Jul 15 2021. views 64
As the dust (barely) settles on yet another wave, we find ourselves yearning for a semblance of what used to be. We all need a little something to de-stress and what better form of doing so than experiencing a fancy meal without the actual stress of cooking!
Anyone who has lived in the Mount Lavinia area, or Colombo for that matter, has known the almost palatial monument known as the Mount Lavinia Hotel to be a place of grandeur. It has also over the years made quite a name for its food - local delicacies with their own little twist.
Mount Lavinia Hotel - or rather, Cafe Maitland is back and this time with bigger, better and bolder flavours added to their new menu and while most places thrive on creating brand new ones time and time again, I am loving the approach taken by them to not only add to their existing work but to also improve their older dishes and pour their heart and soul into them.
Each dish comes packed in its own (very durable) box and my favourite part about their packaging is that each box has always come wrapped in coir rope ribbon with a custom tag for each dish. It’s the little bit of extra effort that really matters.
The menu this time around swaps a few old dishes for newer, improved ones. From bites to big meals, Cafe Maitland has managed to strike that perfect balance of quality and quantity without overextending and eventually leaving you spoilt for choice in a confusing way. The diversity they’ve struck gives you the chance to mix and match according to your appetite.
The Chilli Garlic Prawn (Rs. 1100) was light and balanced in terms of flavours without an overpowering amount of garlic nor was it incredibly spicy. The portion size was enough for around two people with a “healthy” serving of prawns. My last experience with the lovely people at Cafe Maitland was fantastic, with the Hot Butter Cuttlefish (Rs. 800) being a big contributor to that experience. This time around, they have upped their game in terms of overall presentation and portion size of the dish. It was spot on with flavour - with hints of chilli oil and even after being delivered was still on the crispy side of things. If you want a large portion of Chicken to munch on during the game or just while watching a movie, I’d say Cafe Maitland’s Buffalo Wings (Rs. 750) are a solid choice. I was pleasantly surprised to see such a big portion for such a price. Well done. The sticky buffalo sauce really adds a different texture to the wings along with its sweet flavours.
One thing I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and appreciated, since the last time I tried out their menu was the “Toasties from the Seventies” section which essentially takes me back to my childhood. The toasties from back then just tasted differently and I think the ones served at Cafe Maitland are the closest it’s gotten in a long while. I tried out the Black Pork Toasties (Rs. 1150) and safe to say - the food was homely. Satisfying. Makes you rub your stomach afterwards and gleam with joy (and a slight amount of gluttony).
Speaking of upping their game - the Crispy Chicken Sandwich(Rs. 970)! The severely underrated pairing of Crispy Chicken tenders, pickles and thousand island dressing in between the softest bread. A great choice of flavours and an even bigger win in terms of textures. Also, just a great dish to pig out on. If you’re looking for something a little more on the spicy side of things, the Tandoori Chicken Melt(Rs. 1000) is right down your alley. The wraps are portioned well and you get a hefty serving of chicken in there along with a side of potato wedges. Fully worth it.
The choice of Rice and Curry is also available for those who like to indulge in such but since I was in a dinner mood I went for another dish - The Seafood Mee Goreng(Rs. 1050). It is a personal favourite in terms of Indonesian Cuisine and I think the biggest plus for me about this dish was the amount of seafood in the dish. The portion itself is large enough for two people to have a great meal. There was nothing wrong to say about it. If you’re still in the mood for dinner and want to go local, there is also the option of dishes like String Hoppers(Rs. 550) (which is served with a side of Dhal Curry and Pol Sambol) with the option of ordering another curry as well. I went with a Black Pork Curry(Rs. 550) and it was great.
Lastly, for dessert, I tried out their Chocolate Mousse which was - for its price (Rs. 350) an incredibly large portion. A dish like this usually has to have a good balance between its smooth texture and the overall sweetness and I found no fault in the one they served.
If and when you do get a chance, reach out to these incredibly friendly folk and try out their incredible dishes. I recommend it purely off the fact that I couldn’t move after my meal and I was so unbelievably content with myself!
text Vihan Wickramasurendra