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A popular coffee-shop restaurant that caters to both coffee afficionados and dessert lovers with a wide range of Halal dishes.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Profile image Poornima S tried Choc & Oreo Waffles at The Paddington 3 years agoColombo

Warm waffles served with molten chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream, skittles and crushed oreos.

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  • Travel to Sri Lanka for your Honeymoon!

    For the newlyweds (or any couples), start packing your bags for Sri Lanka! via GIPHY   Galle Face Beach - Galle Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka Morning walks along Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches is a must! Even this beach that is located so close to the city centre is a breathtaking sight in the early morning. Take a romantic stroll with your spouse and just spend some quality time to get to know each other.  Beach on Colombo Plan Road However, if you seek more thrill, something like combining beaches with railway tracks, then walk along Colombo Plan Road. It is a tranquil sight of the sea with occasional loud train sounds as the trains pass by the tracks on its way to Galle station. While you are there, stay on to catch a little bit of sunset. All you need is your life partner by your side and a sweet silence as you both listen to the muse of the sea. Negombo beach - Negombo, Sri Lanka If you need some private time with your spouse, Negombo Beach is the beach for you. There are very much lesser people here so you can walk along the beach and have a romantic conversation undisturbed! Amagi Aria Hotel - 640/82 Suhada Mawatha, Puttalam - Colombo Rd, Negombo 11500, Sri Lanka Even better, why not stay at the Amagi Aria Hotel and whisper words of forever as the sun sets leaving you and your spouse with warm lovely feelings. This is the perfect spot to have a heart-to-heart talk with your spouse. Alright, enough about the beaches! Let's go on to talk about just how gorgeous the train ride in Sri Lanka is!  Image Credit: YamuThere are so many beautiful places to visit via train. Places such as Ella, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy are among the top few for the must-visit! The journey to the mentioned places itself is such a breathtaking sight. Views en route from Colombo to Kandy Kandy Train Station  Things to do in Ella: 1.The Nine Arch Bridge Image Credit: Salt in our Hair This gorgeous bridge is located right outside of Ella. It will take about 30 minutes to walk through the woods and reach a beautiful tea field. Be there with your beloved and sip a cup of delicious Sri Lankan tea while watching trains pass by.  2. Swim at Diyaluma Falls Diyaluma waterfall - in Badulla district on the Colombo-Badulla highway, about 6km east of the regional town of Koslanda, and around 30km south of Ella.Image Credit: Pinterest The Diyaluma waterfall is 220-meter high and is the second-highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. On top of the waterfall, it has different levels of natural pools where you can swim. To get to this waterfall is not an easy task! A two-hour tuk-tuk ride from Ella to Poonagala through quintessentially lush Sri Lankan tea plantations followed by a hike downhill through long, dry grass for about 30mins before getting to the upper Diyaluma falls. A short hike further would bring you and your partner to the edge of the world, watching the cascading water drop 220m to the valley below. This is the start of a very challenging honeymoon thus far in Sri Lanka. However, such tasks would allow for a different kind of bonding as you learn more about your partner and even yourself! 3. Climb Little Adam’s Peak  Image Credit: Wandervisions To get to Little Adam’s Peak, you need to follow the trail which is right next to Ella Flower Garden Resort (3rd Mile Post, Passara Road, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka). An alternative entrance is also located at 98 Acres Resort (Greenland Estate, Ella - Passara Rd, Ella, Sri Lanka) and marked by a white Buddha. Just follow the trails and you would only need about an hour before you reach the top and have a lovely sunset view with the-love-of-your-life.    Things to do in Nuwara Eliya:  1. Go to the Tea Plantations Image Credit: Travel Triangle Nuwara Eliya has so many tea plantation fields. One of them is the Pedro Tea Estate. Pedro Estate is about 3.5km east of Nuwara Eliya station and is a 20 minutes drive by rickshaw from the station. You both can have an educational tour of the tea plantations here and learn the process of tea planting!  2. Take a stroll in Victoria Park  Image Credit: Kingsford Residences Well, why not take a stroll in Victoria Park (Badulla Rd, Nuwara Eliya 22200) and have a lovely chat while sipping a nice cuppa tea? This lovely walk with your soulmate will leave you with a tingling feeling and many gorgeous photos together!  3. Gregory Lake Image Credit: Sri Lanka Finder This enchanting lake (Gregory Lake, Nuwara Eliya 22200, Sri Lanka) is a must to visit. It is just a 5 minutes ride on a rickshaw from Nuwara Eliya. Enjoy a breezy walk and cooling weather which definitely calls for a lovely picnic or a sweet ride on the swan boats. Over at this lake, it compels you to show how much you love your spouse by doing things together and caring for each other! THE THING to do in Kandy: Well, we did mention that this honeymoon destination is not for the weak-hearted as the hike at Little Adam's Peak over in Ella was just the start of all hikes. In Kandy, climbing up Adam's Peak is a must if you want to learn the ultimate truth about your partner's character and yours too!  Image Credit: Atlas And Boots Adam’s Peak is located at South Central Sri Lanka and the nearest town is Dalhousie which is the start of the trek up the mountain. Taking the taxi/Grab/Uber/Private car rental from Kandy to Dalhousie is the fastest option to get here as compared to coming by bus or train. The ride takes about an hour and a half. The best time to start climbing Adam’s Peak is in the wee hours (start at 12 am or slightly later) as the climb takes between 2 to 4 hours (depending on fitness levels). This climb will be an opportunity to encourage each other as the total number of steps is about 5000 to 6000 crumbling steps and inclined trekking. Reaching to the 1000th step is already a great achievement but will definitely test you as your legs may go numb or feel very sore. However, with constant coaxing from the beloved, the pain would turn into motivation as watching the sunrise at the peak of the mountain is a glorious sight which leaves you feeling a sense of achievement. It takes a lot for couples to reach the top but hey, love conquers all (even the challenging Adam’s Peak!).  Sunrise at the top of Adam’s PeakImage Credit: The Partying Traveler One of the best feelings in the world is to pray with your spouse. Sri Lanka has a gorgeous mosque located at 2nd Cross Street, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The mosque goes by the name of Red Mosque or Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid.  Image Credit: Atlas Obscura Well, this honeymoon destination has loads of challenging activities to do with your spouse. Despite the pain, it is definitely a worthwhile trip to do together. Marriage may not always be smooth. There may be challenges. Well, challenges are meant to be conquered together, just like how challenging-Sri Lanka was conquered together! ...

