When in the food busi Read more [...]
It’s certainly an achievement for a restaurant/café to survive for a decade in quite a saturated café culture that is present in Colombo. It’s certainly harder when you are a homegrown brand and not a part of a larger chain. Last year post-Easter and this year with the pandemic has certainly not made it easier either. But for Coco Veranda’s outlet in Ward Place there is a lot to be thankful for.
Strategically located on Ward Place which itself has many newer cafes and restaurants that have opened up over the years, Coco has survived this long and built up a loyal clientele that keep coming back for the food, beverages and general ambiance of the café. We walked in on a busy weekday afternoon and found several meetings going on, mums taking a break from chores and just before doing a school run, a few nice old gentlemen catching up on the latest in politics and some young executives on their lunch break. This in itself is a clear indication that Coco has something for everyone.
We decided to seat ourselves indoors since it was quite hot and the outdoor area was a bit too stuffy. Coco currently has a revised menu which has noticeably decreased pricing on food and beverages which is great so that it’s also made affordable during trying times. We kept the coffees for later and went ahead with our food since we were quite hungry and immediately went for the Buffalo Chicken Wings on the snacks menu till the mains arrived. Served with a Sweet Chilli dip, the wings were non-greasy, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside like it should be. This was a great start to our meal.
Out mains consisted of a Chilli Paneer Burger, Mutton Stir Fry served with Jasmine Rice, a Big Breakfast (yes you can have breakfast for lunch!) and a South African Chicken Pie which is not actually on the menu but came highly recommended. Overall the portions at Coco are considerably large and if you are in a group we recommend mixing and matching your orders so that you get to try a nice variety.
The Paneer Burger was a novel experience and what it consisted of was a deep-fried block of Paneer as the patty and the works. The only qualm for us on this was that on its own the patty lacked some flavour which the homemade chilli sauce made up for when you bit in to it. The Coco version of the big breakfast lacked a few elements that you would normally expect like the Bacon for instance but we liked the substitution of plain toast for French toast.
The Mutton Stir Fry with Rice tasted as good as it smelled with generous chunks of well-marinated meat and peppers over a healthy portion of fragrant rice. The surprise on our table was definitely the South African Chicken pie which is basically Chicken Stew in a Bowl topped up with giant pub pastry. Once you “crack” the pastry, you get this steaming, hot stew that is just mouth-watering to say the least. We unashamedly wolfed this one down and did not regret it. Since it’s not on the actual menu, make sure to ask the staff for it and the kitchen would happily oblige. This is certainly the personification of comfort food.
To finish off a hearty meal we had to have a classic Cappuccino and a Mocha Latte, of which the Latte was a better choice. The different flavours of the Mocha and the Coffee was evident and didn’t drown each other out so it was quite refreshing. We were so full that we actually forgot to try out Coco’s range of desserts and cakes and are now going to have to go back and review those separately (Yay!!!). And when we do, we just might have that South African beauty again!!!
Until then here’s our rating…
Location **** (Convenient location!)
Ambiance **** (The indoor area is great but outdoors could be better!)
Service **** (Good service!)
Food **** (Food has certainly gotten better!)
Price Range: 1,500 per head
Opening Times: 8:00am – 10:00pm daily
Address: No. 32 Ward Place, Colombo 07.
Contact Number: 0769 449987
Reviewed by Nishu Gunawardana
Photographed by Sanura Gunwardana