A taste of La Dëfense

By Anjalika Abeykoon
Photos Indika Handuwala

Café La Défense, which is at Park Road, Colombo 5, has been around for quite some time and has opened up another branch recently in Bambalapitiya, which we decided to check out.

Situated down the Kotelawala Avenue, at first glance, it looks very small, but we realised it was larger than it looks from the outside. There is a seating area for takeaway customers, the café spreads out in four small rooms – making La Défense very cosy and private – and there is also a small smoking area too.

Managing Director Chandana De Silva joined us while we waited for our food. He explained that the cafe was named after a small city in Paris called La Défense, which takes their coffee very seriously. Further into the conversation, Chandana mentioned he is a huge coffee fan, due to which coffee plays a huge role at Café La Défense. In addition, he also stated that when he started the cafe, his objective was to provide a homely atmosphere which the customers could come and enjoy, along with the quality food provided by the cafe.

Two weeks into the launch of the new outlet in Bambalapitiya, it’s already equipped to cater for birthday parties and other gatherings. From what we observed, the Bambalapitiya outlet has already become a favourite among students in the area.

Item 1: Cappuccino

We decided to try out the coffee first, especially because of the wide variety available.

We ordered a plain, old cappuccino. Coffee at Café La Défense is brewed using Mokasirs coffee, a popular brand in Italy.

The coffee came to us with some pretty art on top. The first sip was strong and bitter, just the way it should be. But, being the sweet-toothed people we are, we decided to add one spoon of brown sugar to make it taste a little less bitter.

The coffee was the perfect balance of warm milk and coffee. This perfectly brewed pretty cup was the best we’ve had in a while, and takes some serious skills to be brewed. If you are looking for a wakeup call or to clear your brain on a lazy or tiring day, Café La Défense has the perfect coffee to offer you. Job well done by the barista.

Item 2: Prawn pasta

Next, we picked a savoury item – the prawn pasta. The pasta was presented excellently, and we dug in almost as soon as it was set on our table. This dish consisted of penne pasta, prawns, and loads of melted cheese.

The chef’s special sauce, made with bell pepper, garlic, parsley, chilli flakes, black pepper, and the chef’s special in-house ingredients, was drizzled over the dish. The dish brought forward the perfect blend of local spices.

We also loved how the chef included cheese in the dish; it added a subtle flavour without drowning out the other flavours.

Item 3: Choco Rush

All the foodies out there know how hard it is to ignore a perfectly fashioned, loaded milkshake despite the weather. So we ordered on to wash down the spicy plate of pasta.

The Choco Rush came in a glass jar topped with whipped cream, chocolate fingers, chocolate balls, chocolate-coated biscuits, and chocolate wafer sticks. This loaded mountain of chocolaty goodness was then topped with colourful sprinkles, adding colour to the drink.

We dug in without shame to discover the silky, milky chocolate shake inside. The secret for this silky goodness, as told by Chandana, was Milka Chocolate, brought down from France.

Although Choco Rush is listed under the beverages section in the menu, it passes for an excellent dessert if you don’t mind adding a bit of calories to your diet.

Opening hours: 6.30 a.m.-9.30 p.m. everyday
Address: 10, Kotelawala Avenue, Colombo 4
Contact number: 0114 977 787

Quality and the quantity of the food, service by the staff, and the atmosphere of the cafe justifies the price.

A person can afford a hearty and filling meal with Rs. 1,500 in hand.

Though delivery is still unavailable, the cafe would assist with large delivery orders, but requires prior notice.

There is ample parking space, washroom facilities, and Wi-Fi.

The Café La Défense management has done an amazing job with a short time span

and our heartiest wishes goes out to them to keep up the awesome work!

Cheers to a good meal!