Honestly, we weren't expecting much. Yet another
Colombo coffee shop, oh well. But Cup Cafe is actually a great place, and you would never have guessed there was that much open space lurking beyond the crumbling facades of Baptist Chapel Road. But this blue-and-white themed coffee shop is by no means crumbling or tumbledown. Brand new and squeaky clean, Cup Cafe is run by a charming and genial Chinese gentleman who zealously tries to ensure that his customers order exactly what they're in the mood for, helpfully suggesting the frozen lime pie (Rs. 160) over the cheesecake and the ice coffee over the cappuccino to help you cool down on a sweltering subcontinental afternoon.
With excellent desserts, coffee and food, this is better than your average coffee shop. Most of Colombo's caffeine-promising stores look great - the shimmering glass vitrines holding crusty apple pies, the thick triangles of chocolate covered cakes, the fancy whipped meringues - but somehow, they manage to disappoint. I'm not saying every single coffee store, but it's not often that we bite into a cake and think wow. While the selection at Cup Cafe is small - they're very new - everything we tried was a delicious surprise.
I've often watched Twin Peaks
, longing for a whopping wedge of that homemade pie Kyle MacLachlan was always smacking his lips over - sitting in the straight backed plastic covered booths of Cup Cafe, picking at an actually delicious slice of frozen lime tart I felt - for the briefest of moments - a tiny wave of a Twin Peaks diner moment. The lime tart isn't quite a Double R cherry pie, but it's an excellent dessert that comes close to eliciting that American diner-style sugary satisfaction. A simple, firm biscuity base melding with the sharp, icy tang of lime, accompanied by a soft dollop of whipped cream - this is the ideal cool-down dessert. Delicious, refreshing and sweet.
While they don't offer much in the way of savoury meals at the moment, Cup Cafe does an excellent fried rice and chicken (Rs. 175). This is a great Sri-Lankan Chinese lunch meal, and yet another surprise lurking within this unassuming little shop. The rice has powerful notes of the samba grain, the chicken is spicy and soft and you get a generous portion of moist chop suey veg and chilli paste. If you live or work around the area, Cup Cafe is well worth checking out - so much better than its extortionate neighbour, BreadTalk.
Try the frozen lime tart.