Emphasizing on the healthy living concept, Cafe Nuga is one of the very few restaurants in Colombo that knows the art of binding health benefits to delicious food. Now they've expanded their menu to include a super Sri Lankan breakfast spread, that mainly features hoppers and freshly baked roast paan, among other things. This breakfast menu is available from 6.30 AM to 11.30 AM.
Cafe Nuga's hoppers are the most important part here, because let's face it – there's no restaurant in Colombo that serves up hoppers for breakfast. You might be able to grab some hoppers from the koththu kadey down your lane, but most of the times they're just leftovers from the previous night, and not freshly made.
Aside from the hoppers and roast paan, they also have toasties, granola, and even a English breakfast, if a Sri Lankan spread is not posh enough for you.
The Spicy Chicken Hopper Meal (Rs. 650) came with two plain hoppers, and one egg hopper accompanied with a chicken curry, dhal curry and a pol sambol. Light, milky, lots of crispiness and soft in the centre, their hoppers were absolutely delicious. The egg itself was an almost sunny side up, with a scrumptiously runny yolk and garnished with pepper.
Cafe Nuga does a killer chicken curry – adequately spicy with lots of curry, the gravy boasts a nice peppery hit which made a great combo with the hoppers. We liked the dhal curry too. It was creamy, had the perfectly balanced flavors of spiciness and milkiness, with a subtle sweetness swirling through.
The pol sambol however, was just alright. Sure it boosted the spiciness of the whole meal, but we found giant onion bits in it, which shows that it hasn't been pounded well.
Served with the sides of mutton curry, pol sambol and dhal, the Spicy Mutton Bread Meal (Rs. 650) was excellent. The roast paan was fresh out of the oven – warm, crunchy from the outside, yet soft and moist in the middle. It's as delicious as a roast paan could get. They slather it with a layer of garlic butter before baking, which added for extra flavor. Paired with the super spicy mutton curry, this one is a real treat.
Cafe Nuga isn't stingy with their portion sizes, and this mutton curry was enough proof of that. We got four chunks of deliciously chewy, well cooked mutton pieces, soaked in a flavorsome gravy.
For a hefty amount of Rs. 850, the Hopper Benedict would leave a dent in your wallet early in the morning, but it's something that you should try out. It's incorporated with two of the favorite breakfasts in Western and Sri Lankan food culture – Egg Benny and Hoppers.
So here's how it goes – they replace the English muffin with a good old Lankan egg hopper, and add a smoked salmon layer, spinach and a drizzle of hollandaise sauce on top. Eating this could get messy, especially if you're using a fork and a knife, so the safest way is following the Lankan style – roll up the hopper from corner to corner and then eat it.
This is definitely milkier than your normal eggs benny, simply because of the milky notes of the hopper itself, while the crispy edges offered a great switch.
As for drinks, we tried their Kadey Tea (Rs. 250), a glass of kiri thé doused in Milkmaid. Frothy and sweet (obviously!), we liked it, but steer clear on this if you are keen on keeping your figure, or if you're at risk for diabetes.
Served in a beautiful china tea cup, the Milo Tea (Rs. 250) is your average homemade Milo kiri thé, nothing stood out.
If you're in a mood for some unu unu hoppers or freshly baked roast paan, paired with some dynamite Lankan curries to cheer you up in the morning, Cafe Nuga is your best option. Prices are steep, we agree, but I'd say it's well worth it.