Cioconat Lounge promised the public a one-of-a-kind ifthar buffet this Ramadan for Rs. 1550, and it was one of a kind alright! But not in a good way.
Service & Ambience
Cioconat’s interior was not prepared for the horde of ifthar-enthusiasts walking through the doors. It actually felt a bit crowded once everyone came in, mostly because we were all heading to the small center-space where the buffet was. The waiters and manager were very nice and quite obliging – they get loads of points for being sweet. Having being given a table of my own, I did have to ask for tissue, water and cutlery at the beginning though. Every table individually received a bowl of kanji, short-eats and dates. We appreciated that they had their TV tuned into an ifthar program so we could know when the time was to break fast, a detail a lot of ifthar offers in Colombo seemed to have missed. Also great was that there were prayer facilities available.
Their kanji is actually good – creamy and tasty. But the short-eats we got before starting on the buffet were very mediocre. They seemed a bit old and something a very lazy aunty would make in a hurry for relatives she wasn’t particularly fond of.
The buffet was extremely limited. The whole spread was just about 8 feet wide, squeezed into the center of the lounge. One table had some macaroni, buns, hummus and cucumber sandwiches, the second had just about 5 silver containers of rice, noodles and meats, and the third had date cake and caramel cake. This was the entire buffet. The plates were cornered between a wall and the biriyani, so everyone had to line up to get one and for a moment it felt like an annoying overcrowded Muslim wedding.
The cucumber sandwiches are the tastiest thing you can have at this ifthar. The macaroni was bland, the meats (chicken and fish) were average, the hummus was alright, the biriyani was edible, and we suspect the rice noodles had begun to go slightly bad.
We really wanted to like this ifthar, because the people here seem so nice, but alas, it was not to be. Cioconat Lounge had their heart in the right place when they joined the Ramadan buffet-deal bandwagon, but their food’s definitely from the wrong place.
Note: We were told the ifthar is usually only from Wednesdays to Sundays for some reason. Also if you’re going for this, call ahead for reservations.