Located at Horton Place Colombo, Cafe Kumbuk is known for their healthy and nutritious meals. Apart from offering fresh, authentic and healthy meals, they are committed to avoiding refined sugar and artificial flavor enhancers in their dishes.
Meatless Monday decided to pay a visit, try some of their vegan and vegetarian items on the menu, and write this review from a vegetarian and from a vegan perspective!
The menu didn’t include any starters, so we went straight to the mains. We ordered their Jackfruit Sloppy Burger, the Vegan Breakfast Wrap and the Naked Burrito Bowl (vegetarian version) for food and the Ceylon Punch and Mango-Go for beverages.
Their food preparation takes around 30 minutes but the drinks are served sooner while they prepare your food.
Naked Burrito Bowl (Rs. 1,000):
I ordered the naked Burrito Bowl which gets you a huge bowl of all the things you would find inside a normal burrito, sans the tortilla wrap. This usually comes with a chicken carnita, but since I ordered the vegetarian version they added tofu instead. The dish was a huge bowl where all the ingredients were placed separately inside. The cumin and rice were at the bottom of the bowl with the kidney beans, and on top they had placed the tomato salsa, fried tofu with a splash of sriracha sauce, a dollop of buffalo curd and guacamole, pickled onion, jalapenos, feta cheese, grilled corn, lots of fresh lettuce and some tortilla chips.
The tortilla chips are from a store-bought brand so they have an artificial flavour profile. Nevertheless it was perfectly paired with the fresh and smooth guacamole. For the sake of the review I first tried each element individually, savouring its separate flavours and textures. The long grain rice was well cooked and seasoned properly with cumin. The tofu was chopped finely and scrambled with spices which blended well with the rice. But the best way to enjoy this bowl is to mix all the elements together, which is exactly what I did next. The buffalo curd and guacamole made the mixture really creamy and smooth but the freshness of the tomato salsa and the lettuce helped cut through the smooth texture. The jalapenos added much needed heat to the dish while the kidney beans and baby corn helped make the bowl more interesting.
The dish was extremely filling, but we didn’t want to throw away a single bite as it was delicious!
The Jackfruit Sloppy Burger (Rs. 850):
Now don’t get confused, they use the small jackfruit (polos) for this, not kos! 😀
The burger was pretty stuffed with pulled jackfruit, coleslaw and spicy bell pepper sauce. When I ordered it, I had the natural Sri Lankan assumption that it would be spicy because that’s the way we eat polos! However, it wasn’t as spicy as I thought–maybe I had my spiciness expectations too high for a cafe that serves healthy food. That being said, the burger tasted just fine and the pulled jackfruit was very juicy which can get a little messy when you eat it. The potato wedges served with the burger also complemented it well with a nice salty taste to it.
Vegan Breakfast Wrap (Rs. 800):
This was listed under the all day breakfast section of the menu and caught my eye with its interesting combination of ingredients; scrambled tofu, avocado!, tomato salsa, tofu aioli (similar to mayonnaise in terms of consistency) and red pepper sauce.
The breakfast wrap was served in a tortilla wrap with some lettuce leaves sprinkled with lime or lemon. The tofu scramble had a nice consistency but I thought adding a bit of tabasco sauce and pepper would make it even better – so that’s what I did. As I reached the middle of the wrap, the good stuff was there: tomato salsa and avocado, with a really nice mix of taste and creaminess. However, I couldn’t distinctively taste the tofu aioli in it and thought that the tortilla wrap didn’t complement it in terms of taste. But the lettuce leaves drizzled with lime were a perfect touch!
Drinks (both vegan)
Ceylon Punch (Rs. 450):
It was a hot Colombo afternoon so I went for something light and refreshing. The Ceylon punch looked promising on the menu and lived up to its name! A mixture of narang, mint, sea salt, coconut water and lime helped me cool down on the outside terrace of the café while waiting for our food. The drink was acidic and tangy from the narang and lime but the sea salt gave it a nice balance.
The Mango-Go! (Rs. 500):
This was hands down amazing! It didn’t contain sugar but the sweetness of mango and the creaminess of coconut milk complemented each other very well. Even better was the taste the ginger after every sip! It was topped with some coconut flakes and a natural sweetener which I believe was kithul treacle.
Fun fact – no single-use plastic is being used inside the premises so be ready to for the drinks to be presented with steel straws. 🙂
The Vegan Chocolate Cake! (Rs. 500):
Whenever I go out to dine, nothing excites me like a place that has vegan dessert options! Cafe Kumbuk had vegan chocolate cake and vegan chocolate mousse out of which we picked the cake. It looked very gooey and soft when it was served. Although it tasted really good, we found the outer sides of the cake to be dry. As you dig in, the moistness and the flavor were great though. It also had a bit of a nutty flavor to it and we found a couple of pieces of nuts (peanuts probably)! So if you are allergic to nuts, make sure to check with them before ordering.
Something I found special in this place is the fact that their staff knows their menu in and out. They are very helpful, and you can raise any concern you have about their food and they will explain you what’s in it.