When you're in Kandy, you find some of the finest restaurants that you've ever come across in the most unexpected places. Take Cafe the Vibe for example. It resides on the second floor of a not-so-new looking building, covered with a bunch of banner cutouts, which also accommodates a number of tiny book/communication/retail shops.
The staircase here is pretty narrow, so only one person can move at a time. Once you climb it, you will stumble upon this charming wall art, along with a small door, which is the entrance to Cafe the Vibe. What's behind this door is like a totally different world.
I mean, look at this! Never in a million years, did I guess that these doors would take me to one of the most happening cafes I've seen Kandy, tucked away in a quirky environment like this. It's like a whole Narnia situation out here.
The menu at Cafe the Vibe is written on a massive blackboard, and it contains pretty much of everything - from sandwiches, pasta, kottu, fried rice to coffee, juices, smoothies, and milkshakes.
We started off with a portion of their Chicken Wings (Rs. 300). Deep-fried with a deliciously crispy batter coating, this one had five meaty chicken wings served with a side of sweet chili sauce. It may not be the best chicken wings out there, but merely passable, especially for that price tag.
The Beef Pasta (Rs. 380) is basically a hefty portion of well-cooked Fusilli pasta, with lots and lots of chewy beef bits, and a heap of veggies to go around. We could taste beef in every spoonful. We opted for the extra cheese version which added another Rs. 50 for the regular price, and it was so worth it. As you can probably see in this picture, it came with a massive layer of cheese on top. In terms of flavor, this dish was slightly oily but very flavorsome with a hint of spiciness.
Foodwise, the only let down of our experience was the Chicken Fried Rice (Rs. 350). Initially, we thought that they've given us an egg fried rice, as we couldn't spot any chicken on our rice. Later on, we found a few bits of crispy roast chicken, along with a ton of egg pieces, a sprinkle of thinly sliced carrots, and spring onions mixed in a generous serving of properly cooked and seasoned rice. The rice itself wasn't crazy-oily, and portion-wise, it's easily enough to feed two hungry bellies. We'd prefer more chicken on this though.
It was a very, very hot day in Kandy, which is why we decided to skip the coffee and stick to some cold drinks.
At Rs. 200, the Virgin Mojito at Cafe the Vibe was served in a massive mason jar, along with a steel straw. Incorporating the usual Sprite, slices of lime with a bunch of mint leaves thrown in, it was minty, sour and hella refreshing, which did a good job on cooling us down. It's definitely one of the best virgin mojitos we've tried, and for that price tag, it's darn solid. We totally loved it, so much so we ordered five of these bad boys.
We also ordered a jar of their Watermelon Juice (Rs. 200), which disappeared on the second it landed on our table. Therefore, we don't have a proper picture of it, but anyway it's delicious as any good watermelon juice can get. In addition to its natural sweetness, it had only a tiny amount of sugar in it, which didn't overpower the fresh watermelon taste. We highly recommend this.
The service was fast and efficient. We got our food and drinks within around 15 minutes.
The place itself has everything that you'd expect from a good cafe - spacious, comfortable, with beautiful wall art providing the perfect backdrop for your Instagram photos. A young crowd in Kandy seem to be thrive in here, playing cards, foosball, video games and singing along to the music while indulging their favorite food and drinks.
Cafe the Vibe is for good vibes only. It's cozy, a wee bit loud hangout spot if you like to kill some hours with good food and drinks.