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5/5

Cafe Raw

410, 27 AC2, Colombo 07


A wonderful choice for healthy eats in town, managed by RAW Sri Lanka.



RAW stands for Refreshing Ayurvedic Wellness - a brand so passionately founded by Ronali Perera to craft up 100% organic, cold-pressed, locally sourced and ayurvedic approved juices for detoxing and cleansing purposes. Taking a step forward, now they've got Cafe Raw down Groove House, serving up some delightfully healthy eats. 

Food & Drinks

The menu here isn't vast but has a whole bunch of interesting stuff - from rice/quinoa bowls, salads and toasts to smoothie bowls, coffee and homemade drinks - including RAW juices. 

We kicked things off with this Healthy Ranch Kukula Salad (Rs. 950). Tossed in a bowl of lettuce, cherry tomato, sweet corn, red and green bell pepper, it was plentiful with chunks of chicken too. The chicken had a slight smokiness to it, while the veggies at play were super fresh - making for a lovely crunch.

Dressed in their homemade healthy ranch sauce which lent beautiful tang, this was a refreshingly leafy and chicken-y treat. I'm not a very salad person, and yet I left a clean plate for the first time. We customised our Quinoa Bowl (Rs. 900) with avocado guacamole, chicken, and green salad dressed in chilli mango sauce.

This bowl was all about the balance of flavours and nutrients. A little fruity creaminess from avocado guacamole, some smokiness from the chicken, and a fresh, leafy crunch from the salad while the chilli mango sauce providing the spicy and tangy kicks - everything here bound very nicely to the fluffy, moist, and slightly nutty quinoa. 

They put a handful of dried berries, seeds and nuts in all of their quinoa bowls, which add to the extra flavour.
Served in a coconut shell bowl, the Greek Yoghurt (Rs. 450) had freshly cut mango, pineapple and seeds sitting on top, along with a drizzle of kithul treacle. From what we gathered, the yoghurt they serve here is store-bought and of high quality. 

It was love at first sip for us with this jar full of Cafe Raw's Homemade Ginger Beer (Rs. 250). Every sip of it felt like ginger-laced bullets that fire down our throat to our nasal cavities and cleanse them up in full swing. Absolutely refreshing and lavished with ginger, it had a subtle swirl of sweetness running through to balance things out. Plus, the prunes swimming about were a nice touch too. 

Cafe Raw does a mean Black Coffee (Rs. 350), which we were too busy gulping down as it was so darn good. Strong, yet not bitter, it had a nice fruity undertone and an enticing aroma. From what we heard, the coffee beans they use is quite organic and comes from some of the oldest coffee trees in Sri Lanka. This is definitely a good pick-me-up in the morning. 

Ambience & Service

As mentioned previously, it's a part of the Groove House, a budget hostel down Bauddhaloka Mawatha. Surrounded by spirals of greenery, cosy wooden benches topped with cushions, and beautiful graffiti art on the walls, it's very hipster-like and has a very cosy and earthy vibe to it. 

The seating space here is more of a semi-indoor one. Ronali, the founder of RAW is the friendly hostess who runs the cafe as well, and according to her, it's a garage space that had been flipped into this comfy establishment. 

From cutlery to furnishing, everything here is quite eco-friendly. For example, the counter in the above picture is made with silpara kota (wooden sleepers). 

Conclusion

Crafting up healthy dishes in a delicious way isn't always easy, but Cafe Raw does a hella good job at it. From high-quality ingredients and superb flavours to welcoming ambience and friendly service, they get full points from us. 

*Photographs courtesy of: @raveen.re

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