffin.

For drinks, we got ourselves a Latte (Rs. 350) and a Choco Chip Frappé (Rs 350).  Served in a fairly large mug, the latte had a good balance of coffee and milk, neither overpowering nor underwhelming, and it was good value for money.

This frappé was a chocoholic's dream. Insanely chocolatey, topped with a scoop of ice cream, and reasonably priced. This may be a little too much to take for some, especially with chunks of chocolate swimming about. 

Service and Ambiance

Café La Défense has stuck to the generic coffee shop style of setting. The space is dimly lit, and there are wooden tables and chairs, plus couches in their private rooms. Although small in space, this spot is ideal for a quick meeting, some study time or a date. They have dedicated "mon amour" areas for couples who want privacy with their coffee.

For those who need a breath of fresh air (or an excuse to puff some cigarettes), there's seating outside, accommodating eight. 

In terms of service, the staff was cordial. They did take an unreasonably long time to serve our drinks, but prompt apologies were offered.

Conclusion

Colombo's newest coffee shop undoubtedly has a few glitches, but their drinks are reasonably priced and service is satisfying. With more attention to quality, there's clear potential for Café La Défense to become yet another buzzing spot for meet-ups and catch-ups.

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