Sea Fruit Bar & Coffee Lounge.

This is one of Colombo’s most puzzling coffee spots. It’s got a nice location lots of space and ample parking down Wijerama Mawatha near the heart of Colombo 7 but it always seems pretty empty. I recall a bit of fanfare when it opened but lately no one talks about it. Coco Verandah, Coffee Bean etc are still going strong but Pascucci doesn’t seem to be in good health. Before it joins YAMU’s Restaurant Grave Yard I thought I’d head down and see if Colombars were making a mistake by ignoring our city’s only Italian coffee franchise.

It’s easy to find in the evening down the sparsely lit Wijerama Mawatha its abundance of light really stands out. The place is lit up like an x-mas tree or an airport terminal. It’s pretty head-ache inducing but I braved the lights to consider their impressive menu. The variety of coffee on offer is enormous – I had no idea there were so many things you could do with the stuff. As this is an Italian franchise things are also a little more sophisticated than your standard issue caramel lattes and mochaccino.

Among many other things there’s Argentinian Cappuccino with dulce de lece, ‘cafe confuso’- espresso, dark chocolate cream, light whipped cream and amaretto biscuits.They have yogurt, mousse and meringue topped coffee options and the basic coffee ie the espresso they use is very good.

My ‘cafe confuso'(Rs 500) was yummy lots of sweet cream and toppings but all on top of good strong espresso. Given the quality of my brew I was left wondering why the place wasn’t more popular until I ordered a ‘Meringato’ – espresso, dark chocolate and meringue(doesn’t that sound promising)?. But this just wasn’t as good as the ‘confuso’, I think they left out the cream. So there are clearly consistency issues and the food is pretty insipid. I had an apple pie and that was not money well spent. It’s got one of those menus that promises everything from shwarmas to pasta but apparently they don’t do anything well.

It’s a shame though because if they stopped trying to be a restaurant and just focused on their fundamentally good coffee this would be a good place.

I still think it’s worth visiting if only to try something coffee based you’d never heard of and never thought possible – yogurt mousse capuccino?

At the end of the day if Colombo is going to be overun by chains I’d much rather have an Italian franchise serve me coffee than an American one.

They really need to dim the lights though.

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