  • Luxuriate in the Highest Crescent Rated Hotel in Sri Lanka: The Radh Hotel

    Are you in the midst of planning your end of year vacation? We've got just the right destination for you - Kandy, Sri Lanka. There are numerous historical landmarks that you can visit during your stay to learn more about the history and culture of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. These landmarks include The Temple of Tooth, Royal Palace of Kandy, The Buddhist Museum and Udawatta Forest Reserve. If you wish to make the most of your vacation and not miss out on visiting any landmarks, we'd highly recommend you to bunk in this luxurious hotel: The Radh Hotel. Not only is it conveniently located near numerous exciting places, it's also got a perfect dining and accommodating experience for everyone, especially Muslims. Not to mention, it's a crescent rated establishement too! Credit: The Radh Hotel   Islamic Amenities Credit: The Radh Hotel Credit: The Radh Hotel Moreover, in Ramadan specifically, scrumptious Halal iftar (meal when breaking fast) and suhoor (meal before fasting) cooked by professional chefs can be requested for guests. What's more, even transport can be arranged to transport Muslims to the nearby mosques for Taraweeh, prayers and even Eid salah (Hari Raya prayers).   Other Amenities This boutique hotel offers 5-star quality amenities along with side amazing hospitality and attentive staff. Alongside free high-speed wifi, restaurants, dry cleaning, the hotel also houses a gym, sauna, spa, lounges and children's activities. Rest assured, you can rely on The Radh Hotel to ensure you enjoy a serene and comforting experience during your stay in Kandy. Credit: The Radh Hotel The Radh Spa treatment in particular is a good way to relieve stress and remove tension from your body. It opens daily from 7am to 10pm and features a steam room, sauna, premium toiletries and an array of treatments that you can choose from to suit your body needs. All of these features will undoubtedly help to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere just for you. One of their spa menu treatments includes their Javanese treatment, where the well-trained therapists will give you a satisfying deep tissue massage using their thumbs and by applying palm pressure onto the body to relieve its pain. Interestingly, this massage will even allow you to develop better sleep patterns - a perfect solution to overcome jet lag!   Fruitful Experiences Credit: The Radh Hotel That's not all! The Radh Hotel also offers many special promotinoal offers such as a specially tailored package for travelers to visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic that's only a five minutes drive from the hotel - so convenient! At a price of just $545, you get to sleep in a peaceful, luxury double room on a Bed & Breakfast basis, and even be entitled to a personal chauffeur pickup and drop from Kandy Railway Station. Not to worry, there are vegan, gluten-free and Halal meat options available during this tour.   Rooms Now, moving on to the fun part - the rooms! The Radh Hotel has 8 types of rooms, all of which are air conditioned and come with amenities like HD televisions, Wi Fi, spacious bathrooms, loads of toiletries, and some rooms even offer eye-catching views of the city! Not forgetting, there's also 24-hour room service! Scroll down to view the rooms and their prices: Deluxe Queen (From $140)Credit: The Radh Hotel Deluxe King (From $155)Credit: The Radh Hotel Executive King City View (From $175)Credit: The Radh Hotel Premier King Forest View (From $190)Credit: The Radh Hotel The Radh Family Suite (From $220)Credit: The Radh Hotel The Garden Suite (From $270)Credit: The Radh Hotel The Radh Premier Suite (From $385)Credit: The Radh Hotel The Radh Royal Suite (From $550)Credit: The Radh Hotel There you have it. The Radh Hotel offers guests the ultimate experience, respecting the nature that surrounds the hotel, the history that came before it and the culture that distinguishes it. It is important to note that this hotel is currently obtaining a halal certification by the HAC - Halal accreditation council (Guarantee) Limited.   Address: 30 Colombo St, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka Contact Number: +94 77 843 7423  WebsiteBook A Room Now ...

