Colombo's first tiki bar, KAVA has been creating a massive buzz among the Colombars. It's a rooftop bar too, which occupies the rooftop where 41 Sugar used to stand.
The cocktail collection at KAVA is exciting. Portraying the tiki culture, most of them are rum-based and served in ceramic tiki mugs.
This is the Zombie (Rs. 1200); a terrific concoction of dark rum, white rum, Pernod, lime juice, narang juice, cinnamon syrup, falernum and bitters. Mingling around sweet and sour elements, its flavours were elevated by some intense boozy kicks, while leaving a bitter afternote on the palate. There was a slice of pineapple floating on top, which you should muddle up with the cocktail. It adds an extra tang to the overall flavour.
Bonna Yako (Rs. 1100) is a boozed-up, sour, and gingery treat. It was fizzer than the Zombie, as it comes with a good dose of ginger beer in it. Tequila acts as the boozy substance here, and the rest is incorporated with tamarind, lime and bitters. An excellent, absolutely refreshing choice for anyone who'd like sour cocktails.
They offer a one-to-one deal for cocktails during happy hour and we were pleasantly surprised by the second round too. The quality and quantity of the cocktails were on point as the previous ones.
KAVA whips up a range of meat and seafood-centric goodies - BBQ sticks, tapas and mains.
The Isso Rods (Rs. 850) arrived as a portion of two skewers featuring three barbecued, chilli garlic prawns in each. Beautifully golden brown in colour, these plumpy prawns were deshelled, grill-kissed to perfection and chewy to the bite. There was a subtle whiff of garlic seeping through; a bit more of that would have been ideal. It's a bit pricey dish considering the quantity, but flavoursome nonetheless.
This is Bad To The Bone (Rs. 1400); KAVA's take on Indonesian style Beef Rendang served with the bone marrow, cucumber, curd and paratha.
Every bite of this curry was a piquant burst. There were many layers of spices at play, each expanding the depth of its flavour profile. Lusciously creamy and lavished with curry, the gravy was incredible, while the pieces of beef were tender and packed in a lot of flavours; a combination of meat's own flavour and the generous amounts of spices infused into it. We quite enjoyed scooping it up with the warm, crispy paratha.
Succulent and well cooked, the bone marrow managed to retain its delicious oleaginous texture mixed with the curry taste.
The Jerk Chicken (Rs. 1100) was presented as a portion of two grilled chicken thighs, cornbread, tropical salsa and mint curd.
Every component on this plate was well executed. Nicely caramelised, the chicken had a vibrant glaze from the outside, along with a lovely crisp, while the inside is juicy, smoky and beautifully pink. The cornbread was light, airy and fluffy, and you can make good use of the fruity salsa and mint curd for the extra flavour.
As for dessert, we got the Gator Mousse (Rs. 650); an assortment of yoghurt mousse, avocado mousse, honeycomb and lovi. Both of the mousses were excellently prepared; immensely creamy on the palate, while delivering the fruity and tart notes as promised. The crushed honeycomb added a ripple of sweetness to the mix, and the chunks of lovi and avocado lying around were a delightful addition.
The ambience is redecorated to match the tiki vibe. Surrounded by dimmed red, yellow and green lighting, disco lights and potted plants, it's a comfy semi-indoor space that offers some spectacular sunset views and a breath of fresh air. It's an ideal choice to stop by for a drink after hours, and not bad for a dinner date either.
The staff was all smiles throughout our experience and managed to bring out our food and drinks within around 20 minutes.
We love it. The prices don't include service charges, are more or less on the high end, and on par with the bars of similar kind. But, their food and drinks are exceptionally good and paired with the rooftop and tiki vibe to boot, you're guaranteed to have a good time here.
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