Commons is one of Colombo's most popular hangout spots. They've got a great location on Flower Road and a pleasant space to sit down and have a chat. The service is slow but the food has actually gotten better, specially the rottis.
I can remember coming to Commons when I was younger and finding the place quite expensive but this time around it wasn't that bad. We're not saying it's cheap, but we only found ourselves spending around Rs. 2100 for two, for a bunch of stuff, which is actually not too bad, maybe we just ordered intelligently without even knowing it. They've got a pretty large menu with mostly cafe food like burgers, waffles, sandwiches and what not priced between Rs. 350 - Rs. 900. Besides that they also have a special rotti menu which seems to be their main attraction now.
We tried out their cheese rotti with mutton khorma filling (Rs. 350). The portion size isn't huge but it tasted pretty damn great. It's basically a godamba rotti folded and filled with cheese and a mutton khorma. The rotti had just the right thickness and the mutton khorma was seasoned beautifully with the cheese, adding a nice creaminess. However, we would have liked it if they had been a bit more generous with the filling.
For a place that doesn't specialize in burgers, these guys have a pretty good selection. We wanted to try something a bit different so we got the crab burger (Rs. 590). This one unfortunately didn't work as well as the rotti. While the crab patty tasted good on its own, as a part of the burger it just didn't work because it was very soft and would break apart and spill over when you held the burger.
For dessert we had the banana fritters (Rs. 360), which were also pretty tasty. It comes with the usual treacle and scoop of vanilla ice cream, so it's both hot and cold, which is something we like seeing in desserts. There's isn't any real special twist in the preparation but some things just don't need to be tampered with. Also we realized that many places don't offer banana fritters, which is a bit odd if you think about it since it's not hard at all to make. So kudos for giving us that option.
We also had their chocolate eclair (Rs. 195). It's a pretty big eclair but the choux pastry was thick and the chocolate cream in the center was just too dense. Definitely not worth 200 bucks. Overall though, we think the food in general has improved.
Service & Ambience
Service is where Commons tends to let you down a bit. If you're planning on staying for only around an hour or so, you should order as soon as you get there because it takes them close to 20 minutes to bring it to the table. It even took more than 10 minutes to bring the eclair which only needed to be put on a plate. The waiters won't really come to you to take the order so during crowded times you'll find yourself standing in a queue to get to the cashier to place the order.
Commons definitely has one of the most chill spaces in Colombo, which is why so many people go there to hang out. They've got a whole bunch of different options when it comes to seating whether it be high chairs, couches or bean bags, so you can take your pick. Their outdoor section has some pretty artsy metal furniture as well, ideal for cooler days.
The Commons Coffee House has been around for a while now, and it doesn't seem like it's going anywhere. Their food has improved with the rotti being a real highlight, but the service could definitely be faster.
Order the rotti and order fast as it may take a while.
Remember that the VAT and service charge on products can increase the price considerably.