135 Jawatte Road, Colombo 5
Open until 10:30 PM
Java Lounge in Jawatta has become our go to spot for casual meetings or we just want to grab a quick coffee. They've got an accessible location, some surprisingly good pasta dishes and coffee that hits the spot more often than not.
Java Lounge's been around for a few years now, and is a popular spot for quick meetings for those who work around the Bambalapitiya-Thimbirigasyaya areas.
I'm not a huge fan of the service here: they're rather short, in a hurry, and more often than not don't hear you or are too busy doing something else to respond when you're trying to ask something. It kind of makes you feel as if you're wasting their time when it's the other way around, if they would only pay attention to what's being asked or said. A friend and I wanted to know how long we'd have to wait for one of the main courses, but never got a response so we just ordered something else in the end.
We picked up one of their specialities: an Iced Chocolate (Rs. 490) and a Hazelnut Latte (Rs. 560. Actually Rs. 440 for the Latte, and it turns out that the hazelnut syrup costs an additional 120 rupees), plus a giant chocolate chip cookie for Rs. 230.
The Iced Chocolate was comforting in its familiarity, but was also quite powdery. I wasn't a huge fan but my friend loves how it's just sweet enough to not need additional sugar, and how the whipped cream complements it. The Hazelnut Latte was warm, adequately sweet, and nice overall but didn't have much of a caffeine or a strong hazelnutty flavour to it.
At Rs. 920, the Basil and Pesto Pasta could use a bit less oil and a lot more parmesan, given that there was barely any to be scavenged in it. It was creamy and filling, but the oiliness was off-putting because it left an unpleasant itch at the back of your throat.
It's a pretty hefty portion though, and can be shared among two people.
My Spicy Chicken Nashif (Rs. 820) was alright: rather peppery, and not very stewy per se (nashif is a Middle Eastern prep method of stewed meat). It's a wrap which didn't hold its components in well, as the stuffing kept dropping out of the other end so you were mostly left with a gravied bread wrap. However, it did come with a nice salad with plenty of sweet corn and fresh vegs, and a side of crispy fries, which I enjoyed.
Despite being large and chocolatey, the cookie wasn't really worth 230 rupees. It was a tad too crumbly and messy, and the taste just wasn't right — I brought it back to office and everyone who had it said it tasted too doughy for our liking.
Much like every other coffeeshop around Colombo, they've been consistent with their interior and haven't changed anything around. It's still spacious and well-kept, pretty much like what a good, upscale coffee shop should look like. There's a large outdoor section which is great for smokers and which is also sort of covered by the lush foliage surrounding it.
Java is so-so, a good spot to grab a quick drink to satisfy your sweet tooth, and for a private meetup. Food's just about average, and doesn't really justify the price tag attached.