Dolce Vita is a quaint little coffee shop and restaurant on the Poruthota Road in Negombo. They have a nice view, plenty of shade and generous portions. It made us quite happy.
We were there in late in the morning, around brunch time, though the place is open from 8 AM. This was a comfortable time because we could order pretty much anything off the menu regardless of it being a breakfast or lunch dish.
It was a hot, dry, windy day though (pretty much like almost every other day in Sri Lanka), so we went for drinks first. Being a cherry and coffee fan, I went for a Wildcherry (Rs. 450), which was was an interesting mixture of espresso and cherry syrup with whipped cream, sprinkled with a dose of spherical red candy atop. It looked delicious, and had an interesting flavour thanks to the combination of the bitter espresso and ultra-sweet cherry flavour.
We didn't have to wait long for our food, which followed shortly after. My guide (aka my Negomboid friend Niroshi) ordered a crepe with ham and cheese (Rs. 380), and I ordered a beef sandwich.
Just before the food came, the fairy-like girl who took our orders suddenly came to our table in a flurry. What happened? I wondered. Are they out of beef? Oh no!
They weren't out of beef. She just wanted to make sure about our crepes, because "The ham - it isn't chicken ham. It's... actual ham," she told my friend while shooting looks my way. It was nice of her to be concerned over what was haram without being asked, so ten points to Hufflepuff for that (she seems nice enough to be in Hufflepuff).
Since we're on the subject of ham, let's talk about the crepes first.
They looked pretty delish, but I wouldn't know. So let me quote Niroshi here, she took her food-tasting/ reviewing duties very seriously.
"The ham is very soft. They've been very generous with the cheese, but I'm not too happy with the crepe because it tastes a bit too much like a dosai. Crepes are generally much more softer, but duuude, they've really been generous with the ham and cheese, total value for money here, ah," she said as she dug into it. She even offered me a bit of cheese which was drizzled on the plate, but I declined.
Being a potato person, I was really happy with the beef sandwich because it came with a super generous side of french fries which disappeared in seconds.
The bread it came in was very fresh, with a nice, crisp crust and soft insides. The beef was also really crispy, and there was plenty of meat in it as well. It's hard to find anything to complain about when you're presented with such a nice sandwich.
The portion was quite large, and at Rs. 500 it's a totally worth the buck. The meat had flavour and was seasoned well, and there was a light smattering of mayo; just the right amount, it wasn't slathered on and it was definitely not overpowering as it generally is in most of the popular joints in Colombo.
Our final sampling was of their homemade gelato (Rs. 200). It's not pictured here because it melted too fast and we ate it even faster, but alas, not fast enough. We ended up drinking the rest (it was a scoopful of mauve-colored ice-cream in a nice, clear glass cup), but that's alright because it was pretty damn awesome. We picked the Forest Berry Sorbet, and were once again very satisfied. It was tangy and very strong, and we were able to taste a mixture of blueberry and raspberry flavours. If, however, you're a person who goes for subtle flavours, this isn't for you.
Dolce Vita has a very homely feel to it as soon as you step in, and you're instantly at ease. The seating arrangements are outdoor, and it overlooks the Indian Ocean. It's a small, cozy space, with enough of space between the seating arrangements, so that you don't feel crowded in regardless of there being a full house.
The staff are a lot like their food. Really nice. They're pleasant, helpful, and remember little things about their customers based on their religious identity. They're also pretty fast with the food, and help you charge your electronics when your battery dies out.
The food is good value for money, and it comes in generous portions. More importantly, they don't disappoint. If you're hitting up Negombo and want a not-too-expensive place to hang out with a great view of the sea and plenty of shade, check into Dolce Vita.
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