RAW – Refreshing Ayurvedic Wellness


There are plenty of questions that circle around the subject of raw organic juices and cleanses. If its something that’s unheard of to you, do continue to read.  

Although many believe this to be just a fad, the reality is that it isn’t. It is clearly a far more fresh and clean alternative to vegetable and fruit juices, and a safer and healthier alternative to feed and cleanse our bodies.

RAW incorporates 100% organic cold pressed juices made of vegetables, fruit and herbs that are locally sourced and ayurvedic approved. In case you’re wondering as to what ‘cold pressed’ means, it refers to juice that uses a hydraulic press to extract juice from vegetables and fruits. These juices can last up to three days if refrigerated.

“The idea was to promote a healthier lifestyle; to create awareness about the harmful foods that we are feeding our body and that instead, we need to feed it proper nutrients, and cleanse it every now and then,” said Ronali. The idea came to her while she was at church, on the first Sunday of the year 2016. When she got back home, she jumped on the bandwagon and began to research on the topic of raw cold pressed juices and was fascinated by what she found.

Unlike most juices available at restaurants and cafes or even sold at grocery stores, cold pressed juices include a much larger percentage of nutrients without the added preservatives, water, sugars or flavours. These juices are far more easier to digest and absorb into the body. Taste was a very important factor when Ronali created them and before you jump into conclusions about how bad it might be, each one tastes refreshing as they include 20 – 30% cold pressed fruit juice and 80% cold pressed vegetables and herbs. In every 350ml jar, the juice concentration is quite high, and they are well balanced in terms of flavour and easy to consume.

To ensure quality and high standard in what she produces, Ronali runs quite the effective eco-friendly and sustainable business from her home – from sourcing only organic vegetables and fruits (also growing a few in her garden), to using solar power to generate energy for cold pressing the juices, to then using the waste as compost and fertilizer in her own garden. Each juice is packed in a reusable and sterilized glass jar and delivered in a reusable cloth bag.

What started out with just three juices to the name has now expanded to a range of 12 juices. Each juice has specific benefits. “It was important to me that before I grew my business, I created awareness regarding how beneficial raw organic juice can be for your mind and body. It’s easy for someone to say we can just add raw vegetables and fruit and herbs to our every day diet but the proper amount (400g of organic produce) that needs to be consumed daily is a bit hard to match, which is why it’s easier when it is in a pressed juice form that has your daily requirement. I initially had stalls at multiple pop ups and was able to sell out in nearly all of them because there were a great many people who were and still are very much interested in healthier and clean lifestyles. I consult an Ayurvedic doctor as well as a natural medicine doctor to ensure each juice combination is balanced and healthy to consume,” she added.

Fresh organic produce of karapincha, gotukola, celery, mukunuwenna, thebu, watermelon, ginger, mango, cucumber, pumpkin and more are delivered every two to three days and Ronali also ensures to visit the farms every couple of months to ensure the highest quality and standards are met. When the orders became more than she herself could handle, she went on to hiring staff to cold press the juices every single morning and also streamlined deliveries that happen twice a day. Orders are taken generally within a 24 hour notice period.

“When it’s your own homegrown business, the job satisfaction is greater. But it doesn’t mean I’ve had it easy either – coming up with a single combination of cold pressed juices can be quite a challenge with limited produce available organic because it’s important to have a balance of health benefits and flavour. I am passionate about what I do and I love every minute of it regardless of the little hiccups along the way. Of course I’d also love to expand in the future and be able to create more raw juices. The dream is to have a proper manufacturing plant so I can streamline the process more thoroughly, able to increase the shelf life of the juices and also to have them be available island wide,” said Ronali.

Benefits of an organic raw cleanse:

  • Visibly clear skin 
  • Heals internal cells and organs 
  • Clears the mind 
  • Gets rid off bodily toxins 
  • Cleanses the body 
  • Increases energy and overall health 

Juice cleanse

  • The Classic Raw Cleanse (one day) includes six juices and one herbal tea 
  • The Lazy Raw Cleanse (one day) includes four juices 
  • The Pro Raw Cleanse (two day) includes 12 juices 
  • The Advanced Raw Cleanse (three days) includes 18 juices 
  • The Raw Green Cleanse (one day) includes six juices 

 

For more details visit http://www.rawsrilanka.com

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Lime & Co. Midi

Sea salt infused breeze fills the air and I awaken from my lounge spot beside the cool blue pool. I seem to have fallen asleep during the middle of the day on a glorious Saturday, but I am not one to complain. Work or otherwise, my reasons for being here don’t matter right now. What matters is that I feel relaxed and happy.

