Enjoy some great food this weekend by stepping into one of these places that have managed to stay consistently good over the years.
Black Cat Cafe is a great place to sit down for a healthy, delicious meal on a weekend. They have a breakfast menu which lasts until noon, and then another menu for the afternoon and evenings. We recommend you try the Mission (Rs. 1200) which is their breakfast platter, that comes with two beautifully prepared sunny side eggs, a crunchy hash brown, two perfectly cooked sausages, a spoonful of baked beans, spinach and mushroom salad, kidney beans and ketchup, along with two slices of well-prepared toast. Imagine all of that for 1200 bucks? Incredible! Their service is stellar with friendly, welcoming staff who knows the menu inside out, and who could reliably make suggestions and recommendations. The ambiance is homey, spacious and has great WiFi; so what's to complain?
You're in for a vegetarian treat! Especially their Vegetarian Biriyani (Rs. 565) which puts all the chicken biriyanis in Colombo to shame. With so much of masala infused into every long grain of basmati, you don't miss the taste of chicken at all. Neither dry nor insipid, this was of the best veg biriyanis we have had! You should also try their Badami Kheer (Rs. 285). Topped with almond flakes, with a thick consistency and a rich taste of almonds (badam) it's sweet, creamy and delicious. They have an attentive staff coupled with smiles, which makes their customers feel welcome. It's brightly lit and there's plenty of seating, including upstairs and outdoors.
Life Food serves up some healthy, delicious and innovative food and drinks. We recommend The Saigon Special (Rs. 540) which is a Sri Lankan version of the Vietnamese institution that is Bahn Mi. Life Food replaces the crunchy baguette with a fresh crispy kurrakan roast paan and it works just as well. Inside that, you'll find a spicy mix of chicken, carrots, green chili and coriander, all dressed in a homemade mayo. It's packed with heat and flavours. You could also go for The Moroccan with Chicken (Rs. 1350) which is a hot and cold salad consisting of Harissa baked cauliflowers, chickpeas, rocket, feta, herbs and chicken in a tahini dressing. The chicken was so perfectly cooked and spiced. You don't even realize you're eating healthy food! It's basically a house that they've converted into a café, creating a very homely atmosphere. The staff is cheerful and polite.
Tsukiji Uoichi has one of the most impressive Japanese menus in Colombo. We recommend the Crunchy Ebi Tempura Maki (Rs. 660 for 4), which is basically an uramaki, with Ebi tempura in middle, topped with crispy rice flakes, a fried curry leaf and a small piece of karage. The shrimp is cooked just right with a thin tempura batter adding a light crunch, complemented further by the savouriness of the karage and the curry leaf. Their seafood and pork okonomiyaki (Rs. 880) is a great option for a rather heavier meal. They top it with bonito fish flakes which react to the heat of the dish and sway. The pancake itself was rich, with the flavour in the egg and seafood coming through beautifully. The pork is mostly lean but still moist, marrying well with the shrimp and calamari. The service at Tsukiji Uoichi is incredibly professional and efficient. They know the menu front and back which is an impressive feat considering the selection they offer. They've kept things pretty simple in terms of ambiance which works well with the Japanese cuisine. The somewhat low wooden chairs with flat cushions were reminiscent of tatami mats, with the large windows letting in plenty of natural light.
Bubblelement has been the premium bubble tea joint for a while now. We recommend you try the original Iced Milk Tea (Rs. 390) which has the perfect milk to tea ratio, with a strong kahata base and lightly bitter undertones. The milk isn't watery but rather rich and creamy. They also have a delicious range of roast paans, out of which we suggest the Pol Sambol & Beef Panini (Rs. 475). While the beef is salty, soft, pink and dripping with gravy, the Pol Sambol is very spicy, tangy, and just perfect. It reminds you of roast kade paan paired with homemade beef curry. The interior screams Tumblr, which is very minimal with a cool color tone and a bunch of signs hung up. Their service is usually nice and friendly.
This is probably the saddest thing we heard this week. We can't confirm it, but we did hear that Schakasz is closing soon. We don't know when and don't know why, but do check it out this weekend before they are gone forever! They have one of the biggest variety of cheesecakes in town. We absolutely love the Crème Brûlée Cheesecake (Rs. 450) and we cannot recommend it enough. It has a crunchy biscuit base with a rich custard and cream cheese center, topped with burnt caramel and frozen raspberries. You get a light crunch from the burnt caramel, followed by the smoothness of the cream cheese custard center and finally the texture and ever so subtle savouriness of the biscuit base. The frozen raspberries may seem like a small addition but they do wonders by adding a burst of acidity and freshness along with a coolness right before the warm burnt caramel. They also have Hot Chocolate (Rs. 430), which is probably one of the richest and most chocolatey ones you’ll come across in the city. It comes in a ginormous mug, easily enough for two. We liked the fact that this isn't very sweet since it’s meant to be had with a dessert. The marshmallows are also a welcome addition, complementing the thickness of the hot chocolate. It’s mostly a take-out kind of spot, but they do have tables set up inside with seating for around ten, and a few tables set up outside as well. The folks there are welcoming and really friendly.
Of course, go for the classics here. The Fudgy Oreo Brownie (Rs. 550) is super, which displays that optimal inner gooeyness juxtaposed with outer crunchiness that every good brownie should have, and the lightness of the cream gives the dish a bit of texture. They also have an amazing Chocolate Biscuit Pudding (Rs. 300). It is creamy, well-layered and overall a great and not overly sweet dessert option. The service is very friendly and helpful, but at times very slow. There's one large room, a smaller ante-room, and a leafy outdoor seating area with cosy cushioned couches, bright murals, and high chairs by the wall which make for plenty of seating.
Have a great weekend!
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