Cafe Kumbuk made its way into the restaurant scene in Colombo as being one of the slightly fancier cafes to hang out with a lot less guilt involved, you know - with most of the food involved being vegan or vegetarian and all.
Nonetheless, Kumbuk Kitchen, a counterpart to Cafe Kumbuk started off at Good Market, but have moved since then. With an all-new venue in Urban Island.
Kumbuk Kitchen can be found at the entrance of Urban Island. For those who don't really know what it is that Urban Island does: it's a concept store that deals with the general lifestyle aspect of living in Colombo. Naturally, Kumbuk Kitchen fits right in.
The ambience at Kumbuk Kitchen can only be described with a few selective aspects of the whole facade that adds up to one largely poetic outlook. Mango trees with hints of sunlight streaming through the spaces where the leaves allow it, seating all made of rattan, a very nice palette of colours and the general tropical nature of Colombo with the addition of sultry jazz playing in the background to bundle up the whole thing, and to add up to be a scene straight out of an Ashok Ferrey book - i.e the perfect backdrop for when you're looking for some artsy lunch.
The menu at Kumbuk Kitchen isn't very large, instead, you'll find a very concise sheet of royal blue paper with options ranging from Coffee to tea to a few mains, ice cream and a couple of drinks. We decided to go with a Sundried Tomato Pesto (Rs. 750), a Glowing Green (Rs. 500) and a Cookie (Rs.350).
The Sundried Tomato Pesto turned out to be 2 pairs of thick, lightly toasted slices of sourdough with a thin layer of pesto and tomatoes sandwiched in between. Accompanied by a handful of lettuce with what appeared to be some sort of lime/ salt and pepper dressing, this was very pretty to look at.
Dusted with a light sprinkle of chilli powder, the sourdough sandwich was all right, at best. The naturally sour sourdough combined with the citrusy nature of the tomato added up to be slightly overpowering, to be honest. Plus, that, with the salad, it was all very very tangy. Thing is, I like sour things, but, for some very odd reason, this just wasn't my cup of tea.
Sure, the bits of chilli powder was a very nice touch to the whole dish, but, as a whole, we just don't see ourselves going for it again.
The cookie, on the other hand, was brilliant. Oatmeal, with lots of tiny bits of chocolate chips embedded in every part of it, just so that you only get hints of chocolate and not just chocolate as you do in most cookies, we loved it.
It was chewy, it wasn't overly sweet and the dusting of cocoa powder gave tiny bitter shocks when you eat it. All in all, we know it's a tad expensive, but, trust us on this, it's worth it.
The Green Glow, a healthy concoction made of apples, kale and something else which also screamed healthy was quite nice actually. Sweet, but not too sweet and tasting oddly like star fruit, this was as tropical and healthy as the combination could achieve. There's no other way of explaining this one really.
When it comes to service, Kumbuk Kitchen was wonderful. The staff was unobtrusive but made sure that we weren't lacking anything. Super nice throughout, they managed to bring our food within 10 minutes of ordering.
Kumbuk Kitchen is a lovely place to get lunch if you're vegan or vegetarian.
A vegan and vegetarian Kumbuk outlet with good service.
Cafe Kumbuk's local, seasonal and organic healthy food gets a second outlet at the Good Market shop.