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Cafe Shaze

We have driven past this place more often than we can remember. This time we decided to go in for a quick, light lunch and see what it is like inside, and we really enjoyed it.

Address: 56 Horton Place, Colombo 00700

Phone: 076 776 6765

Instagram: @cafeshaze

Facebook: @shazecafe


Free Wifi: Yes

Directions: On Horton Place on the left, after the Flamingo House and before TacoBell.


Covid Care: Handwash outside, details logged, sanitiser on table and staff wear masks


First Impression

The café has a nice outdoor seating area with four or five wooden tables and upright chairs under a clear roof, with open sides to let through any breeze.


Inside the seating is more laid back, lounge style, with half a dozen low tables and a low sofa for one or two people either side. These are laid out to the right, opposite a cafe style counter, and in an alcove directly ahead. To the left is a staircase going upstairs to another seating area and the rest rooms. It felt open, light and airy but also quite cosy and relaxed.


Menu

The word "fusion" gets thrown around quite a bit nowadays and both the billboard outside Shaze and the menu offered "World of Fusion". The menu does offer a range of different cuisines: Sri Lankan, Italian, Indian and a few Thai dishes. If we consider fusion as "cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions that originate from different countries, regions, or cultures", in other words where different cuisines are combined in the same dish, then there seemed to be only a few truly fusion dishes on offer. But the menu was certainly varied, with plenty of interesting and appealing dishes to choose from.


The choices for Starters included Thai prawn cake, nachos, calamari, or herb and olive hummus. There was also three salads and three soups.


The main courses are more varied with several pastas, fried rices and curries, burgers and biriyanis and an intriguing kochchi stuffed chicken. There's also three vegetarian choices, as well as a selection of seafood and, after 6pm, a "catch of the day" with your choice of how the fish is cooked, the sauce and the sides.


They also offer a nice selection of hot and cold coffees and teas, smoothies, milk shakes and juices, with a choice of "add ons", or extras to customise your drink, such as espresso shots, caramel, fruit or even cookies!


It was early afternoon and a quick, light lunch was required so we ordered a Dahl Curry with Pol Roti and an iced strawberry tea.


The Food

Dahl Curry with Pol Roti; Strawberry Iced Tea


First came the strawberry tea which was very good with quite a strong taste of strawberries. They had not just used a syrup to flavour it; there was actual strawberry pulp, complete with the little seeds, so it tasted really good and authentic, as well as being cool and refreshing; maybe a little sweet, but not overpoweringly so.


A few minutes later the dahl curry with pol roti came, with the curry served in a coconut shell which was a very nice touch. There were also three rotis and a side dish of chili sambal.


The dhal curry was very good, thick and creamy but we could still get the texture of the lentils. The curry was very mildly spicy, though there were some slices of green chili mixed in so you could choose to eat them or remove them! Of course if anyone wanted it extra spicy they could add as much or as little of the extra chili as they wish, though we chose to eat it as it came because it was already very good. Without the spiciness of the chili covering everything else, we could actually taste the lentils, the onions and the curry leaf in there and it was delicious; very nicely done.


The pol roti were excellent. We cannot claim to be roti experts, we've not tried that many but this was without a doubt among the best that we have tried so far. The outside of the roti was slightly crispy, but not too dry, while inside it was still slightly moist, even just slightly gooey, but we could feel the coconut as we chewed and, mixed with the dahl, it all ended up deliciously rich and creamy. Excellent!


It was almost unfortunate that we didn't have time to try anything else as we had to be somewhere, but we hope to be back soon!


Service

Entering we were politely welcomed by a young waiter who invited us to choose a place to sit and, when we moved for a bit more space, he helped shift our things. He offered us the menu and gave us time to look it over without hovering impatiently which was good. Part way through the meal he came to check how it was, again without being intrusive. Very good


Prices

Starters are priced from Rs600 to Rs900, soups around Rs700 and salads Rs600 to Rs850.

Main courses are mostly around Rs1050 to Rs1100 with vegetarian dishes Rs650 to Rs850, seafood Rs1200 to Rs1450 and crab Rs1550. Desserts are all Rs500.

For the drinks, teas are Rs420, coffees Rs450 and milkshakes and smoothies Rs650


Summary

This really was just a quick stop for a quick lunch but it was a very worthwhile stop. We only tried the one dish but both the dahl curry and the pol roti were excellent and the tea was refreshing and with some real fruit in it! How much of the menu is actually "fusion" is debatable but they offer a nice selection of foods from different cuisines. Overall, well recommended.


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