16 Sellamuttu Avenue, Colombo 3
Open until 12:00 AM
A smaller cousin to their Barnes Place branch, Tea Avenue Marine Drive has the same relaxed ambience, making it a great place for meeting friends and for working along Marine Drive. The tea and food, however, were a tad underwhelming
Marine Drive is slowly acquiring a few good eating spots, but nothing game-changing has popped up since Whight and Co. The new Tea Avenue is trying to change that, and from what we've seen so far, gets most of the formula right. The staff are friendly and the service is quick, the space is big and gives a lot of breathing room, however the food and drink can improve a bit, especially considering the prices.
Since we've already tried their life-threateningly good Ferrero Milkshake at Barnes Place, we decided to go for some of the less spectacular but still interesting items on the menu. One of them was the Pumpkin Spice Tea (Rs. 550). It's sweet to begin with so don’t add sugar. It might even be a little too sweet depending on your preference. The spices are nice, I sensed some cardamom and a bit of ginger. Pumpkin flavored tea is not something I thought I'd ever encounter in my life, but it actually isn't bad.
Here's just one picture of the tea since both of them look the same.
We also tested the Chai Latte (Rs. 500). Much to our disappointment, it had the same spice base as the Pumpkin Spice Tea, but that could just be our taste-buds playing tricks on our imagination. I kind of find it annoying when restaurants have different items on the menu which taste 90% identical.
The basic Blueberry Cheesecake (Rs. 640) was great, it had a nice solid texture but was still approrpiately creamy. A soft biscuit bottom had a subtle flavor that stayed in the background. The blueberry topping I thought was a tad artificial and sugary. The cheesecake itself wasn't too sweet.
We'd heard how great the Fish and Chips (Rs. 1250) were so we ordered them. Sadly, this was one of the least exciting Fish and Chips I've ever eaten.
There was too much garlic in the tomato ketchup, which was itself was mixed in with a copious amount of mayo. The fish itself was solid and dense as opposed to crunchy and tasted like water. The chips were OK, crispy and nice. The only saving grace was the green pea salad that came as a side dish. 'Twas excellent with a rough texture that delivered great crunch.
We also ordered the Spicy Tuna Waffle (Rs. 720). To begin with, it was a little dry. But as we kept at it it slowly grew on us, partly because we ordered a portion of pol sambol (Rs. 100) to go with it, which somehow mixed in better with the sweet waffle.
The WiFi is great, but having to go back for a new access code every hour is really annoying. The ambience is nice with lots of open spaces and a great smoking area in a small patio out back. Watch out for when it rains though, the retractable roof doesn't entirely prevent the edges from getting wet.
Space and service wise, Tea Avenue ticks all the boxes, if you're going there for the food, or even just the tea, however, lower your expectations.
Tea Avenue ticks all the boxes for a good hangout/work spot along Marine Drive, but the food and drink quality doesn't astound.
සිංහල ටී ඇවෙනියු කියන්නේ ඕනේ ම කෙනෙක් අනිවාර්යෙන් ම එක සැරයක් හෝ ගිහින් බලන්න ඕනේ කැෆේ එකක්.
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