The aptly named De Vos Cafe down De Vos Avenue is a cafe adjoining the newest boutique hotel in town – Talo Urban. We tried reviewing them a few months ago, but every time we went there it was either closed or had a food menu that's limited to paper.
Anyway, finally it's the day that we review De Vos. A trusted source announced that they have a new menu and there are no teething issues anymore, so we dropped by on a weekend afternoon.
Food & Drinks
De Vos Cafe does breakfast all day, and aside from that, they dish out a few salads, mains and sandwiches. As for drinks, they've got coffee (hot/cold), juices, shakes and mocktails.
Let's start with the drinks. The Hot Chocolate (Rs. 390) had a nice blend of chocolate and milk, but the consistency wasn't good enough to make a major impression. It's not something worth going all the way for. Perhaps they could enhance its creamy factor a little bit? That might be able to help with the texture and the flavor as well.
De Vos uses Soul coffee in their coffee based drinks. Served in a massive cup, the Cappuccino (Rs. 490) had a strong coffee aroma that emerges through the frothy milk, but sadly, the milk itself was a little overheated, so we had to keep adding sugar to revive its flavor.
Our food comprised of a French Dip Sandwich (Rs. 540) and an English Pub Breakfast (Rs. 990).
According to their menu, the French Dip Sandwich is supposed to be 'a hot sandwich, consisting of thinly sliced roast beef on a baguette topped with cheese and onions'. However, the one we got looked like this.
Sadly, the only elements that lived true to the above description were the cheese and onions. For starters, this is no baguette – it's just a sesame garnished, soft submarine bun, with a tinge of sweetness to it. It was stuffed with a good amount of cooked beef, but not roast, and had no flavors to save grace as it had zero seasoning, let alone being 'hot' as promised.
We had to keep dipping it in the broth that they served as a side (a broth from the cooking process), to have some flavor infused into this sandwich. The broth was hearty, oniony with a little saltiness to it, which helped us finish this sandwich despite the disappointment.
The only good thing about the English Pub Breakfast was the chunky hash brown with a slightly crispy bite to it, while the rest was just meh. It's comprised of a properly cooked jumbo chicken sausage, scrambled egg on a slice of french bread, baked beans (Heinz, I presume), bacon, and some grilled mushrooms, served along with a bunch of french bread loaves, Beerenberg strawberry jam, and President butter.
The slice of toast wasn't even slightly grilled or toasted, so the scrambled egg made it soggy. The lack of seasoning really bugged us through this dish as well, especially in the scrambled egg.
Their mousse comes in with different flavors (orange, vanilla etc.) and we opted for the Chocolate Mousse (Rs. 390). Constructed with layers of chocolate cake, mousse and topped off with chocolate shaving, and nuts, this one was quite good. The texture of the mousse layer was on point, but we'd prefer if it was less sugary. But overall, it's a good dessert if you've got a sweet-tooth.
Ambience & Service
With giant, comfy cushion sofas and wooden furniture, along with a bookshelf in the middle, the ambience here pretty much looks like an upscale coffee house in Colombo. It's really cozy, and they've got good WiFi if you want to sit down, take your time and get some work done while sipping a cuppa.
The waitstaff was attentive, accommodating and did not forget to check with us on how their food can be improved. I gave my honest opinion on the lack of seasoning in their food, which I sincerely hope that they'd take into consideration.