Found in the literal heart of Kandy, Cafe Secret Alley is quite literally the most boho cafe you could possibly find in the entire hill country.
A company of gnarled-up stairs, antique brass shops, cement elephants and plenty of graffiti to get you to make that rather haphazard trip to the cafe, we bring you, Cafe Secret Alley.
As ironic as it seems, Cafe Secret Alley was actually the easiest cafe to find on our list. It's right next to the Dalada Maligawa and after you've found that one small board with its name on it, the process is easier than squeezing Narang.
Apart from adjusting the exposure, this picture is as #nofilter as it could get. So, If you still manage to get lost trying to find the place, helping you is more or less beyond us.
Planted in a literal nook of the Kandy town, Cafe Secret Alley has one of the nicest ambiences imaginable.
With brightly coloured walls, rustic white furniture and plenty of natural pouring in through homely, old fashioned windows, the ambience at Cafe Secret Alley screams boho and we loved it.
They've got pineapples as table decor and the combination of that and the bright tones gave off gorgeous beachy vibes that we thought was really nice. It's a great place to go to if you're looking for a great background for your food and given the rusticness of the whole place, it's great for having a bit of brunch whilst feeling like you've entered a Spongbob Squarepants themed park.
Don't get us wrong, there's nothing to complain about here.
Following suit to the general atmosphere of the restaurant, the food at Cafe Secret Alley too feeds to that inner part of you that wants to be a hippie. With a mix of vegan food and very little non-vegetarian options, they're not too shabby at what they serve up.
Sunshine Bliss at Cafe Secret Alley refers to a smoothie bowl of mangoes, banana mush, bananas, oats, nuts, sesame seeds and a couple of dates hidden inside all the stuff that's going on, on top of it.
Coming in at a pretty decent Rs. 600, the smoothie bowl was big and almost too pretty to eat. However, when you do end up eating it, we're happy to say that it wasn't in any way, a disappointment. Topped off with some beautifully chopped up fresh fruit, the smoothie bowl was predominantly comprised of what we assumed was banana. With a bit of tang pulling through the mango and a crunch coming from the oats, we loved it.
See how big the bowl is?!
The one thing we weren't too ecstatic about was the dates. While the concept of dates seems wonderful, we would have preferred if the dates had been blended with smoothie itself to give it hauntings of honey when you eat it instead of the punches it gave through the actual whole fruit.
This was the Spaghetti (Rs. 600). A bowl full of spaghetti cooked al dente and drowned in a slightly watered down take on white sauce. Salty and having an abundance of mushrooms to shoo away the lack of meat, we liked it. However, there was a catch and the catch came in the form of nai miris.
When we asked the server to make it spicy, we didn't think he'd mean chopping up a handful of fresh nai miris and adding it to the sauce. But, apparently, that's exactly what spicy means. So, if you're not one to eat a lot of spices, we suggest not asking for the pasta to be made spicy because trust us on this, it's a lot nicer when you don't have to fish out tiny pieces of chilli before every bite and feeling your eyes water and your tongue fall off when you've missed a couple.
They give you pepper on the side, save yourself from the nai miris.
This is the Secret Latte (Rs. 450). An icy blend of coffee, cinnamon and chocolate. Slightly watered down with the coffee pulling through quite well, the Secret Latte was quite nice. There was very little chocolate involved and the cinnamon powder kept getting stuck at the back of our throat, but apart from that, we thought it was quite nice.
It isn't very sweet or anything, but, they seemed pretty okay with giving us a small bowl of honey when we asked for some sugar.
The Brownie Shake (Rs. 500) was utterly beautiful. Coming in as a basic chocolate milkshake topped with a wonderfully rich chocolate brownie and ice cream on top, we loved it. The brownie was super fudgy and the milkshake was neither sweet nor too chocolatey. All that comes from the brownie. A definite recommend on our part for this one.
The staff at Cafe Secret Alley was neither all that friendly nor rude, to be honest. Coming in at the right time to take our order and bringing our food within 10 minutes of placing our order, we couldn't complain.
We like it. The ambience is lovely and we had nothing to complain about the food either. If you're looking for some nice food sans meat, this is worth looking out for.