Cafe by Boo is a quite well-known name, especially among university students for a variety of good food that they offer for wallet-friendly prices. Now they’ve added a bunch of new stuff to the menu, which is why we decided to check them out again. And as always, we weren’t disappointed.
Ranging from heavy plates of kottu, rice & noodles, quick snacks like sandwiches, burgers, and submarines, and a few specialities like fish & chips, chicken wings and rolls, almost everything on their menu is under Rs. 600.
We decided to go with a bit of odd pick in their kottu range - the Spicy Macaroni Kottu with Cheese & Chicken (Rs 550). From the very first mouthful, you’ll feel the flavours of the adequately cooked pieces of macaroni soaked in a palatable amount of spicy sauce - which is something most tend to get wrong. It also had some thinly sliced carrot and spring onions scattered about, which made this dish even more interesting and certainly added a fresh feel to the palate. The well-seasoned chicken pieces mixed in with the macaroni (which we had to hunt for a bit), were a flavourful addition, alongside the gooey mozzarella cheese bits. If only both of them were a bit more generous (especially with the amount of cheese), - we know we would have been happier.
This plate comes with a piece of fried chicken, which was crispy on the outside and falls apart easily, while the middle was a bit tough - probably because it was tossed on to the pan straight from the freezer, without letting it rest for a bit. We did feel that the taste was a bit held back in comparison to the rest of the dish.
Pol Sambol is a beloved condiment in Sri Lankan culinary fare. We love pol sambol on anything, which is probably why Cafe by Boo offers it on almost every dish on their menu. The fried spicy coconut sambol was quite the overachiever in the flavour department, adding an extra spicy punch to the whole thing. It was quite surprising, the things that a pol sambol can do to a macaroni. So don’t ignore it.
Seafood Fried Rice with Fried Fish Goujon (Rs. 580) had a warm, wok fried aroma. With a sprinkle of thinly sliced carrots, spring onions and bits of cuttlefish and a few prawns, it was on the tastier side. The rice was cooked well, without coming across as overly oily but the flavour of the seasoning was a tad bit flat. However, having about five of sizable, well-cooked prawns certainly made it much interesting.
Chewy and not rubbery, the cuttlefish bits were good - we prefer to have more of that on our plate though. The rice was served with two pieces of Fried Fish Goujon (which was more like batter fried fish) which were a pleasure to eat, given how mellow it was to bite. With a slight crunch on the outside and melt-in-the-mouth soft from the inside, it was simply a delight nibble on.
All of this got an extra flavour push with the spicy coconut sambol that was offered.
The Tandoori Chicken & Cheese Submarine (Rs. 480) was worth every rupee you pay for it. Stacked with the layers of sauced up tandoori chicken pieces, veggies, mayo and cheese, it was a filling snack. The bun itself was soft, and had this slightly crispy exterior, which was a result of sitting on the grill for a while. Despite the hefty filling inside, it managed to hold everything together without falling off.
It's not necessarily the tandoori chicken with a super authentic Indian touch, but the chicken here was well-seasoned and had a teeny tiny smoky aroma going on.
Decorated with black and red - you’ll notice that when you step into the cafe. While many people stick to taking out, they have plenty of space to sit, relax and dine. There is an overhead TV for if you feel like watching a game or something while you eat.
The ordering process is pretty simple here - go to the counter, check out the menu, place the order and pay. They’ll bring the order to your table without any delay. Ours took only around 10 minutes. The staff seemed competent with their work, nothing to complain here which is always a plus.
With the newly added dishes, we are sure they will do even better. It's a pleasure to see that they are diligent on retaining the association between good food and the budget-friendly prices - which they are well-known for.