Reviewed by Insiyah Adamjee | 8 months ago
Situated on ever-so-busy Stratford Avenue, Café Mocha by Barista is a cosy little spot (a little easy to miss if you aren’t really keeping an eye out for the black sign) to relax with a cuppa and a bite to eat, or grab a snack on-the-go. They have managed to preserve the building's original woodwork and architecture, and also have preppy vintage posters hung up around the area that draw you in, and we certainly did get drawn in!
Pol Sambol, Fried Egg and Cheese Sandwich with Chips | Rs.430
The combination of pol sambol and cheese can be tricky to get right as it involves a clash between two very different cultures, i.e. Sri Lankan and Western, but this sandwich got the balance of flavours between the two just right! The saltiness from the cheese and egg complimented the spiciness from the sambol well, while the addition of lime to the sambol really pulled all the flavours together, creating a small explosion in your mouth!
The chips were also quite good - crunchy on the outside and not too dry either. The only thing we'd point out with regard to this is that there was a lack of seasoning in the chips that was much needed.
Chilli Prawn Linguine | Rs.1250
This dish is everything a pasta dish is supposed to be - it was packed with flavour, it was creamy and hearty with the pasta cooked just right. The chilli flavour really stood out like it was supposed to, and the prawns were quite large and still retained their moisture thus allowing it to hold its flavour while preventing the dish from becoming too dry. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, this linguine might leave you in a sweat though we suggest you go for some of their other pasta dishes.
Caramel Frappe | Rs.650
The combination of coffee and caramel is one that has been done by a countless number of cafés, and even though the drink as a whole was enjoyable and we kept returning to it for “just one more sip”, a more distinct caramel flavour in the drink would’ve made this a showstopper while giving it the potential to overtake several café’s attempts at a caramel frappe.
Lime & Mint Crush | Rs.400
There was definitely a ‘what-a-steal’ moment when ordering this as it’s a winner for its reasonable price! The lime and mint flavours did not overpower each other and the drink was not too sour like we feared it may be. It’s light and fresh and is perfect to order in this scorching heat as it will leave you feeling refreshed and cooled down, which is essential in a tropical climate.
Blueberry Cheesecake | Rs.420
Their blueberry cheesecake was what we had hoped for: creamy, light and with a strong blueberry flavour. Although it was a tad too sweet, which you begin to realize about halfway through the slice, the overall taste of the cheesecake was quite satisfactory and the texture of the cream cheese and biscuit base was exactly how it should be. The biscuit base was soft and not crunchy so there was no opposition between the textures of the cream cheese and biscuit base. It would’ve been worthwhile to have gotten a larger slice for the price charged, but on the whole the cheesecake was adequate for our appetites!
The staff at Café Mocha are polite and pleasant, but service was slightly slow and we were left waiting for our pre-ordered meals for a while. We had requested for all our dishes to arrive together for photography-sake, but this didn’t happen, and while we waited for some dishes, the others unfortunately became cold.
The presentation of all dishes were simple and pleasing, reflecting the vibe of the café. All food was served on plain white dishes, with limited garnishing for extra flamboyance on the plates, which was appreciated as again, it matched the vibe and feel of the place.
Interior and Ambience
The café decor is simple yet stylish, with posters on walls that depict historic figures and events such as a Mao-generation Chinese poster, photographs of the Beatles, Queen and several political figures as well. It is a pleasant place to enjoy a lunch or work on a paper while munching on something, with several seating arrangements including a sofa and an upstairs area for somewhere more private.
We will definitely find ourselves grabbing a bite to eat here again! Despite a few glitches in their food and service, (but really, what café is completely flawless?) Café Mocha has got it going on! They offer good food and drinks for reasonable prices as well as a place to either hang out with a group of friends or bring in a laptop and finish a bit of work, and so we would definitely recommend Café Mocha as one of the good ones!