I’m at Lime & Co. Midi, an eco-friendly economical accommodation brand, located just a mere minutes away from the Midigama Town and a hop, step and a jump away from the beautiful Indian Ocean on the southern coast of the island. Home to ten double/twin rooms and two dorm rooms, this budget-friendly property has been aesthetically designed, keeping the surrounding environment in mind. The structure was built around the existing coconut trees, instead of cutting any down to create space, and also designed to ensure natural ventilation and air flow throughout the property.

The space is decorated minimalistically and has quiet nooks for someone like me; who enjoys reading, lounging by the pool and simply staring into the clear blue sky with no agenda ahead of me. Not that I have no agenda, but we can get to that later. Right now, my mind can only focus on the afternoon breeze, the sound of the occasional train passing by (which I don’t mind really) and the pool beckoning I take a dip.

Getting there 

Traveling down south isn’t much of a hassle anymore thankfully – for those of you who own a vehicle, it’s altogether a mere 2 hour drive from the city of Colombo (taking into account the crazy traffic before the Kottawa entry to the Southern Expressway) and then the rest thereon. Midigama is about a 30 minute drive from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort. For those of you who like the convenience of taking the highway bus from Maharagama, you could get off at the traffic lights at the end of the expressway and get on a regular bus heading to Matara and get off at the Midigama Town.

You can’t miss the spot as the property wall facing the roadside has a lengthy tropical illustration. Did I also forget to mention that the beach is simply across the road and also boasts one of the more quiet and secluded spots in the area? July/August isn’t really the right time to hit the waves but you could wet your feet or have a short swim closer to the coast if you’re up for it and the tide isn’t high. Midigama is also home to some of the best sunsets on the southern coast.An ideal time to visit however would be from October to April.

In keeping with the economical theme, Lime & Co. Midi does not offer meals but does provide a communal kitchen space that guests could use to cook meals for themselves. The kitchen is complete with a refrigerator, stove top with pots and pans and utensils, a water filter, reusable glass bottles and plates and water glasses. If you’re not someone who wants to be cooking while on vacation, there’s a tiny roti shop a mere walking distance that serves home-cooked rotis with yummy fillings like cheese and tomato. There’s also Mama’s, a five minute walk down the road that does a vegetarian rice and curry buffet and worth a visit. TripAdvisor would be your best bet in helping you find other good places to dine at in the area, depending on your budget.

I always make sure to carry a book when I’m traveling. You never know when you might have a couple of free hours to lounge and unwind by yourself, and as an avid reader from childhood, I can’t pass up the opportunity to catch up on a good book even if I’m on holiday. As much as I enjoy doing so in my own bed at home, there’s something about laying back on a hammock between two coconut trees, with the occasional rustle of leaves and trees nearby to create the ideal reading atmosphere. My current read is Crash and Burn by Lisa Gardner. I’ve not previously read any of her books, but the title of this one intrigued me and so far, I’m hooked.

A few hours into the afternoon and I believe a dip in the pool to cool off is a good idea before the sun disappears and the water becomes too cool for my liking. I’ll leave the workload for tomorrow; today calls for a full on relaxed itinerary.

Things to do

If you’re an outdoor kind of individual, there’s plenty more to do in the area. Excursions can be arranged within a few hours, or with 24 hours notice the most. Whether it’s boat safaris on the Madu Ganga or Koggala Lake, visiting turtle hatcheries on the coast, or taking on bike or walking tours in Galle, boredom won’t kill the vacation mode. The Yala and Bundala National Parks are approximately a two hour drive away (depending on the glorious Sri Lankan road traffic) and are definitely worth a visit, especially during this time of the year.

A couple of laps to and fro and I seem to have cooked up a good appetite for dinner. I’ll hold off trying to nibble on some snacks because there are couple of good restaurants and cafes towards Ahangama (about a 10-15 minute tuk ride away). Cantina Lanka serves up some good pizza and tacos, whereas Mojo has a killer spicy chicken salad that I have been loving very much. The coconut roti tacos with prawn and homemade curry mayo sauce is a favourite at Spice Lane. If you’re up for it, the Galle Fort is also home to plenty of places you can dine at.


