Marino Mall opened up a few months ago and half of Colombo went berserk. In addition to that, Marino mall also extends to a hotel, which you can spot from the Marine Drive. The Rose Lounge is their very own coffee stop which resides in the lobby area.
We had a good experience at their high tea session, which is why we decided to drop by to grab a quick bite on a fine Thursday morning. However, our experience left a lot to be desired.
They have a bunch of pastries, sandwiches, wraps, and cakes to choose from, and we tried a few of them.
We started off with the Vegetable Samosa (Rs. 150). Personally, I LOVE Samosas. Everything from the crunchy exterior to the well-spiced potato filling inside, it all adds up to become one of man's best creations. However, the Vegetable Samosa at Rose Lounge was quite alright at best. While it did have a lovely crisp to bite and an adequately spicy potato filling, it lacked salt.
Featured here is the Ham and Cheese Sandwich (Rs. 280). At first glance, this looks worth every cent you pay for this giant piece of bread. But eating this can prove otherwise. The bread was stale. So stale that when you try to cut it, it crumbles into pigeon food.
In terms of filling, it was almost tasteless. We could taste bits of cheese and boiled chicken, but there's no character to make it interesting.
As a part of the disappointing service we received (more on that later), they served us this wrap, that uncannily tastes like tuna, instead of the tandoori chicken wrap we ordered.
Anyway, moving on to its flavour – it was creamy, had a good amount of tuna and bell pepper, which helped to add a bit of spiciness to the meal. But still, it could use some work, probably some curry taste.
Moving on to the God-send, that is the Cinnamon Danish. At Rs. 220, this was the silver lining to a horribly stormy outing at Marino Beach. The pastry was beautifully buttery with strong hints of cinnamon and jam to give that extra kick, and they all worked together to make us fall in love with it at first bite. Seriously, if you do find yourself at Marino Beach, try it. You won't regret it.
The picture above clearly represents the Baked Cheesecake (Rs. 350). This kind of reminded us of baby Jesus in his bed of straw – a teeny tiny vision in a box far too big for it. The cheesecake part was creamy, but the base tasted burnt and we could actually taste the sugar granules.
Moving on to Drinks
*Pictured above – Marino Crunch (left), Rose Lounge (right)
They have a whole bunch of juices, wines, coffees, and teas to choose from. We went with the Marino Crunch (Rs. 750) and the Rose Lounge (Rs. 690).
The Marino Crunch was a concoction of a bunch of substances including, coffee, cookies, whipped cream, and milkmaid (we presume). Presenting an excessively milky taste, we could barely taste the coffee, let alone the cookies. The only part we actually devoured was the whipped cream. The rest we left alone.
The Rose Lounge was, if we were to break it down, is a watermelon juice with mint and some sort of artificial sourness and sweetness. It's alright, but we don't understand the Rs. 690 price tag.
Service and Ambience
In terms of ambience, it has a wonderful collection of utterly comfortable overstuffed armchairs. So comfortable that I still kind of miss them. Apart from the chairs, the lighting is dimmed out to carry out this beautifully dark golden hue around the place.
The service was, however, as mentioned previously, was quite disappointing. They do have the staff to wait on you, but they apparently encourage exercise via walking to the counter to remind them that you exist, especially if you're a local. The food and drinks took around 30 minutes to arrive, and that was after bugging them twice to ask about our order. Anyway, they were unsurprisingly super friendly and efficient towards the foreign guests there.
We know, this wasn't the most positive experience we've had. However, these are all things that we believe they can work on without much difficulty, so our next time experience can be much, much better.