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3/5

Mlesna Tea Fortress

No. 445, Colombo Road, Kiribathkumbura, Kandy


A monolith of a building on the Colombo-Kandy road with decent food and plenty of great tea.



Mlesna's Tea Fortress is located just before Kandy, so by this time, most of us road trippers are weary, hungry and very much in need of a bathroom (TMI?). Step into Tea Fortress for all those needs. They serve some excellent tea with decent food. 

The Food

Their menu is extensive and carefully curated to suit the foreign crowd as well as the locals who would be sitting down for a quick lunch. The dishes can be pretty expensive unless you're going for something Sri Lankan.  

The Vegetable Fried Rice (Rs. 600) came with a massive portion enough for at least 3 people (though they said the portion is for one) with a delicious side salad, papadam and chili paste. The rice was nothing special, just your everyday egg fried rice so I wasn't that thrilled that it cost 600 bucks. 

We also tried the Grilled Darne of Seer (Rs. 1700) which was absolutely fantastic! I highly recommend this. The fish was perfectly cooked with a delicious lemony orange sauce. The sauce had a thick texture which boded well with the marinated fish. 

The Spaghetti Napolitain (Rs. 850) was again nothing special. To be completely honest, it was well below average. Certainly not worth paying that much for. It was indolently assembled with a chunk of spaghetti, a spoonful of pasta sauce and a cheese slice on top, all microwaved together. The consistency of the sauce was way off with a very watery texture and there certainly wasn't enough to go around. 

The Baked Orange Cheesecake (Rs. 300) while tasted great, was more of a pudding than a cheesecake. The filling was very dense and solid as opposed to a creamy and smooth texture that is of a cheesecake. The biscuit base, however, was amazing. I finished that almost entirely by myself. I wouldn't say this was a bad dessert because the zesty orange taste accompanied by the sweetness of the filling parred for a filling and delicious treat but it is definitely not a cheesecake. 

The Drinks

They have a great drinks menu with a separate section for tea which is wonderful. Aside from tea, you can also get coffee, hot chocolate, fresh juices and soft drinks.

We got a cup of Milk Tea (Rs. 150) which is definitely where they shine. The tea was excellent with a thick texture and strong tea aroma. The high grown BOPF and milk blended into a lovely strong brew. 

The Hot Chocolate (Rs. 280) unfortunately, did not hold the same satisfaction. It was too milky for my liking and the chocolate had not been mixed well because I found quite a few lumps at the bottom. It's probably best to stick to the teas. 

Service and Ambiance

Their service is wonderful, very courteous, friendly and well-versed. We didn't have to wait very long for the food to arrive.

The place is a huge monolith of a stone building with a pond, giant tea filters, and a tea tasting room. The dining area is upstairs and it is set up very nicely, with comfy seatings and beautiful artwork.

They offer tea tasting at the shop below, which you can also experience here in Colombo as well. Just visit their outlet at Majestic City

Conclusion

It's a great spot to visit on your way to the hill country to stretch your legs and enjoy a cup of tea while exploring some of the local histories of the city. Just be mindful when ordering off the menu because the prices tend to be very steep.


TIP

Try their tea tasting on the ground floor.

Address

No. 445, Colombo Road, Kiribathkumbura, Kandy

Directions

You'll find it on the main Colombo-Kandy road, near the Kiribathkumbura junction. The stone "fortress" walls are impossible to miss!

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