The rooms at Midi keep with the minimalistic vibe; the cement cut floors and lime washed walls add a natural cooling effect so there’s no necessity for air conditioning at all. There’s shelving and racks for storing your belongings during your stay and there are leafy paintings on the wall which add an island feel to the room. The bathrooms have been designed with an open space concept so it does not include a door to separate it from the room. It’s cement finishings give it a nomadic and simple vibe and it doesn’t hurt that the shower head has awesome pressure and includes hot water too.

I’m rudely woken up the next morning by the blasting of a bus horn from the main road nearby. It’s not a welcoming feature of my stay unfortunately. My ideal Sunday would be to naturally wake up close to noon. Anyway, I’ve also got some writing and emails to respond to, so I take the opportunity to make myself a cup of coffee at the communal kitchen and use one of the dining spaces to get some work done. I also manage a few social media accounts on Instagram and Midigama has been quite the tropical backdrop for plenty of island vibe posts.

Come noon, it’s a quick lunch on the way back to the Southern Expressway at the Galle Fort and home sweet home. It’s crazy how the weekend simply flies by and I hate the notion of having to mentally prepare myself for work the next day. But two days at Midi has certainly given me a mental boost and I feel refreshed and revived to tackle the coming week.

If you’d rather spend your money on good food and budget your way through on accommodation, I’d highly recommend checking out Midi on their main website for some good offers or even via Airbnb. The brand has a similar property in Kabalana as well, and have sister properties under the name Ceilao Villas in case you’re interested.

Have a good week!

A Fusion of Spices


There are plenty of places to eat down south no doubt, but when you head towards Ahangama, your choices tend to be very limited. Whilst many of the dining spots steer towards either local cuisine or the typical Sri Lankan favourites like pizza and pasta, Spice Lane brings a fresh outlook on fusion gourmet food.

Aimed at the every day traveller as much as the local foodie, it is a food nook that is located in Kabalana, on the southern coast of the island, the restaurant is headed by Chef Nav, who hails from Sydney, Australia.  

Open only for lunch and dinner, all days of the week except for Mondays, the meals served at the restaurant are created with an emphasis on the many spices found in Sri Lanka. From the local favourite cinnamon to aromatic nutmeg, fresh coriander to cumin, there’s attention to what each spice brings out of each dish; whether it’s the simple yet flavoursome appetizers or the scrumptious mains.


Having been to the Spice Lane a couple of times myself, here’s what I’d recommend and suggest you give a try and why; the trevally ceviche (includes a fresh mango purée that adds a tangy flavour and served with papadums), the pol roti tacos with prawn, homemade lunu miris and curry mayo sauce (which also happens to be a major favourite amongst other diners), roasted chicken marinated in spices and treacle (served with sweet potato mash flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg and yet another homemade curry sauce) and the beef burger (made of a freshly made pattie, garnished with melted cheese and eggplant served on a homemade brioche bun with sweet potato fries and garlic aioli). Each dish has been carefully crafted, ensuring flavours fuse together to create a mouthwatering experience with each bite.

From homemade pasta (ravioli) to in-house baked brioche buns, freshness and the best in quality is what Spice Lane prides itself upon. The atmosphere at the restaurant is very relaxed and easy-going. There are no fancy trimmings of décor but the simplicity is quite appealing.

Chef Nav is self-taught and passionate about food and serves what he calls modern Sri Lankan inspired fusion cuisine, using fresh local seasonal ingredients. Having spent his early childhood on the island, his culinary influences are a combination of local flavours and produce, and modern Australian cuisine. His aspiration to introduce a different approach to food, while sticking to a certain level of authenticity is what gave birth to Spice Lane.


Photography by Christian Hutter

 

Bottoms Up!


Who doesn’t love scrolling through the oh-so arty images uploaded by lifestyle and travel bloggers on Instagram? Personally, I cannot resist doing this a couple of times a day. It was by chance that I can across the account of Arrack Junkies. As catchy as the name is, their social media feed is full of colour and quite unique. Whilst Shanela Anthony is an optimistic digital marketer, Dilshan Rabbie is a self taught digital designer who pursues perfection.

In conversation:

Why “Arrack Junkies”?

The short answer would be, its our favorite beverage. (probably in par with water). We are the couple who would check-out to the newest bar or restaurant in town and request for Arrack while they held their elegant wood-carved cocktail menus at us and stared in confusion.

