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4/5

Cafe Island

473, Thimbirigasyaya Rd, Colombo 05


A tiny cafe adjoining Kandygs Handloom, that does a good cup of coffee along with some great sandwiches.



Cafes have been conquering Colombo at a rapid pace. But, despite that, it's hard to come across a cafe that actually does a good cup of coffee. Which is why we were quite glad when we discovered Cafe Island - a tiny spot tucked away in Kandygs Handlooms in Thimbirigasyaya. 

Coffee

Cafe Island's coffee-based drinks are made with a brand called Riverston. They bring the beans and freshly grind it at the shop itself. We went with a cup of Cappuccino (Rs. 430) and an Espresso Shake (Rs. 480). 

The Cappuccino at Cafe Island, is in fact, a dry cappuccino, which means that it's less milky and way frothier than a regular (wet) one. This one is quite strong, probably too strong - especially if you're not a coffee person. 

Given that we preferred ours the normal way, they were happy to take it down a notch by adding a bit of milk. 
It was still strong, but not in a harsh way, while the milk itself was heated properly to keep its velvety texture. This is definitely one of the best cappuccinos we've had to date. 

Taking a step forward from the regular iced coffee, the Espresso Shake was a delight too. Creamy, milky, yet boasting with rich hints of espresso, while the vanilla ice cream mixed in balances out everything, this can provide you with that caffeine jolt you need in a different way. 

Food

The food section at Cafe Island features sandwiches and a bunch of sweet and savoury baked goodies neatly displayed on a showcase. 

My Karapincha Prawns Sandwich (Rs. 600) was stuffed to its brim with a mixture made with chunks of well-cooked, chewy prawns and karapincha immersed in a thick, tangy sauce. The bread was grilled very nicely - crispy from the outside, while the inside is soft. In fact, this is the Panini bread they get from Paan Paan

We wish if they could have gone a bit easy on the sauce though. While it was really delicious and did not overpower the components in the mixture, a sandwich dripping with sauce isn't exactly easy to eat. But aside from that, it's a filling sandwich. I'd go for that again. 
My lunch partner got the Smoked Chicken Pesto Sandwich (Rs. 500). Crafted with Paan Paan's Crispy Ciabatta bread, it was generously packed with the said elements. Aromatic, leafy, slightly nutty and garlicky, the pesto sauce was well done, and it did not take away the smokey flavours of the chicken. Instead, it acted as a flavour enricher. 

We were super excited for Cafe Island's Pork Spring Rolls (Rs. 300) and it didn't disappoint. Oozing out with a nice peppery flavour, the filling was generous with bits of pork, carrots and onions, while the roll had a nice crispiness to the bite. However, a little less sauce would have made this even better. 
Since we wanted something sweet after the meal, we tried the Pani Kaju (Rs. 100). 

Coated with a thin layer of chocolate, it was filled with a blend of grated coconut, and chunks of cashews sweetened with honey. Sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, the flavour here was quite similar to those narang kevums we get during avurudu season.

Ambience & Service

With both indoor and outdoor seating spaces, the atmosphere here is pretty chilled out. If having a chat over coffee is what you have in mind, this place works out quite well. 

The food and drinks took around some good 40 minutes to arrive, and we hungry humans were not happy about it. Nonetheless, the staff was quite friendly. The owner was, in fact, a coffee enthusiast. He was quite happy to describe us about the coffee they serve and to make recommendations. 

Conclusion

Good coffee and great snacks under a budget - Cafe Island has 'em all. We recommend! 

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