Earlier last year, Cafe Noir opened up their first establishment in Pelawatta and we were thrilled with our experience. Unfortunately, towards the end of the year, we kept hearing the exact opposite of what we experienced.
When they opened up a new one in Thimbiri called Cafe Noir Blanc, we crossed our fingers and gave it a try. It's located right at the junction on Fife Road in Thimbirigasyaya to your left.
Their menu is the exact same as it was in Cafe Noir, with ranges of main dishes, sandwiches, burgers to plates of pasta, many of which are vegetarian-friendly.
The Penne Arrabiata (Rs. 980) was so disappointing, especially for the price. It was literally like eating just pasta and sauce. The pasta itself was overcooked and tasted quite bland despite us mixing it in with said sauce. The texture of the sauce was not thick enough to bind to the penne and it just kept dripping from the fork. Needless to say, we could not finish it.
Unfortunately, the Sweet & Spicy Stir-Fried Chicken with Garlic Butter Rice (Rs. 980) wasn't really step up either. The rice tasted undercooked and very cold. The seasoning was worse, akin to the stuff you get at the MC Food Court. The vegetables were very oily but compared to the rest, it was edible. The chicken was well cooked but again too heavy handed with the salty, especially the gravy. The salty gravy soaked all the way to the bottom of the rice as well, making the bottom half a sort of rice soup. Nope. Definitely not for us.
We also tried the Sweet Potato Fries (Rs. 320) because we absolutely loved it the last time we were there. Oh boy, what a reversal. This time around the fries had the texture of refried potato chips and tasted like the ones you find on street joints.
The trend continued with the Apple Pie (Rs. 480). We couldn't fathom how the dessert could be this bland and unappetizing. The dough felt rock hard, perhaps because it had been sitting in the display for so long. The filling actually had a good texture but didn't deliver in terms of flavour. We only ended up finishing the ice cream that came with it.
Their drinks menu has a wide range of coffee, tea, smoothies, shakes and the famous hot chocolate. However, we didn't get it this time.
I was excited about the Kiwi Shake (Rs. 540) but it felt par for the course when it arrived. The kiwi was non-existent, except for a little bit towards the end, even that was the syrup. It tasted more like a lassi and definitely too sweet due to the concentration at the bottom of the glass.
The Lively Lime and Orange Fusion (Rs. 280) tea was the only good thing we had and even that was just Dilmah. The tea was very refreshing, especially since the lime and orange helped clear our palates of all the food we didn't finish.
Service & Ambience
Contrary to the food and drinks, the service was excellent. The staff was friendly, efficient and accommodating. Our food was served very quickly, even though it was a crowded afternoon.
The ambience is more or less the same as the one at Cafe Noir. It's very spacious with incredible comfortable booths and chairs. They have an outdoor section which is nice at night.
It's hard to tell if the problem is at this branch or their quality of food has just gone downhill since our last visit. Whatever it is, we feel that they need to improve a lot when it comes to the quality of their food and drinks. At the moment, we can't recommend Cafe Noir Blanc.