Hidden behind a kindergarten on Barnes Place, Milk and Honey remains one of Colombo’s better kept secrets. Patronised largely by Colombo’s expat and yoga sets, the quiet cafe serves up some of the best vegetarian food in the city.
Unlike the city’s other vegetarian offerings (largely south indian, largely ghee laden), Milk and Honey fills a niche in serving up health conscious offerings. But don’t let that put you off.
While the menu consists of suspiciously healthful sounding concoctions, the food is mostly very good. The beetroot fallafel wrap (Rs 400, made using a home-made wholemeal tortilla) is excellent, and the flavours- beautifully balanced. Other offerings include the tomato and aubergine pasta, which was light and clearly made using well chosen produce, and the spicy roast pumpkin paneer wrap (Rs 400), which, while tasty, fell short of expectations (sadly under-seasoned).
Also worth perusing is the list of fresh juices and smoothies. I sampled the beetroot, carrot and apple juice (Rs 280), unexpectedly enjoyable, and savoured the mango, pineapple and ginger smoothie (twice). Made without added sugar, and using unsweetened yoghurt, these won’t be to everyone’s taste – but the combinations are carefully selected and even Colombo’s sugar-addicted should find these refreshing.
Milk and Honey’s honeyed (literally) desserts, are surprisingly satisfying, and I believe there are even some vegan options (date and raisin bars?). The rhubarb and ginger cake was delightful, as was the jaggery cake. The jaggery sweetened brownie (Rs 280), though disappointingly un-chocolate-y, has potential, and was texturally far better than many of the crumbling brownies found in the city.
I’ve heard the décor described as kindergarten inspired, which would be fitting given that Milk and Honey Café is attached to Milk – a children’s book store which houses an excellent collection of children’s books. That being said, the décor – white washed wooden tables and comfortably cushioned garden seats, while simple, is not un-chic.
In a city lacking for vegetarian options, it’s surprising that Milk and Honey isn’t better known: light on your waist and on your wallet- it’s worth a try even for those of carnivorous appetite.