5/5

Cafe Albero

589, Athurugiriya road, Malabe


A beautiful gallery to have great authentic Sri Lankan food and Italian cuisine.


Malabe isn't necessarily known for its abundance of cafes. And every time someplace new opens up in the vicinity, we get a tad excited. 

Cafe Albero happens to be one of the above. Situated far from the cafe hub of Sri Lanka, Albero is, in essence, one of the nicest takes on cafes we've seen in a while. 

Ambience 

Malabe is a pretty leafy place either way but combined with the mix of stone walls, plants and plenty of open-air and glass, the ambience at Cafe Albero looks like a cafe out of some fancy cafe in a K Drama. If you watch K dramas, you know what we're talking about. 

With a bunch of tables and chairs outside and an air-conditioned space in the inside, it's quite beautiful. Clean, in every sense of the word with bits of colour here and there we are all for it. With a sofa on one side, tables taking rest of the space, it's ideal for getting some work done in peace with some pretty solid food. 

Food  

The food menu at Cafe Albero ranges from pasta to sandwiches to salads to waffles and basically everything in between the types of food we mentioned. 

We started with the Healthy Breakfast (Rs. 280) that we assumed was just the Kola Kenda (leafy porridge) because of the way it was on the menu. Coming in as a soup bowl filled with steaming hot Gotukola Kenda, it kicked off in a pretty satisfactory way. Not too thick, not too thin, it was wonderfully salty and was all in all one of the nicer takes on kola kenda we've had in a while. 

Accompanying the Kola Kenda was this. Two slices of lightly toasted bread packing in a salt and pepper-infused fried egg that we found to be a tad dry. However, we didn't really mind it. The bread was nice and fresh and the salad on the side followed suit to the bread. Crunchy and giving strong kicks of vinegar, it had the perfect amount of acidity to make the dish that much more interesting.

Owing to the fact that we didn't know that the Healthy Breakfast came with sandwiches, we decided to get the Batticaloa Beef Sandwich (Rs. 650) as well. We absolutely loved this one. The sandwiches were toasted to have the perfect amount of crisp and enough softness on the in, and with a midsection of spicy, well-cooked beef trapped in between layers of mozzarella, it was brilliant. Plus, the fries, although store-bought was served with a tamarind sauce that was essentially what sealed the deal on this one. 

I never usually get sandwiches when I go anywhere. But, if given the chance, I'd go for this all over again just because of how good it was. Plus, the portion size is big enough to fill you right up because of the massive amount of cheese inside it. 

Aye, the crown jewel of Cafe Albero: the Negombo Crab with Kade Paan (Rs. 1500). With a price tag to match, the crab curry and roast paan at Cafe Albero was everything and a bit more than we had hoped it would be. 

Vishvi actually asked me to get this no matter what just because of how much praise Buddika had given it in our Sinhala review of Cafe Albero and we're positively ecstatic that we did end up getting it because...just look! 

With a giant bowl of thick, onioned up gravy and lots of midway cut crabs just chilling inside the bowl, the crab curry was the closest thing to the crab curry we had at Brizo and we're just happy that we don't have to travel 3 hours to get to it.

Horrendously thick in the best way possible with a perfect symphony of spices, there was an abundance of crab meat and far too little bread to finish up the entire dish. Plus, with the salty, tangy pol sambol they serve on the side, it's a dream come true. 

Pictured Above: Mango and Passion Juice (left), Cappuccino (right)
  • The Mango and Passion Juice (Rs. 320) was a thick concoction that was pretty much just fresh mango juice along with a dash of beautifully tangy passion fruit juice that we absolutely loved. The amount of sugar in the drink was close to none with most of the sweetness coming in from the mango and it's all in all a solid substitute for a breakfast smoothie given how thick it was. 
  • Cafe Albero uses Lavazza coffee beans for their coffee. But, given how they're temporarily out of a barista, the options of coffee you can get is slightly limited. That being said, the Cappuccino was a beautifully crafted cup filled with milky, foamy coffee that, although not particularly strong, went perfectly with the Beef Sandwich. 

Service 

The service at Cafe Albero was lovely. Efficient and good enough to cook up a crab at 8 am even though it wasn't available at first, they were quite helpful. 

Conclusion 

We loved our experience at Cafe Albero. If you live around Malabe and looking for a place to hang out with some really good food that gives your money's worth, this is just the spot. 


TIP

Try Negombo Crab with Roast Paan!


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