By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Last Wednesday (13), Barista hosted a Menu Tasting event at Cafe Mocha, Colombo 06.
This time around, Barista is taking matters into their own hands and are attempting to revolutionise how Sri Lankans do lunch.
The tasting featured a number of dishes, finalised internally to be tested by select consumer groups in order to create the perfect cafe menu with the ideal price point.
It’s truly commendable what they are trying to do, attempting to set the precedent for an affordable but social cafe culture.
Speaking of profit margins and current trends, particularly in beverages, Barista’s General Manager Dilupa ??? said: “To be frank, our beverages have remained popular and in-demand despite the varying price points. However, we do not wish to exploit our customers, so our goal is to introduce something affordable but also fashionable.”
He also added: “Coffee is an everyday consumer item, particularly abroad, where an individual would consume more than one cup of coffee a day. However, due to price points set in Sri Lanka, it is near-impossible for it to turn into a daily commodity, and we hope to change that through our initiative in hopes of making it an everyday thing.”
He further said: “This is sort of where Sri Lanka has gone wrong – the pricing of these items. Even street food like burgers cost a lot – the trend here has been that all western items; cappuccino, burgers, and usual everyday food items have been priced far too high, truly preventing the industry from growing.”
In order to remedy this, Barista is attempting to introduce change with their new menu, and here’s what we tried.
Interestingly, if any of these items prove to be less-than-warmly embraced by their customers, they will remove them from their final menu, to be launched on 1 March.
Barista’s traditional latte
The only downside to this was that the packaging was plastic. However, many of the beverages were visually gorgeous, particularly the crushes, however, despite the fun-sized packaging, being environmentally conscious may be more important.
Cake shakes – vanilla and chocolate
This one was a pleasant surprise. Considering how, as a personal choice, we are almost always inclined to trying chocolate-based items, I have to admit the vanilla cake shake was glorious.
Thankfully, it wasn’t nauseatingly sweet, and the cargills vanilla ice cream they used, along with the butter cake mix was perfect.
The chocolate option really pales in comparison, most likely due to the cake used, and it could definitely be better.
We were also offered two other beverages – a Nutella shake which tasted rather watered down and not very Nutella-like and also a peanut butter shake which tasted like it contained more Nutella than the Nutella shake.
Rice – seafood, chicken, and Mongolian
All three options were wonderful and priced at Rs. 350. This felt like a bargain as the curries tasted rich and fresh. Each serving was balanced, felt well-thought-out, and the portions were satisfactory.
The only complaint here would be that there was excessive chilli paste, along with the slightly excessive use of sauces.
Breakfast – toast and scrambled eggs and waffles and scrambled eggs
The eggs here were the real winner; they were soft and fluffy, seasoned well, and were paired with spinach, tomato, and sausage.
Barista hopes to introduce pizza in their menu for the first time, and while we enjoyed this, it was quite apparent that they were in fact pizza novices. While the toppings tasted fine, with some actually tasting quite good, the pizza dough had the consistency of Arabic bread.
Carrot cake and chocolate biscuit pudding
The carrot cake was excellent. Usually the most boring option on the menu, they’ve made it look and taste lovely by incorporating great texture.
As for the chocolate biscuit pudding, we believe its name is an understatement to the dish’s complexity, as it was far from a simple CBP.
It tasted fantastic, and once again, Barista did us the favour of not making their desserts overly sweet, so you can certainly enjoy this one without getting a migraine.
Facebook: Café Mocha
Address: 28, Stafford Avenue, Colombo 06
Contact: 0117 389 206
Photos Krishan Kariyawasam