Apr 28 2022. views 127
If there’s one thing Colombo always has more space to accommodate, it’s a cafe, and in spite of a plethora of cafes that continue to spring up like mushrooms around town, they’ve all found a way to coexist and thrive. From serving as a pick-me-up before heading to work, a hangout spot to chill in or a workspace itself, cafes are an integral part of the city’s backbone. The newest entrant to Colombo’s cafe scene is Busy Bean, a venture by the LSR Group of companies. Conveniently located at the Colombo Racecourse Promenade, the cafe opened its doors to the public on the 27th of March.
Introducing his cafe, the Founder of Busy Bean, Janith Weerasinghe stated: “With Busy Bean, we’re creating a lively environment for people to enjoy delicious coffee, pastries and food throughout the day. We’re thrilled to be opening in the Colombo Racecourse promenade where we will be part of a community that can share in our culture and is a hub for the neighbourhood to stop for a coffee, work, or to meet with friends.”
Walking into the cafe leads you to an expansive space. Seating is spread out over 2 storeys, featuring an eclectic mix of lounge-style seating ideal for those intending to spend long hours at the cafe and cafe tables and chairs perfect for those dropping in for a quick bite. Both floors of the cafe feature designated workstations while the upper floor includes a conference room. The earthy colour palette employed throughout the cafe lends itself well to a warm yet comfortable ambience. The venue has been tastefully decorated with panel walls, hanging mood lighting, and splashes of greenery. Adding quirky and fun elements to the space are the themed artwork and coffee quotes (cliched, but make for a great Instagramable backdrop!).
The Food & Drink
Perhaps one of the most attractive selling points for The Busy Bean - I noticed, while perusing the offerings, that the pricing (more specifically of the food items) was quite competitive, and a lot cheaper than a majority of the cafes in town! This will - without a doubt - make it an ideal stop for visitors to the Racecourse. Their menu isn’t overwhelmingly large and includes typical crowd favourites like burgers, wraps, a variety of coffee, mojitos and more.
In a bid to support local, the coffee, for instance, is sourced from Aga Coffee, locally grown, brewed and roasted. Weerasinghe explained: “Supporting local is a large part of Busy Bean, all our desserts and pastries are outsourced to home bakers. We have a prominent location in Colombo, and a lot of talented home bakers struggle to find a location to present their products. We want to give them that opportunity.” They currently have four local brands on board: Dessert Bistro, Ashi’s Crafty Cookies, Deiv’s Cake Factory, and Sara’s Granola.
I did try a few items off their menu. The Lime and Mint juice came recommended, so I gave it a try. Despite it being conceptually simple, I’ve found that most places mess up their lime juice and I was happy to note that the drink at Busy Bean was well made - Just the right amount of tart balanced with sweetness. Perfect for a scorching hot day. If a simple juice isn’t up your alley, you can choose from their sizable beverage menu that includes a good offering of hot & cold coffees and teas, smoothies, milkshakes and even soft drinks.
I also tried their French Fries and Cheese Balls. I expected the typical salted French Fries, but was happily surprised that they were tossed in a variety of spices, which made them a lot more enjoyable to eat. It’s not too spicy, so it can even be enjoyed by little kids. The cheese balls would have benefitted from more flavour, and after tasting the fries, fell short.
The Norwegian Sliced Salmon Sandwich comprised smoked salmon, salad leaves and a slice of tomato. They could have been a little more generous with the smoked salmon, as I felt the condiments were stealing the spotlight. But otherwise, it’s what you would expect of a salmon sandwich. The sandwich itself was thankfully not hard or dry. The Chicken Pizza was my favourite of all that I tried. More akin to a pie, it was flavourful and cheesy, and frankly quite delicious.
The Busy Bean has the advantage of being the only cafe located at the Promenade, making it the perfect spot for those visiting the Racecourse for sports and leisure.
This review was done at their media event pre-opening.
Busy Bean will operate every day from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Pix Pradeep Dilrukshana