The Cauldron has been around for a while now, and is a popular spot for Open Mics and other social gatherings that most of the city's youth like to enjoy. They're well known for putting Sri Lankan twists on well-loved dishes like their Kochchi Chicken Waffle and whatnot.
The Cauldron is an interesting name for a cafe, but it doesn't quite depict anything related to cauldrons. For one I was probably the only thing closest to a witch in there (ehehe) and whilst the atmosphere is quite dark and dinghy, the place is still rather basic with rustic elements scattered about.
That doesn't mean the ambience is bad, not at all, it's quite nice and calm actually. But I'm just saying, with a name that includes the word Cauldron, it'd be more fitting to see a few Halloween-esque decorations around instead of photos of Che Guevara. Oh yes, there are a looooot o photos of Che Guevara. I don't mind, I quite like looking at Che Guevara- but more out of admiration rather than confusion, y'know?
There are also a lot of photos of rock bands, famous singers from yesteryear and whatnot because Colombo went through that phase a while ago and nearly all the new cafes back then adapted to this aesthetic.*
Like I stated earlier their Lankan fusion dishes are the best. Well executed, and actually really tasty, I'd advise you to stick to that menu if you're keen on enjoying your dining experience. That's not to say the rest of their menu sucks, they just give their fusion menu a bit of extra attention I suppose.
Here is the Big Breakfast (Rs. 700). It isn't as bad as Coco Verandah's awful English Breakfast - especially in terms of price - I'll tell you that. You get two slices of toast, half a tomato, two bulls-eyes, Heinz baked beans, jam, a sausage that's been on the pan too long, and two hash browns. It's a great dish for when you're hungry, but not for when you want to enjoy a full English Breakfast.
Now the Chicken Roast Paan. For Rs. 520 you get two giant roast paan sandwiches stuffed with curried chicken. It's quite tasty, rather mildly spiced and is bursting at the seams - quite literally - with chicken. It's a hearty, big portion that's great for sharing- or just for you, no judgement.
They've got a big range of desserts and drinks, but we stuck with a few of the old favourites that keep bringing customers back. For our dessert, we opted for the Walnut & Carrot Cake (Rs. 420), a Cappuccino (Rs. 400) and a Kiwi Mojito (Rs. 430).
The Carrot cake was quite delicious, albeit a bit too moist thanks to the excessive oil used. Still, it's baked well, and the carrot adds to its sweetness. The cream cheese frosting could have tasted a bit more cream-cheesier, but that's just me being picky. There are a lot of walnut bits embedded into the base as well, thereby amping up the crunch factor. Overall a good, honest slice worth Rs. 420. Their coffee-based drinks are quite popular, but we stuck with the Cappuccino. It's not half bad- but isn't a knockout either. Just a good cup if you want to skip the frills and enjoy some decent coffee, I guess. Like Indi stated in our last review- they don't cater to coffee nerds, just people who want to sit down and have some coffee.
It was definitely a bit on the milkier side, but there was an adequate amount of foam and the tatse of coffee came through as well. I don't know what to tell you, get the coffee or don't get the coffee. Just don't go in there expecting an artisan cuppa.
Their Kiwi Mojito is actually good. It's pumped with flavoured and sugar syrups but it's still a decent drink. A bit too sweet for my taste, but with enough flavour to convince you that you're drinking an actual kiwi drink.
I wouldn't really say The Cauldron is one of Colombo's best coffee shops, but it certainly isn't the worst. It's got a good rep amongst its loyal fans and they aren't trying too hard, so there's nothing at fault here. Perhaps drop in for a slice of that Carrot Cake if you're in the area.
The Cauldron is popping with Open Mic events and the like, but does their food follow suit? We shall see.
The Cauldron fits a gap in the Colombo coffee shop scene - it's relatively affordable, in a good location for the 138 bus crowd, and has creative but filling food.
සිංහල මේ කැෆේ එක සෑහෙන්න ඉඩකඩ ඇතුව හදපු එකක්. හරි ම නිස්කලංක ගතියක් තියෙනවා. පෙනුමෙනුත් හරි හැඩයි.
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