What we had
KUMBUK HAS COME BACK !
Now located at the end of Thambiah Avenue off Independence Avenue, Cafe Kumbuk now has a cozy little B&B attached to it called Srilax. Their menu has expanded with more meat and dairy items and wow, are they the comeback kings! The food was spectacular and the servings were HUGE .
Ceylon Punch – LKR 450
Made from Naarang (local orange), coconut water, lime, sea salt, and mint, this drink was really refreshing. The coconut water added a sweetness and mildness to the naarang and the addition of sea salt gave it a hint of salinity which actually worked. I have never been a fan of salt in my drinks , but this was a pleasant and welcome balance.
Kombucha Ice Tea – LKR 500
Offering an array of flavours from turmeric to ginger, we opted for the Kumbuk special. This Kombucha tea is spiced with star anise, dried orange, brown cane sugar and SCOBY ( Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). Tasting almost like a raa-esque mulled wine, it was fizzy and the unique earthy woodsy flavour tantalized my taste buds – offering both feelings of refreshment and relaxation. It’s served to you ice cold keeping the live bacteria dormant. Kombucha is beneficial for your gut health , and is a great source of antioxidants.
Mannar Crab Benny – LKR 950
A twist on the regular Eggs Benedict, this is the perfect fusion brunch. This All Day Breakfast menu item is served on a bed of arugula and a buttery toasted kade paan. The egg was perfectly poached and topped with a tempered hollandaise sauce. Alongside that was a generous helping of pan fried well seasoned crab meat. The hollandaise was ever so slightly spicy, the crab was fresh and the flesh was sweet and had a little heat from the seasoning. All of this paired well with the runny soft egg and bitterness from the arugula and was brought together by the chewy butter toasted kade paan.
Fully Loaded Hot Cake – LKR 900
What made this stand out for us was the fact that this dish was entirely VEGAN. When it came out we were presented with one big hotcake (american style pancake) served with fruit, granola and salted caramel ice cream. Though vegan, the ice cream was creamy, sweet and delicate, giving the hotcake a much needed sweetness as it was a little bland on its own, although it was soft and fluffy, and only ever so slightly different from the texture of a regular hotcake. The strawberries, mango and banana, that came with the dish were fresh, and the sticky, crumbly granola provided the entire dish with a textural element. I didn’t really miss the dairy in this dish, and if you’re not too keen on vegan food , this may be a good place for you to start.
Open Isso Wrap – LKR 950
One of the most popular items on the menu we, were really excited to try this. The dish comes beautifully presented with four big, juicy, crumbed prawns on a bed of salad leaves, onion slices and cucumber, all set on top of a tortilla drizzled with a kewpie mayo and Sriracha. Well spiced, fresh and crunchy, this is a solid and healthy light option for lunch. They provide a wedge of lime for you to add according to your taste to give this already flavour packed fresh dish a zesty sharpness. The prawns were cooked to perfection and I really appreciate the attention to the presentation, and their generosity with the serving size and sauces.
Naked Burrito Bowl -LKR 1100
Another one of their popular items this dish was massive – coming in a large deep bowl, filled to the brim with spiced rice and kidney beans, chunky guacamole, pickled jalapenos, sriracha, pico de gallo, curd ( in place of sour cream), lettuce, spiced shredded chicken, pickled onions, baby corn and cheesy tortilla chips.
This meal is both wholesome and hefty, designed to fill up the healthy and hungry. Mixing all these elements together you end up with what tastes very much like a burrito – basically it’s a party in your mouth. Each element on its own was also really good- the rice was pleasantly spiced and the veggies were incredibly fresh, the guacamole was chunky and well seasoned; muddled with some tomato and jalapeno, the chicken though not fried or baked, was well seasoned and so soft it didn’t need to be . You could also opt to have this dish vegan or vegetarian which is a nice touch.
Key Lime Pie – LKR 450
One of the less healthy options, this pie was everything I dreamed it would be and you get a pretty generous slice to boot. The buttery crust provided texture and a salty savoury edge to pair with the creamy custardy key lime filling, and freshly whipped cream on top helped balance out any sweetness. Often the perfume of key lime zest is overpowering and leaves an inescapable after taste, this however was pleasant and the taste of key lime really shone through.
The restaurant had a very outdoorsy feel with an open plan. The building itself seems to be a large house that has been converted into a restaurant, with large windows that open out to the garden seating with additional seating outside just at the front of the restaurant.
Decorated quite naturally with wooden furniture and plants on each table , Kumbuk gives off a very serene welcoming vibe. With tons of natural light streaming through the large windows, the Instagramable opportunities were endless, from the decor to the beautifully presented food. And even with the blistering midday sun the area remained cool with a multitude of fans they had positioned around to beat the afternoon heat.
When you venture upstairs you’ll find their guest rooms which were all minimalistically decorated . Reasonably priced the B&B mainly gets solo travellers and backpackers but they do have options for families or groups of four as well.
The service here is incredibly quick, bright and friendly. The food comes out fast and still warm and the waiters are friendly, welcoming, and accommodating, willing to give recommendations (upon request) on the most popular or best dishes on the menu.
Tip – For first time vegan adventurers try the Hotcake, but if you’re hungry , the Naked Burrito Bowl has your name written all over it !!