Given that we are way past the judgements and public opinions of society, we wanted to create a unique profile that represents us in the most authentic way possible. So, “why not Arrack Junkies?”

What made you both decide to become Instagram Bloggers/Influencers?

Our friends and followers on our personal profiles are mainly to thank for this. We generally travel around the country at every opportunity we get and share most of our trips online via stories and insta-snappery posts. This would result in countless messages and comments requesting more details or of how gorgeous the place was. We were surprised as to how many undiscovered locations there were in this tiny island, hence during a conversation over a bottle of Arrack we thought it would make sense to combine our powers in design, photography and social media management to produce something new.
However a blogger/influencer would not be the term we’d use to describe ourselves. Rather collaborators to the massive ocean of content we all like to take a dive in. 


What are the challenges you’ve experienced over the years?

To be quite frank we just started this profile a couple of weeks back and we haven’t really faced any challenges per se but surely our fair share of obstacles are on the way and hopefully we’ll be well equipped to handle it all. But for now it would be that we are quite particular in the images we choose as they may look out of place in the long run since unlike most profiles they aren’t individual posts. So our biggest challenge at the moment is making sure we don’t post the wrong image that may mess with the flow or overall aesthetic.

What are your strengths, that helped you with blogging?

We would like to think of ourselves as pretty decent photographers (Shanela more than Dilshan) which has definitely helped in creating the base content whereas Dilshan would add the spice into it and combine it into the grid. Our strengths in social media are mainly derived off our daytime jobs. Actively engaging in social media strategies and speaking to clients give us a comprehensive idea of the industry allowing us to capitalize on it and include it on to Arrack Junkies. Shanela is mainly in-charge of follower growth and audience management therefore I (Dilshan) tend to take a step back when it comes to the management side of things.
We haven’t taken on blogging as yet but hope to start something up in the near future. 

What is your ideal working environment?

An open space with a shot of arrack on the side.


How do your build relationships with your audience?

We absolutely love the people who get in touch with us and share their views on what we’ve trying to do. It’s amazing to see how many are willing to support you in what you’re trying to achieve. We make sure to keep constant contact with the ones who reach out to us and hope to grow our audience in a more personal level.

What is your greatest weakness and what are you doing to improve it?

Shanela – Dilshan getting the posts done in time. His attention span is as good as a goldfish and getting him to complete posts is by far our biggest weakness and actually a challenge as well.

Dilshan – (No comment regarding this)

How do you want to improve yourselves on social media?

‘Influencer Marketing’ is a term you’d most likely hear a couple of times a day. Chances are you’d turn a corner off a street and run into an influencer; the term itself has been increased by 325% in Google searches over 2017. There is no doubt the trend is likely to grow and more and more marketers are willing to invest in the efforts. Not only would Arrack Junkies like to be a credible peer endorser but also have a direct sales impact to the brands we associate with. At the moment it’s a long journey ahead of us, but we’re quite certain we will be able to use our skills to set us apart from the rest.

Where would you like to be in five years and why?

We would like to have someone pay for our trip to Santorini and be asked to taste their amazing cocktails for free.


What motivates you to keep doing what you do, and why?

More than the positive comments and messages that we get which for certain motivate us with doing what we do, this has been something that we are quite passionate about. The goal is to someday launch an online platform that speaks to our market niche and allows us to distribute quality content amongst them. We see ourselves nearing this goal each day as our humble little Instagram page grows and that truly motivates us. It’s also a challenge to keep finding ways to continue the post style and that definitely keeps us going.

How do you keep your Instagram posts and feed as authentic as possible, when there are hundreds of others trying to do the same?

If you’ve seen our profile, you’d agree that it’s not the most common Instagram layout. With 800 million users on the platform it’s hard to say our feed is the only of its kind, however we are certain its not amongst the most commonly practiced and would definitely be a factor of differentiation.

We believe authenticity on social media is not based on photography or editing skills but much rather in being able to call it your own. Something we decided at the inception was that we would not feature third party posts on our page. Well aware that this has a direct impact on the quantity of posts and frequency but we’re willing to make that sacrifice for quality.

Is it important to you to have a feed that is original and stands out from the rest?

Although many may disagree, social media doesn’t always work the same way your bullpen does at your corporate office. Competing in a numbers game can probably make your page look impressive at first glance, but long-term success is defined on how relatable you are to your audience and how engaging you can be with that niche following.
Digital media as a whole has matured significantly and its highly unlikely the secret in becoming the next social media maverick is to follow the one before you. With the multitude of content being created every second, we believe it’s absolutely crucial to be original and distinct. 

