Dilmah t-Lounge at the Arcade
is pretty similar to their outlet in Chatham Street
. The food is good, and the space is less crowded and the service is better - though you get less privacy because of the big glass windows.
It is located on the ground floor of the main wing at the Arcade (where you get Kaema Sutra
). Thankfully they now have sleek maps up on the walls to show you the way.
Dilmah t-Lounge is one of the few places in Colombo that do good crepes. We got their traditional pol sambol crepe (Rs. 350) and honey mustard chicken crepe (Rs. 650).
Before people get all mad like 'aapoh what is this, charging this much for friggin' pol sambol', well yes, it has become a bit of a thing at tea lounges to charge for seeni sambol and pol sambol, but at least it's tasty, and you can't really expect any dish to go for less in a posh lounge like this one. It was pretty spicy and the crepe which is typically supposed to be like pancake, had the hard texture of a thosai to go with it.
The honey mustard chicken crepe is one of the more interesting choices you can make at Dilmah's - we loved how there was a perfect blend of sweetness with the chicken and how the crepe was softer than the pol sambol one to complement the filling.
We also got sandwiches - the spicy chicken (Rs. 490) and the melted cheese waldorf (Rs. 575). They were good and with plenty of filling, and came in thick whole wheat portions of four - you don't really feel like ordering any other food when you're done with your dish.
You cannot go wrong ordering the double chocolate ganache here (Rs. 330). It's creamy with soft cake and a layer of very thick, chocolatey icing. Actually for an evening hangout, just this and a cup of tea should do.
These guys are known for their huge variety of tea and we're grateful for the choices. Our favourite is the iced tea than the hot ones though, in their big mugs topped with a chunk of ice and cherry. We got the Galle District OP (Rs. 220), which makes for sweet relief on a typical hot day.
Service & Ambience
Given that Arcade Independence Square only opened recently, the service is pretty good as with all new places, but we do hope they keep it that way. The staff is noticeably more attentive and polite than at the Chatham Street outlet.
In addition to the usual sofa corners, this place also has a long table in the center with high stools that are so much more comfortable to eat at if you order proper meals (as opposed to all the leaning over and what not in the sofas).
The interior here overall feels more spacious than at their other location. Also there is the obvious perk of being inside the Arcade with its sparkly white walls, warm wooden frames and complex of stores and eateries. It's less cosier though, given the big glass windows around you, so you don't get the same tucked-into-a-corner feeling you get in Chatham Street.
Dilmah t-Lounge is one of many tea lounges now popping up in Colombo (Ceylon Tea Moments
, Garden Cafe
, Thorana Lounge
), and they are a welcome change from all our coffee stops. It's still one of the best among them considering the menu's range and the ambience, though still kind of pricey, at about 700-1000 bucks per head.
Check out the digests next to the sofas, they've got an amazing photo-catalogue of community rebuilding in different regions of Sri Lanka.