It's nice to see all these popular cafés branching out to the suburbs so we don't have to drive all the way down to Colombo for a decent coffee. Coco Veranda opened up in Nawala last month and we popped by for a little visit. Their quality and standards haven't changed but we wish they would improve when it comes to their mains.
The Vegetable Moussaka (Rs. 830) we tried was not worth the price. It was a basic dish of baked veggies including eggplant, tomato, bell pepper and chickpeas, topped with mozzarella along with a side of cucumbers. Had it not been for the cheese, the dish would have tasted bland. The chickpeas, on the other hand, were much better than the veggies, with perfect seasoning and texture.
Also what is it with Coco Veranda and eggplants? The last time I went, the lasagna had a humongous piece of eggplant that was the size of my palm. This time, they used it as the base to drizzle the mozzarella on. You can't eat that many eggplants, no matter how healthy you want to be.
We also got an Eggs Benedict (Rs. 660) from their All Day Breakfast menu, which wasn't great. The English muffin was closer to a bun, dry and crumbly. The eggs were cooked well but it wasn't seasoned in the least so it was nothing special. Thankfully, the two slices of ham were fine.
For desserts, we tried their most popular Carrot Cake (Rs. 420). We haven't tried it before and maybe it was the slice we got, we weren't huge fans of it. The texture of the cake was dense and undercooked, except for the back of it which seemed to have burnt, and ironically that was the only part that was tasty. However, the cream cheese frosting was amazing, you can literally eat it on its own.
The Blueberry Chocolate Blend was the clear winner. It was a delicious chocolate milkshake with a fresh blueberry infusion. Unlike some blueberry shakes where you have to search for blueberries, you get the sweet and sour taste of it right off the first sip and there were chewy bits of pieces that hadn't blended properly. It was quite sweet but the blueberries sort of balance it out, so you won't get a chocolate high. We suggest you order this alone because it's really filling. I mean, look at the size of that glass!
The Latte too was really good, probably because they use Filicori coffee with a new machine. It's the perfect drink to have on a rainy day while you're cosied up on your couch with a book. It was sweet enough that the caffeine wasn't overwhelming, but not too sweet so that you can hardly taste the mocha.
Service & Ambience
Service was surprisingly better at this branch. The staff was efficient and friendly with smiles and nods all around. Our entire order was on our table within 15-20 minutes and the dishes were cleared as soon as we were done.
In terms of the ambience, this place is much more spacious than the one in Ward Place with a lot more seating area and a nice little garden. The interior is more or less the same with almost identical wall art and leather furniture. The place gets crowded towards the evening with their loyal customers dropping in for some coffee and cake.