Ever since Caramel Pumpkin opened up on Wijerama Mawatha, we've been seeing ridiculously cute Instagram posts about the place and the food. We finally paid a visit to check them out.
Their menu is pretty much what you'd expect at a modern Colombo cafe, except that they've managed to put up some catchy names for their dishes and drinks like "You Got a Beef with Me?" "Ragin' Cajun", "One Night in Bangkok", etc. Along with their selection of contemporary Western dishes, they've also got range of cheesecakes (bake and no-bake), apple pies, cakes, muffins, and cookies which they'll usually have on display.
We started off with a Mamma Mia (Rs. 750) which is from their pasta range. The great thing about this is that you can customize it (pasta + sauce + protein + topping), which is something we haven't come across in our cafes. We chose the roast chicken penne pesto pasta with oregano and chili flakes. It was absolutely delicious. Slightly al dante with a well-seasoned pesto sauce, the pasta was an absolute treat with the thinly sliced chicken and the toppings giving it an added kick.
I was really excited to try the Quesadillas (Rs. 680)… but it sadly didn't deliver. I tried the vegetarian option, which could have benefitted from a bit more variety in terms of veges. The filling inside only had bell pepper, corn, and lots and lots of mozzarella. While the tortillas had a nice subtle crunch to them, the overabundance of mozzy meant the quesadillas fell apart as we ate them. That being said, a few more veges and a bit less mozzarella could improve this overnight.
Being suckers for cheesecake, Vishvi and I couldn't help eyeing these massive slices on display. The Blueberry Cheesecake (Rs. 450) was a whopping slice for such a reasonable price. We really hope they stick to it because I can safely say you will not get a better deal anywhere else. The cream cheese filling was not as dense as the one we had at Sugarcube, but it was still rich and creamy with a light biscuit base. The blueberry coulis, however, was way too sweet for our taste (your mileage may vary). A bit less sweetness would really help the sourness of the bluberries also come through, and really bring the entire dish together.
Their drinks have the same catchy titles like the food such as, Like a Boss, The Girl Next Door, Old Faithful etc. They have all your favorite coffees, along with fresh juices, cold drinks, milkshakes and iced teas.
We tried the Like a Boss (Rs. 650) which is their signature drink. Since the blurb didn't mention what it was, we didn't really know what to expect. It was basically a frappe with fresh milk, caramel, and whipped cream. The drink itself is very milky which appeal some more than others, but we would have liked to have tasted a bit more caramel coming through.
We also tried My Girlfriend's Girlfriend (Rs. 650) which is their Belgian Hot Chocolate. They have used some great Belgian chocolate because the strong chocolate aroma was undeniable. Unfortunately, the texture was quite watery with very little milk added. If the drink was creamier, it would have been a treat.
Service and Ambience
The staff is lively, attentive and very friendly. Their service is very efficient as our food arrived within 10-15 minutes.
I was instantly drawn to the cozy atmosphere of the place. It is everything you want in a cafe; spacious, peaceful and comfortable. They have three floors (third one still under renovations we believe) each decorated with framed quotes and artsy paintings. The seating arrangements have quite the variety from cushioned chairs, booths, wooden benches and high chairs to bean bags.
It's a great place to hang out and enjoy some pasta and coffee, but the only thing that stood out on our first (unrated) visit was the pasta. They have just started out, so we would hope they can improve on their dishes in the coming months. It's a nice location and already buzzing so we have high hopes.