By Shanali Fdo
“බොන්න නංගි මල්ලි
ඔය ලෙඩට දුකට
ඔබට පිහිට වෙන්නේ
කොත්තමල්ලී”…. As the king of baila so rightly put Koththamalli has been our go-to remedy for decades-long and paying homage to the long-standing treasured Ayurveda medicine practice of Sri Lanka is a little café named Koththamalli café by Rohan nestled away in the famous busy hotel road of Negombo. Done by the group of Jetwing hotels it’s an excellent café for anyone looking for vegan and vegetarian food.
Look out for the bright yellow chairs decked outside the café and you can easily find your way to the café. Walking in you find a selection of 100% Sri Lankan homegrown products like a variety of Nai Miris sauces and handmade soaps that you can purchase if you fancy!
Koththamalli café took us by surprise with what a lovely twist they had given to the otherwise “boring” vegetables and fruits. To begin with in their very creative menu, for the beverages they have used ingredients such as Beli Mal juice, murunga leaves, and green gram sesame to create some mind-blowing delicious mocktails and immunity boosters making the café an ideal spot to stop by to even just refresh yourself. They also offer a range of hot or cold coffees and teas for those who cannot live without one or the other.
We ordered a Sukku Malli coffee which is a healthy alternative to regular coffee. Its blend of Sri Lankan spices brewed in hot water gave it a powerful aroma making it the ideal herbal drink to soothe a common cold or cough the ayurvedic way.
The food menu was also full of fun, unconventional fusions between some colorful fruits and vegetables. We ordered the Sweet Potato and Dry Mushroom Salad accompanied by a raw mango salad to start with. Well-plated and almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad might not grab the Sri Lankan palate in one go, but with a dash of salt, pepper, and chutney it is a great balance of flavors and how everyone should fill themselves up; with some good carbs.
- Sweet Potato And Dry Mushroom Salad
We also had a crowd favorite, the Double Decker Roast Paan stuffed with Green Jackfruit Ambula and a side of Coconut kochchi Chutney. Green jackfruit locally known as Polos- widely known to be a great alternative to meat, came stuffed inside the cutest roast paan we have seen having absorbed all of the great Sri Lankan spices while being cooked to perfection. Top it up with some spicy green kochchi coconut sambal and you will be reminded of how wonderful it is to be vegetarian on this tropical island of goodness! Adding to what turned out to be a very colorful lunch was the spicy fruit and vegetable wrap that comes with a sweet and sour sauce. Using seasonal fruits and vegetables to create a plate of color – this dish is very similar to what we call a spring roll, laid on a bed of fresh salad leaves and vegetables. Its crunchy texture on the outside was well-balanced with the delicious filling inside. Some other very interesting dishes that caught our eye were the Milk Burgers, a dish made with the favorite Sri Lankan milk rice, Herbal Coconut Pittu and Mushroom and Soya Stuffed Rotti that we wish we had room to stuff down. But we had to keep some special room for dessert.
- Double Decker Roast Paan
Price: LKR 950/-
We chose the Crispy Cinnamon Waffles that came with chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, and a seasonal fruit compote which was passion fruit during that time. The light crispy waffle was sprinkled with cinnamon powder giving it a light golden color while adding a sweet and woody flavor. Combined with the sauces and compote this option makes it a brilliant breakfast or delicious dessert. What we were pleasantly surprised by was the twist they had given to our childhood favorite Sri Lankan Vienna roll aka kimbula banis. This sweet roll of dough with a generous sprinkling of sugar was stuffed with peanut butter and served with caramelized pineapple. Trust us you wouldn’t want to eat Kimbula Banis any other way after having it this way!
- Sri Lankan Vienna Roll
Price: LKR: 500/-
- Crispy Cinnamon Waffle
Price: LKR 950/-
The Koththamalli café is the dream café for a vegan or vegetarian or the perfect place to grab a delicious bite and be sure you didn’t have anything unhealthy, aren’t we all looking for a place like that at some point in our lives?