Heladiv Tea Club is one of Dutch Hospital’s many eateries. We’ve been there a few times and we’ve come to enjoy it as a quiet hang out to grab a quick bite or dessert. While slightly unconventional, it’s also a great place for drinks, which is what this review is all about.
If you do want to read about their food and non-alcoholic offerings, just check here.
So Heladiv Tea Club isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind when it comes to going out for a drink in Colombo,
but they’ve actually got a very respectable selection of booze and some
unique tea cocktails to boot.
We’d usually cover a range
of stuff (such as mains, desserts etc) in a review, but this one will
be entirely about the booze. HTC’s cocktail menu is actually as varied
as that of any mainstream bar in Colombo, if not more, considering the fact
that they’re also one of the only places that serve up tea cocktails.
Their prices aren’t too steep either, with most
of the cocktails priced between Rs. 500–Rs. 700, which is on par with
most other bars.
Heladiv also happens to be one of the cheapest spots for shots, so we went ahead and did a round of Pepe Lopez (Rs. 250). Not really much to explain here, so if you’re looking do a few rounds before a night out, HTC makes for a pretty great spot.
We’ve all heard of Earl Grey tea, but HTC puts a spin on the classic with their Earl’s hot toddy (Rs. 550). As the name suggests, this is an alcoholic variant of the tea, served warm with a citrus peel. We should mention that the flavour certainly isn’t for everyone, but personally, I found it interesting. It still stays true to the flavour of the Earl Grey tea with the raa (or toddy) adding sweetness and an alcoholic undertone. The citrus zest brings a bit of acidity.
I don’t really have too many references to compare with when it comes to Heladiv’s Caipirinha (Rs. 500), but I liked it in terms of flavour. It’s pretty close to a mojito, sans the mint, which I personally prefer. The main element here is cachaça, along with sugar and lime. It’s not too strong in terms of alcohol so we’d say this is a great alternative to the usual mojito. The only gripe we had with this one was that they’d gone a bit overboard with the crushed ice. Fun fact: Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail.
We also tried Heladiv’s equivalent of a long island ice tea, the Taprobana (Rs. 650). Unlike other bars in Colombo, Heladiv’s version actually features iced tea instead of the usual Coke. The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard — vodka, gin and triple sec along with lime. We thought it was interesting that they used soursop tea, but we couldn’t really distinguish its flavour, which was disappointing. Other than that, this was a pretty strong cocktail with plenty of oomph.
Ambience & Service
Heladiv is a chilled out spot to spend some time regardless of the time of day. The interior is tastefully decorated with soft lighting, subtle yet classy wallpapers and some comfy couches. Just don’t sit directly under the A/C vent, ’cause it tends to drip at times.
We dropped in the during the middle of the week when there were few other customers, so the service was relatively fast. However, they have only few staff, so we wouldn’t be surprised if they had a tougher time during weekends.
Heladiv actually makes for a pretty legit drinking spot. Their tea cocktails may not be for everyone, but we think it makes for a nice change-up from the norm.