Any advice to others who wish to follow your footsteps?

This is a tough one! We can hardly be qualified as people who could pass on advice. However something we strongly believe in is to be as unique and authentic to who you really are. As surprising as it may be people are drawn to those who are more relatable than to those who portray unrealistic lifestyles.

Surf’s Up!


I’m back in Colombo as I write this and the reality of circumstances saddens me. As much as I love rainy weather, its cold, gloomy and wet outside and all I can think of is the sunny tropical weather in Pottuvil from a few weeks ago.  For someone who has never been to the east coast of the island, I kept my expectations pretty basic when plans were made. I looked up images of the area of course like any sane curious individual and deemed the region laid-back and simple. I wasn’t wrong.

Pottuvil is quite a small town but a bustling, busy one during this time of the year. It’s surf season on the east. The little town therefore is alive with energy and people.

On the day of (to save time), we decided it was best to leave Colombo by 3.30am. As much as the idea isn’t so thrilling, I’d recommend this time of the wee morning if you’re traveling a long distance simply because the roads are nearly empty and the journey wouldn’t therefore take as long. I’d nodded off during the first two hours but it was also too dark outside to notice anything at the time. The rest of the way, the drive took us pass the Udawalawe National Park and dam by 6am, and saying that the view across the dam is breathtaking is an understatement. With just one stop for a warm cup of tea along the way in Wellawaya, and the last hour passing through the Lahugala National Park, we reached Jetwing Surf by about 10am.

Design and eco-sustainability

Built on an exclusive stretch of untouched land, overlooking the eastern Indian Ocean, the hotel boasts a property catering to an eco luxury lifestyle. It is home to 20 cabanas – four of which are twin rooms, 16 of which are double rooms – built entirely with sustainable and reusable materials such as rope, repurposed wood, thatched roofing made of woven coconut palm leaves and dried illuk grass, to ensure a minimum carbon footprint. Shaped to resemble seashells, each cabana is however equipped with the usual room amenities except for air conditioning. Three wall mounted fans and a high ceiling ensures there’s plenty of air and natural ventilation throughout the day.  

As their website says, its all coastal comfort with sustainable modernity and I cannot argue with that statement. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the Resident Manager, Dilip Kumar who gave me a mini tour of the property and also explained a few things regarding the hotel’s sustainable efforts. With being on the road nearly six and a half hours, I excuse myself a few minutes later and am guided towards my room.

Entering my room, my eyes immediately fall upon the double poster bed that sits at the centre, with its headboard facing the deep blue sea outside. The circular shaped cabana includes two sofa like features, shelving space for personal belongings and of course a bathroom that has both an indoor and outdoor space. The large glass doors in the room open out to a deck which includes two summer beds on either side and wicker chairs and a table to sit back, relax and enjoy the eastern horizon and sun.

I’m slightly obsessive compulsive so instead of crashing onto the bed for a quick wink before noon, I take a few minutes to unpack all my belongings. After all, I’ve got a full two days in Pottuvil and I might as well settle in right. Needless to say it doesn’t take me much long, but I’m also tempted to try out the instant coffee machine and take my cuppa outside. I do so, and immediately begin to nod off. No joke, I head back inside and settle beneath the luxurious bedding and doze until lunchtime.

Things to do and see

A quick shower to refreshen up, a change of clothes and I head off to the main restaurant. I also grab one of the excursions notebooks so I can catch up on things to do and see in the area.

For those culturally inclined, there are plenty of viharas that can be visited, including the Muhudu Maha Viharaya and the Magul Maha Viharaya. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, there are three natural reserves that can also be explored; them being the Gal Oya, Kumana and Lahugala National Park. Kumana is famous for bird watching whereas Lahugala and Gal Oya are home to herds of the gentle giants.

Stating the obvious, the east coast is known for surf spots including Peanut Farm, Crocodile Rock and Pottuvil Point. There’s the Pottuvil Lagoon a mere minutes away as, is the world renown surf spot Arugam Bay. I’m not a fan of surfing (having tried it twice and almost had the wind knocked out of me) so I decide to go on a boat safari the next morning.


