You simply MUST drop by!
Photos: Saman Abesiriwardene
Café Hideout is a cosy little café situated on No. 24, Fife Road, Colombo 5. The location is a familiar one to many of us as it is where the once famous Hansa Café used to be.
If you were one of those who frequented Hansa, then chances are you will soon become a regular at Café Hideout as it is run by Lonny Piva who was at Hansa for five years and remembers every strange, customised drink concoction you’ve ever asked for.
The location is not the only thing you will be familiar with, even the furniture remains the same; however, the vibe is a whole lot more chill, especially considering how dedicated Lonny is to keeping things on the down low.
The venue is not the only thing you will love about this place. They also have a fantastic policy – which can at times get annoying – where they only have limited time offers of their dishes. That is, in order to incorporate fresh cuts of meat and to simply provide you with the highest quality experience, Hideout does not freeze their meats and fish – everything you have will have been bought that day itself; therefore, it is likely to run out fast so you better grab it quick.
This policy of theirs near dampened our sprits as we went in on the high of some rave reviews given by our friends, particularly about their beef burger, but when we paid hideout a visit, they were out of beef! But we like to believe it was for the best because what we did end up trying was just as fantastic.
Here’s what we tried:
Thambili and lime
Clearly a crowd favourite, considering how within the 40 or so minutes we spent at the Café, nearly every single person who walked in ordered this very same drink. This drink was just the most refreshing thing we’ve ever had. Thamibili, of course, is already a perfect recipe by nature but who’d have thought such perfection could be improved upon by adding just the perfect amount of lime!
There’s also a thambili espresso people seem to really enjoy, which is something we will be sure to try out on our next visit, which is probably tomorrow.
If you love coffee, beer, or both, this drink is the perfect option for you. It is essentially a cold brew, and if you do not drink alcohol but would like to know what beer tastes like, then this is just the thing for you. The drink is delicious, and is so mind-bogglingly simple that we were smacking ourselves for not thinking of it on our own.
We’d really like to go on about how truly wonderful the beer espresso was but we’ll move on to the other things we tried.
Roast chicken burger
This burger is rather small and very unassuming, but do not be fooled by its petite size. It packs a punch when it comes to flavour. The burger is essentially a whole chunk of roast chicken and coleslaw and it is a symphony of flavours for your taste buds. The chicken is roasted and very well-seasoned. The coleslaw was fresh, crunchy, and not over-sauced – the burger was delightful.
Loaded cheesy fries – chicken ham, Gouda cheese, and potato fries
This one was the first dish to actually divide us – while one person wished there was a little more chicken ham on the plate, the other believed all of the caramelized ingredients blended well enough that everything on the plate was complemented.
Overall, the dish is definitely above average. There’s a sprinkling of chilli that gives every bite a nice little kick, and the cheese and potato melted together is just heavenly.
Panini – cheese and chutney
This was a little too sweet for our tastes. The chutney somewhat over powers the taste of the cheese. However, the real star of this dish isn’t the filling, it is the fantastic bread. Lonny provided that the bread for the Panini is actually supplied by a customer of theirs and we have to agree with him when he says he got real lucky with that discovery.
Café Hideout keeps everything priced below Rs. 500, which is unheard of in a Colombo café; so if there was ever a place to frequent, this is it.
Address: No. 24, Fife Road, Colombo 5
Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.