Comfortable dining at Villa Raha!

We had the pleasure of dropping into the café by Villa Raha for breakfast recently and were warmly welcomed by the co-founders; Imra Riyaz Chizyuka and Chimuka Chizyuka. According to the couple, Villa Raha is a happy accident which happened while they were in Sri Lanka. Villa Raha pronounced as Villa Raaha which means villa of comfort in Arabic was started by the co-founders in 2017, and the café was opened last year October.
The objective of the co-founders is to provide luxurious, but affordable accommodation, and to provide tasty and healthy wholesome meals at the café. At the moment Villa Raha only serves breakfast and lunch, and the menu is equipped with a detailed ‘Brunch All Day’ menu and drinks. The menu consists mostly of European cuisine, but we observed that there are a few Sri Lankan inspired foods such as Kiribath available on pre-orders.
Villa Raha Boutique Hotel has three types of bedrooms and a pool. The interior of the hotel and the café is designed in a way that will bring calm and tranquillity to the minds of the occupants and the diners. There is soft music playing in a side with a pleasing fragrance about the café.

Item 1: Smoked salmon salsa verde

Since the ‘Brunch All Day’ section of the menu was quite extensive, we decided to go ahead with the dishes recommended by Imra. Smoked salmon salsa verde came with poached eggs, smoked salmon, two hash brownies, and salad on the side made with lettuce, sun dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and capers. The salsa verde sauce is made out of herbs such as parsley, basil, and also raw tomatoes. Though the fine dining dishes usually come in small quantities, the smoked salmon salsa verde at Villa Raha came in couples. The poached eggs were cooked to perfection with runny yellow yolks, and the smoked salmon also tasted yummy and fresh. The hash brownies were crispy and had a nice texture to it. All the components in the meal, when mixed together added a great taste, especially the feta cheese and the capers which added a salty taste to the dish.

Item 2: French toast

We decided to try the French toast next, which looked very appealing, especially because of all the chocolate which was on top and by the side of the toast. The dish consisted of brioche or the bread, caramelised nuts, strawberries, chocolate sauce, granola crumbs, and caramel on the plate with more chocolate syrup and coconut cream on the side. The toast was a little firm which enhanced the taste of the dish. We could feel the chocolate syrup and the taste of cinnamon without even dipping the bread in the sides. Coconut cream was something new for us and we were told by Imra that it is made in-house with the use of coconut milk fresh cream and few other secret ingredients by the chef. When coupled with the chocolate syrup, the French toast tasted amazing and added a very nice sweet flavour to the dish. The granola and the caramelised nuts helped in making the French toast a complete breakfast meal, which is tasty and wholesome in one go. In our opinion the French toast at Villa Raha could easily pass for a dessert, because of all the chocolaty goodness it comes with.

Item 3: Iced milo dino

To complete our meal, we decided to try out a drink from the ‘Beat the Heat’ section of the menu and decided to go with the iced milo dino. It came with whip cream on top and was loaded with milo and chocolate as well as a bit of ice cream to thicken the drink. The iced milo dino was extremely rich in milo flavour and very refreshing, but was be a bit heavy after the wholesome breakfast we just finished. However, it was a welcome addition to our meal, especially since it was so rich in flavour.

Opening hours: 8.30 a.m. – 3.30 p.m. on weekdays and till 4.30 p.m. on weekends. Closed on Tuesdays.
Address: 33, Macleod Rd, Colombo 04.
Contact number: 077 427 2255
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 at Rs. 1,500 in the hand.
They can accommodate private parties for about 40 people and it is BYOB!
There is ample parking space, washroom facilities and Wi-Fi.
Villa Raha owners have done an amazing job over the period of time they have been open. Heartiest wishes go out to the management to keep up the awesome work!

Cheers to a good meal!

Photos: Krishan Kariyawasam