*Closed for renovations.
Colombo has its fair share of kopi kadés but it still keeps spawning new ones every other day. This is a good thing for all of us involved because each new bistro is a new experience.
How was Sugarcube, you ask?
We loved it.
They've got an impressive list of teas from Milk Tea to Lemon & Honey and a small list of basic coffees from Cappuccino to Mocha. They've also got different syrups like Irish Cream, Hazelnut and so forth.
Their Masala Chai (Rs. 200) is served in a cute teapot accompanied with sugarcubes and – get this – an adorable little clay pot to drink from. I don't know what it is about clay pots and why not a single hipster cave here in the city has stolen this marvellous idea, but I was sold.
At first sip, the masala tastes like it's been watered down and the tea isn't as thick as I'd have liked, but it got better once we added 2 sugarcubes and stirred the drink vigorously.
We struck gold by ordering their Cappuccino (Rs. 380). We also asked for Irish Cream syrup (Rs. 100 per pump) to go with it because why not.
Th coffee was served with two tiny cookies that had an overwhelming taste of almond essence.
The Cappuccino was deliciously rich and topped off with a thin layer of heavy foam. We asked about what type of coffee they use but the lads there looked a little taken aback and answered with a short 'Arabica,' so we took their word for it because the taste of finely ground Arabica beans did come through.
The Irish Cream that was used is the synthetic, non-alcoholic counterpart to its heady original, but it made for a pleasant addition.
Tip: They told us to stir this one as well because 'all the flavour is at the bottom,' and stirring really enhanced the drink. Also you don't have to add a single drop of sugar, the drink is fine as is.
We opted for the Red Velvet Cake (Rs. 380) which is a brick of a slice with a lovely deep red colour to it and silky cream cheese icing.
However, the cake itself was rather dense and tasted a little like it had been resting on the counter for too long. The saving grace was the icing.
Their Blueberry Cheesecake (Rs. 380) was amazing – rich and fluffy with a light, biscuit base. It was topped off with, as you can see, a handful of fat, juicy blueberries along with a blueberry sauce topping.
These were fresh blueberries mind you and they burst with every bite which was a real delight.
Vishvi and I kept oohing and aahing to each other with blueberries stuck in our teeth. Not a pretty sight, but it didn't matter. We're already talking about going back tomorrow for lunch.Speaking of lunch, these guys serve up an excellent rice and curry. The food is 100% homemade and is served in recyclable cardboard boxes with recyclable wooden spoons and banana leaf lining. They were nice enough to heat the cartons up for us before we left.
- The Chicken Rice & Curry (Rs. 290) came with a large chunk of deliciously tender chicken, accompanied by helpings of beans, dhal and mallum all served on a bed of white rice. There was a little banana leaf package held together by a toothpick which we discovered, carried a piece of lime pickle.
- The Prawn Rice & Curry (Rs. 350) comes with a side of prawns, brinjal moju, the same beans and dhal as the chicken rice and a delicious serving of kahabuth (yellow rice).
Both packets were fresh, warm, presented beautifully, and undoubtedly healthy. A few of my colleagues remarked that it tasted exactly like the works of their respective matriarchs and if that isn't a great compliment I don't know what is.
Service & Ambience
The place is extremely tiny and would be a tight fit if more than 5 people were to visit. It's very cosy with brightly coloured cushions and a light, cinnamon aroma in the air.
The guys manning the cafe are friendly and super attentive. After an hour of chatting, we were asked if we wanted the Masala Chai re-heated which was an excellent and thoughtful offer.
It's rather uncharacteristic of me to gush over a cafe, but this place really got me hooked. I sincerely hope they keep up their current standards because they're looking at a successful customer base in the long run.
They serve lunch at around 11:30-12:30 every Monday to Friday, so if you're in the area be sure to try these guys out.