Step over the threshold in Cafe Kumbuk and you immediately feel at ease.
Not surprising when you consider this cafe is named after the Kumbuk tree, commonly found in Sri Lanka, which is said to be beautiful, standing tall and providing shade from the tropical heat.
The stifling heat and manic tuk-tuk laden streets can often feel too much in Colombo which makes Cafe Kambuk – with its high ceilings, shaded courtyard and friendly staff – the most welcoming of spaces.
While the space itself is undoubtedly charming and unique, it’s the actual food that sets this place apart.
To say it’s just ‘good’ would be a gross understatement.
Ordering at the counter, you see a team of chefs busily chopping, blending, stirring, whisking and serving up delicious looking colourful concoctions. There’s something so reassuring about seeing your food prepared there right in front of you, instead of back in the deep dark recess of some buried kitchen down near middle earth.
Where Cafe Kumbuk really shines is on their breakfast and early lunch menus.
They claim to use “local, seasonal and organic ingredients” and as soon as you taste the food you know that is true. No corners have been cut here.
Cafe Kumbuk – the food:
Two particular highlights are their Taco bowl, which is a dream for anyone trying to stay low on the carbs while not wanting to sacrifice flavour, and the fish tacos which often appear as a special.
The fish tacos are not the drab lifeless affair that so many places serve but rather a big, bold and crunchy explosion of flavour in the mouth, The fish is fresh, thick and chunky. The salsa is spicy and sweet and the cabbage perfectly crunchy, adding the texture exactly as it should.
A marvel of a dish.
A selection of smoothies, juices and excellent coffee means this is a place you’re likely to linger for that little bit longer than just the time it takes to have a meal.
Bring a good friend with you and it could easily turn into a couple of hours by the time the desserts are factored in.
Cafe Kumbuk is so good, it’s almost like one of those secret spots you want to keep from the rest of the world. The last thing you’d want is for the place to become overrun with tourists or queues to form out the door.
But hey, places this amazing deserve all the business they can get
In a city where the food options are so plentiful and the standard so high, you’d be foolish to pass up Cafe Kumbuk. It’s a cafe that is every bit as good as anything in London, New York or Sydney.
Although, add in its exotic location and that scenic courtyard – it might just be better.