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5/5

Life Food

31 Perahara Mawatha, Colombo 03


A cosy café that dishes out healthy and yummy food and drinks: kurakkan roast paan sandwiches, salads, granola, juices and the likes.



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.

The 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.

The Food

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.

The Ambience & Service 

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?

(This would be our dining room with an open kitchen)

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.

(And downstairs would be the living room with a guest room at the back)

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.

Conclusion

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.


TIP

You may want to bring a jumper with you, the A/C is usually running full blast.

Address

31 Perahara Mawatha, Colombo 03

Directions

This is just at the turn-off to Alwis Place, opposite the Beira Lake.

Contacts

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User Reviews
G
8

3/5

0

GayanP

It's on the corner of Perehara Mawatha and Alvis place and is three incredibly small spaces on three floors. The decor is quaint, pretty and calming with an air of a casual western cafe. The ground floor is too noisy, hot and smelly due to cooking. The 2 upper floors have a relaxing view of the Beira lake. There is free Wifi and air conditioning.

The food is presented as healthy and it is fusion food. Grilled sandwiches on Kurakkan bread at around Rs 800/- is the staple and the most substantial item on the menu. There are also some grilled seafood and bowls of assorted veggies and stuff at around Rs. 1,500/- as mains. It's good for vegetarians but nothing very exciting about the food. There is no meat at all on the menu. Rice and pasta (even organic red rice and rice pasta) seem to have been labelled as unhealthy and kept off the menu. They don't serve alcohol and they don't allow you to bring in even a bottle of wine.

However, there are some very refreshing juice blends freshly blended, combining unexpected ingredients at around Rs. 400/- for a jam jar mug. they come with a very eco friendly paper straw. Unsealed bottles of water with labels that say "Kangen Water" with a ph value of 7 are served without a charge.

The Prices are absolutely honest. The price on the menu is what you actually pay. They don't pad up the bill with 30% small print taxes and service charges as some dishonest restaurants in Colombo do.

The desserts are bought from Bellissima in Attidiya and are limited to the five Biscuit puddings sold by them. They come in a very small single serve bottle at Rs 500/- each and some of the 5 flavours are out of stock. How this very indulgent dessert fits in with the so called Healthy menu of Life Food is a puzzle.

The staff appear to be over stretched and some are outright grumpy and the service is grudging and poor. Probably they are the cooks who are expected to multi task as waiters and cashiers as well. They ask you to come over to the counter to place your order without coming to your table. The juices and the food takes quite awhile to come and is cold when served. No cloth napkins and even the paper tissues are dispensed very stingily, only one or two at a time. Basically you are expected to use the much handled single tissue that has been wrapped around your set of cutlery.

They are open 11 am to 11pm. It's OK for a snack when killing some time in that area but its far too tightly packed for catching up with friends, discussions or family dining.

Avatar for Malinthe
20

2/5

1

Malinthe YAMU STAFF

Tried the Suu Kyi. Wasn't impressed. A very one dimensional broth and lackluster accompaniments. I expected more, especially due to the price you're paying. My friend's dish wasn't any better. It actually looked very unappetizing and contained not so fresh ingredients. Don't think I'd return.

D
1

5/5

0

Damith Kumara Dunuwela

Wonderful place to have healthy snack…

G
8

3/5

0

GayanP

It's on the corner of Perehara Mawatha and Alvis place and is three incredibly small spaces on three floors. The decor is quaint, pretty and calming with an air of a casual western cafe. The ground floor is too noisy, hot and smelly due to cooking. The 2 upper floors have a relaxing view of the Beira lake. There is free Wifi and air conditioning.

The food is presented as healthy and it is fusion food. Grilled sandwiches on Kurakkan bread at around Rs 800/- is the staple and the most substantial item on the menu. There are also some grilled seafood and bowls of assorted veggies and stuff at around Rs. 1,500/- as mains. It's good for vegetarians but nothing very exciting about the food. There is no meat at all on the menu. Rice and pasta (even organic red rice and rice pasta) seem to have been labelled as unhealthy and kept off the menu. They don't serve alcohol and they don't allow you to bring in even a bottle of wine.

However, there are some very refreshing juice blends freshly blended, combining unexpected ingredients at around Rs. 400/- for a jam jar mug. they come with a very eco friendly paper straw. Unsealed bottles of water with labels that say "Kangen Water" with a ph value of 7 are served without a charge.

The Prices are absolutely honest. The price on the menu is what you actually pay. They don't pad up the bill with 30% small print taxes and service charges as some dishonest restaurants in Colombo do.

The desserts are bought from Bellissima in Attidiya and are limited to the five Biscuit puddings sold by them. They come in a very small single serve bottle at Rs 500/- each and some of the 5 flavours are out of stock. How this very indulgent dessert fits in with the so called Healthy menu of Life Food is a puzzle.

The staff appear to be over stretched and some are outright grumpy and the service is grudging and poor. Probably they are the cooks who are expected to multi task as waiters and cashiers as well. They ask you to come over to the counter to place your order without coming to your table. The juices and the food takes quite awhile to come and is cold when served. No cloth napkins and even the paper tissues are dispensed very stingily, only one or two at a time. Basically you are expected to use the much handled single tissue that has been wrapped around your set of cutlery.

They are open 11 am to 11pm. It's OK for a snack when killing some time in that area but its far too tightly packed for catching up with friends, discussions or family dining.

Avatar for Malinthe
20

2/5

1

Malinthe YAMU STAFF

Tried the Suu Kyi. Wasn't impressed. A very one dimensional broth and lackluster accompaniments. I expected more, especially due to the price you're paying. My friend's dish wasn't any better. It actually looked very unappetizing and contained not so fresh ingredients. Don't think I'd return.

D
1

5/5

0

Damith Kumara Dunuwela

Wonderful place to have healthy snack…

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