That Cafe (Wellawatte) currently offers a tempting deal: pay Rs. 990 and order as much as you want – some of the food is okay, and the challenge is irresistible. The catch is, if you don’t eat up every little morsel, you have to pay up for the dish.
For my Rs. 990, I ordered a Mount Vesuvius (a sizzling platter of eggs, fish, sausage, chicken and vegetables), a chicken submarine with fries, a burger arabiata and a double jumbo hotdog.
My friend for her share ordered a chicken lasagna, a regular chicken BBQ pizza and a seafood caesar salad. We also got loads of unlimited iced tea.
The chicken submarine wasn’t amazing but it was tasty. I looked at my other three dishes and thought, this is going to be a cinch. The sizzling platter looked promising, it was plentiful and saucy, but it messed up my momentum – I started digging into its meats which were good, but when I got to the bottom, some little bits were stuck to the pan (because this happens sometimes when you grill things) and they tasted and smelled burnt. I couldn’t palate it, it couldn’t be eaten – the manager insisted that that’s how it was supposed to taste though.
The sausage quality of the hotdog was poor. The burger was okay – but by the time I got to it, I was so put off by the sizzling platter that the burger seemed sinister. The caesar salad with prawns was crunchy and alright, the chicken lasagna was a bit dry but good, but the pizza was completely mediocre: the bread was hard and the toppings tasted bland. The fries were hard and not tasty, but we had to eat it all regardless — that was the deal!
The thing is, the food here isn’t amazing, some of it is alright, but some of it is just plain boring — so if you order bucketloads for the All You Can Eat offer, even if you’re a shameless glutton like me, you’re not going to want to finish it all.
Service for my dishes was fast – only about 15 minutes, but my friend got her stuff more than thirty minutes after ordering. Our waiter was very friendly and helpful. The manager was nice to us too – that is, till the incident.
Cheating the system
We didn’t like the food. We were so delirious from stuffing ourselves to avoid paying up – even though the margin of difference is really slim either way (maybe Rs.500) – because, you know, it’s not about the money, it’s about the challenge — and we could feel our morals slowly loosening. We broke the commandment. My friend decided, in a fit of deviousness and desperation, to wrap the french fries in tissue paper and throw them out secretly so we wouldn’t have to eat them.
Between mouths of burger and hotdog, I wondered how long we would be trapped here trying to finish this – and she sneaked away and did the deed. A waiter saw her dispose of the fries. The sirens and the spotlights came on – the jig was up.
Man, we were going to go to food-jail. The manager started talking to me about CCTVs and he was positively butthurt at what had been done – how dare we disrespect the Code of the All You Can Eat. The waiters were staring. My friend escaped somehow and I was left standing there in the floodlights, my whole life flashing before my eyes – this was it. Would I ever see my kids again?
Wait, I don’t have kids.
By the time I descended from my food-stuffing delirium and realized there was no such thing as food-jail, I was paying up extra at the counter for not doing the All You Can Eat right. Don’t try to cheat the system – you will get beat-up, son.
That Cafe in Colombo has generally friendly staff (unless you cheat – because then it’s just gonna be Bad Cop from the Lego Movie), some of the food is tasty, some of it poorly made, the fries are meh – but the All You Can Eat is a fun thing to go for with your friends, if you want to play the Who Can Eat the Most game. Just don’t order truckloads, it’s not going to be as easy as it looks.