Tribe Cafe - a fairly new, wee little cafe in Nawala that's already making a place in the ever-expanding Cafe scene in Colombo. We had heard quite a few good things about it so we decided to drop in for a bit of food. Here's how it went.
A studio restaurant with one side taking up bread and pastries while the other takes up gelato, the ambience here is quite nice. Brick walls, (possible) faux wood flooring and warm lighting, it was a picture-perfect cafe straight out of a magazine and we're in love with it.
They also have an outdoor seating space and you don't need to worry about the heat, because they have an actual ceiling fan outside.
From savoury doughnuts to samosas to cake to gelato and cookies, Tribe has quite a selection.
This may look like a seeni sambol bun. But, in fact, it's a Devilled Chicken Bun (Rs. 170). The bread was super soft and it was filled with a load of spicy chicken cubes. We even found traces of rosemary hiding amidst the hullabaloo.
It is a bit pricey for a bun of this nature because this alone will never be enough to fill you up. But, it's delicious. So you shouldn't stay away.
Moving on to the Mex Pie (Rs. 120). Now, this was a definite favourite of ours. Soft and perfectly doughy, with a delicate filling, it's a delight. The best thing about this was the fact that it tasted more homemade than anything else. Honestly, just go for it.
And then came the Beef Samosa (Rs. 100). As Sri Lankans, we've had various varieties of Samosas - from 10 rupee ones from the streetside petti kadey to 150 rupee ones from Rose Lounge. This is one of the best we've had. Crusty on the outside and deliciously savoury on the inside, this blew us away by the sheer amount of meat packed so compactly inside it. Plus, it wasn't very oily - a definite plus point when it comes to samosas.
Just looking at it is making me want to cry. Buttery, soft and deep-fried to perfection, this was a replica of the masterpieces that used to be the Cream doughnut in SenSaal 10 years ago. The filling was a perfect balance between meat, veggies and that slight crunch from the gherkin was everything. I would walk to Tribe any day for one of these. We suggest you do too.
Tribe Cafe does a whole range of sweet items - from cookies to cake to Gelato, they've got you covered. We went with the Eclair (Rs. 100) and a Coconut Magic Bar (Rs. 160).
The Coconut Magic Bar was quite literally the love child of a Reeses Peanut butter cup and a Pol toffee. Deliciously buttery and with enough chocolate going on, this was pretty damn good. However, we suggest staying away from this if you're not a very big coconut person.
On the same hand, the Eclair was sublime. With a thick shell of Chocolate encasing the top part of the pastry, it was filled to the brim with silky smooth, chocolate cream filling, which was not too sweet. One of the smoothest and nicest ones we've had - totally recommend it.
They've got Il Gelato for Gelato so we grabbed a scoop of Frutti Di Bosco (Rs. 450) - a brilliant concoction of various berries and is an impossibility to be eaten by one person alone. Unless you want a massive sugar high at work, that is.
As for drinks, they do mostly coffees and tea. We went with the Cinnamon Iced Tea (Rs. 350) and the Cappucino (Rs. 450).
Using Illy coffee, the Tribe Cafe does a good cuppa. It was super creamy and steaming when it arrived. Everything from the foam to the layers of espresso below that had strong kicks of caffeine. It's a good pick-me-up in the morning.
Finally, we also tried their Rice & Curry Set Menu (Rs. 350), which was quite alright. While we can't call it spicy in any way, we enjoyed it. The rice was super fluffy and cooked well, the Chicken piece was quite big and was packed with flavour and the dhal curry and cabbage curry brought out the perfect amount of creaminess to the whole thing.
In terms of Service, it's a straight up 5/5. The staff was super sweet and helpful in every way. Friendly and helpful, it's very unlikely that you'd feel awkward even if you don't have anyone else with you.
In conclusion, we really liked the Tribe Cafe. The food was great, the service was excellent and the ambience was the cherry on top. We'd definitely recommend it.
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