Mitsi's is a nice new coffee shop on Bagatalle Road. They pay attention to the food (and desserts) and have a big, open space to hang out in.
Mitsi's is the extension of an established catering business that's now moved into a big space in Colombo 3. It's a good space with good food, but what really sets it apart is the service.
We only tried a few things - the jerk chicken (Rs. 800) and a mango and peach smoothie (Rs. 400) - and they were both good.
The smoothie was expensive but really quite satisfying. Peaches are rare in Sri Lanka and it forms a nice, sweet compliment to the mango. I'm not quite sure what it is that separates a good smoothie from a bad one, but this was a good one.
In terms of food we just tried one dish, so it may not be representative. The server recommended the jerk chicken and it was flavorful, generous and not too heavy. Well cooked, not over-seasoned, coming with a complimentary but not obvious gravy and generous amount of mashed potatoes and veg.
What was most interesting was that when the chicken took a while to came (actually a good sign), the waiter brought over a complimentary starter. That itself was quite good, lightly caramelized onion, well cooked but not over-oily mushroom, etc. Food taking time is not a bad thing, but staff showing that they care is definitely good.
Mitsi's also has their own range of desserts which are baked in-house, as well as a range of hot and cold coffees and other drinks. Those look promising, please comment if you've had.
Overall the food avoids that terrible, unhealthy interpretation of western cuisine that many cafes suffer from. The bits we had were well-seasoned, tasty and left you feeling better afterwards.
There are a lot of places with big locations and bad food, or good food in a tiny location. Mitsi's, thankfully, has a good location to match its thoughtful food. It's on Bagatalle between Thurstan Road and Duplication, so central, but not so central that it's noisy or difficult to park.
The place itself has a big outdoor seating area with a huge if somewhat incongruous photo of the Louvre. There's ample seating inside and WiFi so you don't feel too bad about hanging around. The kitchen, as mentioned, is open for all to see.
The service was excellent. The guy at the counter knew the menu (a surprising rarity) and actually cared about the order and timing of the meal. When the food got delayed he apologized (though it was only like 10 minutes) and even gave a complimentary starter, which is really going way out of their way. It's a little thing, but really makes a good impression. It also helped that the starter was tasty, but anyways.
What was also touching was that I decided to take some food home and sent it back to be packed. Mitsi (I think it was her) was talking to someone else and I think she saw this. She later interrupted her conversation to ask me if anything was wrong with the food, and she actually cared. There wasn't, I actually just wanted to share it, but it was nice that she asked in such an earnest way. Having an owner/operator that cares about their customers makes all the difference between a restaurant that you come back to and one you don't. Mitsi's cares.
The food and drinks are quite good here, as is the space, but what sets Mitsi's apart is a staff that cares about both the customers and food. With so many new restaurants just out to make money, it's really refreshing to visit a place that cares.