Giovanni's is easily the best bet for pizza in Colombo, and adjoining that lies the black gate that would take you to Cafe Rafaella. This is the cafe counterpart of Giovanni's, and more of an extension of its former resident; Callisto.
Aside from the same brilliant pasta that Callisto used to do, now they serve coffee too, and the fact that they're open throughout the day during weekends makes it even more special.
The menu at Cafe Rafaella features a range of pasta crafted with imported ingredients, which are of very high quality while the sauces are all homemade.
This luxurious plate of Carbonara (Rs. 1100) is probably the best of that kind in the city. The thin, al dente spaghetti was soaked in an immensely luscious, creamy carbonara sauce and had bits of crispy bacon stringing to it. In fact, there were lots and lots of it, making every forkful so lavish and flavoursome. The portion is quite hefty too, so it's totally worth every single rupee you pay for it.
Boasting a rich fragrance and earthiness, courtesy of the chockfull of herbs infused into it, the Marinara sauce here was absolutely relishing. There was a ripple of sweetness running through it, and quite a bit of tang. Plentiful with chunks of plumpy prawns and succulently chewy cuttlefish, it was super impressive. Priced at Rs. 1400.
To make our meal even more glorious, we grabbed a serving of Garlic Bread (Rs. 800) off Giovanni's menu.
Everything about this dish captures the unique touch of Giovanni's pizza; from size and shape to the wood-fired crust and intense flavours. Perfectly crispy with a well-executed cheesy base, we enjoyed catching a whiff of crushed garlic here.
We, Sri Lankans, love our Marie biscuits, and we love them even more, when it comes in between creamy layers of chocolate. Cafe Rafaella does both alcoholic and non-alcoholic Chocolate Biscuit Pudding (Rs. 450), and we opted for the latter. Well-layered and not overly sweet, it was superb as any CBP can get.
Apart from coffee, Cafe Rafaella also has chilled, bottled-up juices and iced tea which are not homemade products.
This cup of Cappuccino (Rs. 550) tasted a bit burnt, while the milk was not creamy as we'd have liked.
The Hot Chocolate (Rs. 550) on the other hand seemed to have the perfect amount of chocolate powder in it, but featured the same milk which was the culprit in the scene.
The ambience here is incredibly pretty. It's cosy, very homely, and quite chilled out. An excellent choice for a casual date, or to have a chat with your buds over a bowlful of delicious pasta.
Efficient, helpful and friendly as always, the service here was nothing short of amazing.
While the coffee can use some work, the pasta at Cafe Rafaella is simply the best. They whip them up so passionately while paying attention to every single detail, and the outcome is astonishing. We totally recommend!
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