Lunch is a set menu guide (quite extensive in my opinion) and after placing my order, I turn towards the infinity pool beside it, dotted with two lily pads for relaxing, sun beds and a pool bar. A light breeze tickles the air and I only just realize there’s natural cooling and ventilation even here. They’ve kept an open architectural design throughout the property ensuring co-existence with the environment. I quite like it.

The main dining restaurant has a high thatched roof as well, and one can opt to dine indoors or outdoors amidst the light breeze of the eastern seas. My order arrives, one after the other; first a tuna based appetizer, a creamy seafood bisque, a mint refresher (sorbet), tandoor marinated grilled chicken with a spicy biriyani and lastly a delicious warm chocolate lava cake. Perhaps I went a bit overboard with my order. Self note – do not order as many choices the next time. Presentation as well as taste is on point; the in-house executive chef certainly knows his craft and also has quite the creative streak.

To spend the rest of the quiet afternoon, I head back to my room, grab my current read and enjoy a few relaxed hours with yet another cuppa beside the pool. An hour in the pool by sunset afterwards, and I’ve regained an appetite that has me ordering off like I did at noon. Cue, roll the eyes, simply because I regretted it immediately after the soup. I heartily enjoy my main though which was a combination of grilled seafood and long grain white rice.

The meals are simple although the a la carte menu is extensive. For the next and last morning of my stay, I opted for a Lankan and continental spread respectively. You can’t quite go wrong with pol roti but I must mention the lunumiris that accompanied it which was to die for. The continental surfer’s choice breakfast the next day was quite the spread too. For my last dinner, I chose the cream of carrot soup, garlic chili sea crab, and caramel pudding for dessert.

Final thoughts

One thing I’d also noticed is that the staff are ever-willing to come over and strike up a light conversation with the guests, including myself. They always had answers to my gazillion questions about East and were friendly and kind. I like this; it makes the entire experience more personalized and welcoming. The same goes for the Jetwing Travels driver who accompanied me, played tour guide and showed me the area.

To say that my weekend stay at Jetwing Surf was a pleasant and enjoyable one is an understatement. It was much more. My notion regarding the brand has always been that no one is as hospitable as they are. And it rings true even on the eastern coast of the island. Can’t wait to go back!

TacoCat Colombo


Are you a taco or burrito lover? If yes, then you need to head over to TacoCat!  

TacoCat is a pop up space operating out of Black Cat Colombo, for those who have ben wondering as to where they operate. They serve Mexican food, the basics really – tacos, burritos and nude bowls. If you think you love the food served at fast food joints like Taco Bell or Let’s Taco, you’ll need to revise your Mexican food palette as TacoCat is as authentic as it gets in Colombo.  Stepping inside, your eyes would gravitate towards the colourful pink walls. It’s got a quirky vibe to it and comes across as a more funked up space than a chilled out café or diner. Priced at Rs. 999 for three tacos, or one burrito or a nudie bowl, I think they’ve hit the nail right on the head. And oh, if you happen to go by on Taco Tuesdays, you’ll get each item for just Rs. 299! Having decided to go there on an impulse, my friend and I realized it was unfortunately a Wednesday, ha!

As said, the menu is pretty basic but who wants a complicated menu any way? Customers can pick between three fillings for each items; beed, chicken or beans. My friend opted to have the three tacos with three different fillings and I opted for the burrito.


Each taco got filled with purple slaw, tomato salsa, coriander, cheese and pineapple. The beef taco got the garlic aioli sauce, the chicken taco got the snake chili sauce and the beef taco got the tomato salsa sauce. My burrito was filled with lettuce, purple slaw, tomato salsa, coriander, cheese, red rice, and topped with tomato salsa sauce.

Now, if you’re going to pin point a couple of authenticity details let me be frank with you and inform you that the tortillas are not made of corn but of wheat. Still, I’d say it’s a pretty decent alternative. The tacos nor the burrito were heated prior to serving but this isn’t something that bothers me. I do realize however that some customers might want it that way though.


They do serve up vegan and vegetarian alternatives to the meaty tacos and burritos but unfortunately there isn’t something for seafood lovers. Perhaps it could be something to add to the menu later on.  

There are a couple of picnic benches under lofty summer umbrellas so we both decided to enjoy our lunch over there. The bean filled tacos wasn’t exactly something I’d prefer but I did like the garlic aioli sauce which added a nice flavour to it. The beef and chicken tacos however were super delicious. A change of sauces added a good punch to each bite. My burrito on the other hand was another hit and I greedily munched into it in a matter of minutes. Can’t really explain how good it tasted so I’d just recommend you go try it out yourself.

