By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Commenced on 11 April this year, Coffee Club is a relatively new contender in the ring of the ever-increasing coffee joints in Colombo.
Coffee Club started with a passion to provide Sri Lankans with an authentic experience – something the owners themselves would have appreciated having in the Island without the need to step out of the country.
The two directors – Thivanka Lakshan and Inusha Malinda – are two enthusiastic guys with a refreshingly idealistic view of elevating Sri Lanka’s food and beverage industry with what little contribution they can make.
Food in coffee houses is geared towards a sweet tooth; however, co-director Thivanka provided that at Coffee Club, they wanted to mix it up a bit and feature more intense, spicy savoury options for the Lankan palate.
Speaking about spicy food, they were both quite eager to talk about their relationship with “nai miris”, to a point that one was tempted to suggest if they could, they’d include it in their coffee.
About their coffee, speaking quite frankly, Thivanka said: “If we go abroad, one thing we will try to do is have Starbucks coffee, because we wouldn’t otherwise know the taste of it and what everyone is on about. So, what we’ve done is opened up a place where you can taste what Starbucks tastes like here in Sri Lanka.”
Inusha added with the greatest confidence that in comparison to other coffee shops in Colombo, Coffee Club offers items at a considerably reduced rate, only because they are not too concerned about margins and customer satisfaction has been their primary concern. The food remains the quality you would expect, but Coffee Club “is keeping a margin of course, it is a business; but we try not to make it too steep despite using a majority of imported items.”
They also provide shisha at a price you will not be able to ever find in Colombo. At this point in time, it can be confirmed that their prices are currently not available anywhere else.
The place may be new, but we felt quite at home from the moment we stepped inside with their more secluded space, providing ample privacy and interior décor with plenty of warm lighting; the venue is quaint and quite adorable.
Here’s what we tried:
Considering their vast range of products and their more affordable prices, we opted to try out a number of beverages and dishes, here is a few of what we tried.
“Yaare tea” – this is what you would get at any roadside joint in Sri Lanka with the elaborate long drawn out theatrical pouring of tea which froths up the milk, and at Coffee Club, you get a wonderfully rich elevated version of this tea. The water is boiled with cardamoms and other spices which add so much flavour. It may sound pedestrian and simple, but it is a must try.
We tried some other beverages as well. Their apple iced tea, hazelnut cappuccino, and Jack’s choice frappe were all equally delicious.
The chicken carbonara with kochchi was bursting with creamy flavour and it was a considerable portion packed to the brim with shredded chunks of chicken.
Their kochchi garlic bread, which is pretty much a cluster of cheese and an assortment of green chilies and kochchi on a slice of soft, rich garlic bread, is one of their fast-moving items and it isn’t really surprising why.
We also tried their version of a seafood Caesar salad, with which we were highly impressed. The portion was enormous and there was a perfect blend of greens and seafood – enough for it to feel like the healthy option it is, while being simultaneously delightful.
Coffee shops are a dime a dozen, there’s one in every corner and you’d be hard-pressed to find one that truly amazes you. However, let us just say that: While Coffee Club may not blow your mind, their genuine enthusiasm to serve you, gracious hospitality, and starry-eyed belief in doing something of value will certainly impress.
Considering our positive experience at Coffee Club, we can say without a doubt that we would be returning quite soon, if not for the mind-blowing coffee, for the cosy comfort of their venue.
Coffee Club is open till midnight and the kitchen closes at 11.30 p.m.
Address: 15, Fife road, Colombo 5
Hotline: 011 7 021703