Tea Avenue is one of Colombo’s many sleek and cosy tea lounges. The food is alright, but it’s the ambience that’s a notch above the others, with spaces that cater to different occasions, whether you’re meeting friends, reading a book or having a business meeting.
Food & Service
The place has your typical tea-lounge Western on the menu. We tried the strawberry waffles, a ciabatta chicken sandwich and a beef lasagna. The dishes took a while for cafe food, about 20 minutes, but the waiters and manager were quite friendly and generally attentive.
The food we’ve had here is usually nothing amazing but it’s reliable. It’s always well-presented, and quite affordable compared to other lounges (Rs. 400-600). The waffles were okay, though they really need to be more generous with the strawberries (only four tiny ones), and the lasagna was total comfort-food: a large portion dripping with thick sauce, loads of minced meat and generous layers of warm cheese. Would recommend sharing it because it was quite rich.
I actually liked the ciabatta chicken sandwich the best. It’s a very simple, dry meal, and the neat cubes of chicken were covered in thin dressing and a very light mayo sauce – didn’t look all that impressive but the mild flavours came together quite well.
One thing I have to give props to is their cookies and cream Oreo milkshake. For Rs. 550, it’s a big thick glass mug, and the milkshake is very creamy with little chocolate chunks and a very strong Oreo flavour. Lots of fun if you’re the sweet tooth type. We also had some Chai, which came in a large teapot for Rs. 380, which was alright, mostly gingery than a mix of Indian spices, and not as strongly brewed as it could have been (for near perfect Chai go to Heladiv Tea Club).
Tea Avenue is a very cool place to kick back and relax. As you walk in there are a few private rooms suited for groups or couples and some simple white Victorian style chairs by the windows ideal for a quiet read.
The company behind the place, De Silva & Sons, goes all the way back to 1936. So you also get some old black and white photographs up on stone walls in the main lobby, giving the lounge a bit of an old and classic vibe. Upstairs you get a more open, large, less decorated space much like other tea lounges, good for a business meeting or for hanging out with a friend or two.
I loved the outdoor seating here, which features stone walls, very cushy seating, some well maintained greenery, and even a second balcony level accessible from indoors.
Tea Avenue is one of the nicer places to hang out at among the growing number of generic lounges in the big city. The food is alright, the milkshakes are yummy, and for three meals and two drinks, our bill came to Rs. 2500 – so compared to coffee shops and big cafes with the same feel, it’s also affordable.
This article originally appeared in yamu.lk.