Garden Cafe is an awesome little tea lounge hiding behind a Noritake store in Duplication Road. They serve neat tall glasses of chilled tea, not to mention smoothies and brownies, and the prices are low.
[Editor's Note: this looks like a warzone because Duplication Rd Construction is going on, until January 2015 most likely
Garden Cafe is run by the same folks who run Noritake: The Legend, so it's on the same premises. You walk in and you see a lot of white garden furniture on grass next to the Noritake store, and a lounge titled 'T-sips' - don't be confused, T-sips and Garden Cafe are one and the same.
On a cool evening a cup of tea outside would be great, but their iced teas are their most popular purchase, and nothing could be better than sipping on one inside their A/C lounge on a hot Colombo day.
Their lemon iced tea is especially yummy - it comes in a huge glass topped with plenty of ice cubes. They've also got iced tea in peach, strawberry and ginger, for just Rs. 130. The tea menu is pretty broad, from white tea, to regional (from Kandy, Dambulla etc), to spicy and even a peppermint lemon mocktail. It's all mostly around Rs. 100 which is the best part.
Jagro's stuff is here too, so we got a strawberry smoothie for Rs. 250 and it was very creamy and light and came in an awesomely large glass.
The only food on the menu here is the chocolate brownie. It's for Rs. 160 and the piece isn't big so you might ask if it's worth it, but considering it's the only food here, we didn't mind - especially since it was pretty tasty, with hot chocolate in its center and chunks of crumbly nuts.
The ambience is the thing. The lounge is a small room of wooden planking, neat brown bar stools, a little coffee table and a long cushy sofa. It's very cosy and quiet, and if you're lucky enough that nobody else is around, it makes a great place to sit down and read a book or just enjoy some A/C'ed silence away from the busy street outside.
When you step inside it's the kind of mood you get in a posh cafe where you spend more than 500 bucks for the cheapest thing on the menu. Except you get a tasty brownie and a tall cheap refreshing drink instead.
Garden Cafe is a superb little place to stop by on a hot day for a fresh iced tea or smoothie. The lounge is very cut-away from the street, right at the back in the shadow of Noritake, so it makes for a quiet, cosy hangout, one that you'd have to spend only about 300 bucks for.
Visit around lunch break on a weekday if you want to hog the sofa.