Feeling Arabian at The Platter

Try these three!

By Anjalika Abeykoon

The Platter is a sweet little cafe situated in Havelock Road. Though the cafe has been running for a couple of months now, it caught our attention recently, when we stumbled upon it on Instagram. The cute little spot is a joint effort of Mohomad Ali, Nazeer Ali, and Zakira Ali and has been open for customers since October 2018.

Nazeer emphasised on the fact that he wanted to open a cafe just because he wanted to serve a good cuppa for the Sri Lankans. He specifically mentioned that they serve an American coffee brand because of its taste and aroma. Nazeer is a coffeeholic and talks fondly about a good cuppa coffee because that is what keeps him awake when he travels long distances. Being the unique man he is, he had wanted to give the Lankan palate a taste of the Arabian cuisine, which is why a majority of the items on the menu comprises Lebanese and Yemeni food. Yet, Nazeer has not forgotten to add Sri Lankan and English cuisines to the menu as well.

Without further ado, we decided to taste a few items off the menu, with the guidance of The Platter Manager Raymond Pillei.

Item 1: White mocha latte

Since coffee is a specialty at The Platter, we decided to go with a hot cup of white mocha latte first. The barista could not escape from our eagle eyes, and we saw him add two pumps of Monin white chocolate into the cup. The mocha was rich with the perfect balance of white chocolate, coffee, and milk. The balance gave away a slightly strong hint of coffee while remaining creamy.

Item 2: Lebanese bread with hummus

We then opted to try an item which usually passes as an appetiser – Lebanese bread with hummus. The Lebanese bread or the “Kubus bread” is a type of pita bread. The Platter bakes their bread alongside cakes and other munchies. The bread was slightly fluffy, soft, and chewy. The hummus, made with chickpeas and olive oil, was smooth and flavoursome and had great texture to it. When coupled with the pickle which was served alongside the dish, making it a platter, the bread tasted delicious.

Item 3: Chicken shawarma

Next, we decided to try the chicken shawarma. Again, this main also came with a side of pickle which consisted of cucumber, radish, carrot, garlic, and green chilli pickle. The shawarma filling consisted of marinated chicken pan cooked in olive oil, green and purple cabbage, cucumber pickle, and chips with sesame sauce wrapped in a thin shawarma roti. We especially loved this because of the juicy, sweet, and sour flavours we got from the filling. It is, by far, the best shawarma we have tried!

Bonus! Cake ball tarts

We got a sweet little bonus – cake ball tarts. They were small balls of cookie dough, coated in chocolate and topped with nuts, and mounted on top of a small tart. As we mentioned earlier, all the baked items are made in-house at The Platter, which made the cake balls taste nice and homely. It was a good dessert that complemented the meal we just finished.

Photos Krishan Kariyawasam

· Opening hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. every day
· Address: 131, Havelock Rd., Colombo 5
· Contact number: 077 5131714/ 011 5960100

· They deliver within a 2 km radius of the cafe if you call their direct line. They are also listed on Uber Eats. The Platter also undertakes catering services for parties.

· Quality and quantity of food, service, and the atmosphere of the cafe makes it an excellent place for small chitchats, meetings, or even for studying.

· A person can afford a hearty and filling meal with just Rs. 1,000 in hand.

· Though there is room for improvement, the management at The Platter has done an amazing job so far. They have our heartiest wishes to keep up the good work they have been doing all along.

Cheers to a good meal!