There aren’t any beverages or desserts on the menu but Black Cat is literally a door away so no qualms there to be honest.

TacoCat is located at No. 11 Wijerama Road and closed on Mondays.

Tuk Tuk Safari!


Some experiences are best when they happen to be spontaneous decisions. This was one of them. I got in touch for one reason and suddenly was about to experience a tour of the city of Colombo simply thanks to the warm hospitality of the men who run this business. I’d picked a poya holiday purely because there would be less traffic on the road and I didn’t necessarily have plans for the day.

Our driver was prompt, friendly and had a wide smile. His name was Tin Tin. Having greeted my friend and I with a flower lei and an introduction to everything that was within our mode of transportation, we were off on our first Tuk Tuk Safari!

I’d always wondered what it was like going on an excursion, experiencing the heritage, history, culture, food and natural beauty of Colombo in a tuk and here was my first time doing so. Prior to booking the ride, I’d explained I did not need a full-on guide to the tours that are organized but I wanted to have somewhat of an idea of what the safaris were like. I’m told there are morning safaris that start at 9am, a sunset safari that is aimed towards the late afternoon (leaning towards the evening) and a delicious food safari as part of the different tours offered.


Touring Colombo

The best part? These tours can be custom planned according to some of the sites you may or may not want to see, also the hours you’r willing to be out and about. A typical tour takes up to four hours and costs $49USD per individual, which I honestly believe is a pretty sweet deal considering the excellent service, the guide information at every stop and also the food you get to enjoyed along the way.

I’ve forgotten to mention the tuk itself. Custom painted, sleek and retro in every aspect, these aren’t your typical rundown every day tuks of Colombo. There’s a small garbage bin placed in the front, a tray that is fixed and built to hold water bottles or beer cans, a hand sanitizer, a facial tissue back and along the back storage a cooler with multiple cans of beer, an awesome speaker set for music of your own choice and a roofing mechanism that can be opened up.

Personally, I’d recommend keeping the top open as the breeze throughout the tour is too lush to miss. If you’re not a fan of getting a slight tan and burnt however, have it closed. Tin Tin took off towards some of the oldest religious sites in parts of the city including one Hindu kovil, a church and then made way to Pettah, the business hub. Thankfully as it were a public holiday, traffic along the small streets were not a problem and my friend and I were also prompted to experience the ride standing from our end of the tuk.


Our first snack stop was beside the Khan Clock Tower for some juicy achcharu. Nibbling, we continued to drive towards Galle Face Green and couldn’t resist getting ourselves some isso wadey like typical locals. The tour also incorporated a stop along Marine Drive, sitting down to a tea presentation and also having a cuppa while watching the sun set for the day.

As much as us as locals tend to overlook the beauty of the city, we also don’t often recognize how culturally and historically blessed we are. There’s a rich sense of being as you walk along the temple ground of Gangaramaya, drive pass the monumental Colombo Municipal Council and the lush Viharamaha Devi Park and even Independence Square that rings with history. For dinner, we stopped at Taste of Asia and dug into freshly made steaming hot egg, plain and milk hoppers paired with accompaniments like gravy and katta sambol. I’d never had a milk hopper before and surprisingly, I loved every bite of it.

As dusk turned into darkness, it was time to head back home. Now I’d like to mention again that this was not the typical sunset tour and that mine was simply a cut down version of the regular experience. For the most part, my friend and I did not stop at many of the places and we also skipped a few snack spots. As said before, if you think a four hour tour is too much to handle, let the driver know or inform the team beforehand, and they’d create a personal tour suitable just for you.

Do I think the experience was worth it? Most definitely; and I’d encourage even locals to give it a go and see the city through the eyes of a foreigner

“Majestic Colombo has endless off the beaten track pearls, and we wanted everyone to be able to experience the city in an authentic Sri Lankan way; on a tuk tuk, the cornerstone of every local adventure! It’s ideal for people who have limited time, access and local knowledge. You can definitely see so much when you do it right; just like a local!” – Tim, Tuk Tuk Safari

You can also experience the UNESCO World Heritage City of Galle with Tuk Tuk Safari. They have a morning, beach and sunset safari. You can log into http://www.tuktuksafarisrilanka.com for additional information.

Pictures courtesy Tuk Tuk Safari