Life Food started its journey with a weekly stall at the Good Market. Since the beginning of the year, they've been occupying a narrow building on the Beira Lake where they're serving healthy, delicious and innovative food and drinks.
We tried their coffee for the first time few days ago and were very pleased with the Mocha (Rs. 500). Made with unsweetened cocoa powder, the chocolate flavour going through the brew was strong and powerful, and beautifully enhanced the coffee. Texture wise, it was unfortunately too watery. But we would still have liked to have more of it, especially at this price.
Vegan friends, you can ask for soy or almond milk for your lattes, respectively for an extra Rs. 60 or 100.
Life Food's juices are also of high quality and compete with those from Cafe Kumbuk. The Super Ginger (Rs. 370), a simple mix of lime and ginger, is super refreshing on a hot day. The 2 ingredients were well balanced with the ginger not overpowering the whole drink. It did taste a bit like a Strepsil though but it didn't seem to upset my partner who ordered it.
As table water, they serve this fancy Kangen Water, obtained via a Japanese water filter. After this sophisticated filtering process, the tap water is electrolytically-reduced (yup!), richer in hydrogen and, best of all, is supposed "to restore your body to a more alkaline state", whichever this means. In short, it's good for your health (we think) and it's on the house.
For mains, we ordered one of their kurrakan roast paan sandwiches, a salad and a noodle dish and they were all equally delicious!
The Saigon Special (Rs. 540) is a Sri Lankan version of the Vietnamese institution that is bahn mi. Life Food replaces the crunchy baguette by a fresh crispy kurrakan roast paan and it works just as well. Inside you'll find a spicy mix of chicken, carrots, green chili and coriander, all dressed in a homemade mayo. It's packed with heat and flavours. Delish!
The Moroccan with Chicken (Rs. 1,350) is a hot and cold salad consisting of Harissa baked cauliflowers, chickpeas, rocket, feta, herbs and, in this case, chicken in a tahini dressing. It can be ordered without meat or with prawns instead. It's an interesting and original association that once again delivered. Every element of the dish was brilliantly executed and together they worked magic. The rocket and herbs brought freshness and bitterness, the cauliflower spicyness, the chickpeas softness and the chicken... awesomeness. The chicken was so perfectly cooked and spiced! You don't even realise you're eating healthy food!
We've also tried their Burmese inspired dish called Suu Kyi (Rs. 1,390) on a previous occasion. The spicy chicken broth comes with a hint of coconut milk, sobba noodles, shredded chicken, boiled egg, spring onions, bean sprouts and coriander. You've got to try it by yourself, I don't want to spoil your experience by trying to describe this one. They rightly warn you on the menu that you will be "slurping off the bowl" and indeed you won't want to leave anything behind, not even a drop of the hearty broth.
Feeling a bit too healthy, we ended the meal with an Arrack Chocolate Chocolate Biscuit Pudding from well-known Bellissima, priced at Rs. 490. Yum! Soooo good! It's rich, decadently gooey and the combo chocolate/arrack is a win.
Although prices are generally on the high side for drinks and food in Life Food, it’s worth digging your wallet for. It probably won't be your daily eatery (or maybe, lucky you) but it's still affordable from time to time, for a good lunch, dinner or breakfast.
Life Food looks tiny from outside but they actually have 2 more floors upstairs. It's basically a house that they've converted into a café, creating a very homely atmosphere. So homely, our favourite distraction when we're there is to imagine how we'd rearrange the place if it were ours. You've got to dream sometimes, right?
They kept the design simple: white walls with exposed bricks, wooden floor and furniture and artificial plants and flowers here and there. The end result looks modern and elegant, without being pretentious. Grab yourself a seat next to the window and enjoy the view on Beira Lake, a lovely sight in the evening.
We visited Life Food several times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it was usually pretty full. The crowd here is a mix of locals and expats, more or less young, largely female and wealthy looking. For this specific reason, I personally found the ambience to be a bit posh at times. You'll also see a lot of yoga mats here and there, as a reminder to start exercising again.
The staff is cheerful and polite. They seem to have raised their game since our last visit. You order at the counter and they bring food and drinks pretty quickly to your table.
If you haven't tried their food yet, you definitely should. Life Food doesn't have the pretention to call themselves a fine dining place but they honestly compete with some of the fancy places out there. Dishes are innovative and brilliantly executed.
Given the high quality of the food and drinks and the prime location (soon to be a leisure and tourist park with the completion of Altair), we predict great things for Life Food in the future.
Grab a seat next to the window upstairs and treat yourself with the scrumptious and innovative café-type of food and the view on Beira Lake.
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