  • 5 Things You Can Do In Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka is an island paradise, surrounded by the Indian Ocean boasting of rich nature, wildlife and culture. A lot of tourists head over to the sea side towns or the hill country, but its commercial capital has much to offer as well.With 5.6 million making up its population, this rising cosmopolitan city is quickly making its mark on the international map. Skyscrapers, luxury hotels, a new harbour port, however, Colombo's charm doesn't lie in these modern buildings, it can be found in the beautiful colonial era buildings and it's people - a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures which gives the city it's character.Historical or otherwise, Colombo is a kaleidoscope of activity. Being the commercial centre of the Island, it attracts everyone and has something for anyone! From street food to art and music – this is a city that will not bore you.Here are 5 interesting things you can experience in Colombo, keep reading!   1. The Gangaramaya Temple Credit: @GangaramayaTemple on FacebookStarting at the heart of Colombo, this temple is full of character with interesting things to see. The Temple is over 150 years old, and is the perfect place to head to if you want to escape the din of the city.You will be greeted by a row of golden statues at the entrance, and once inside get ready to be swept away by the temple’s charm. The Temple houses a museum of artefacts that you won’t find at any other temple – quirky statues and ornaments, old coins, rare artwork and a lot more. You will also find a collection of vintage cars, gifted to the Chief Monk at the time.The Seemamalakaya found on the Beira Lake is a part of the Gangaramaya Temple. Designed by the renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa in 1979, it was built as an assembly hall for monks. The floating structure offers incredible views of the surrounding city from the lake and makes for some incredible photos.You have to purchase a ticket at the gates and remove your shoes before entering the Temple. They provide a separate and safe place for you to keep your shoes till you pick them up at the end of the tour.A peculiar temple but with lots of charm! It will definitely leave you with a sense of wonderment.Address: 61 Sri Jinarathana Road, Colombo 2 Website: http://gangaramaya.com/Operating hours: 6:00AM to 10:00PM (Daily)   2. Dutch Hospital – Shopping Precinct Credit: @DutchHospital on FacebookDutch hospital is a colonial era building refurbished into a shopping complex with restaurants and cafes – it has a little bit of everything.If you are in Colombo and want to cool off and relax for a bit after all that walking, Dutch Hospital is the place to be. There’s a myriad of restaurants and cafes, but a must try is the Ministry of Crab which serves authentic Sri Lankan Crab dishes – you will not experience this taste anywhere else.You will also find a Spa Ceylon branch, a luxury spa specialising in using aryuvedic healing techniques to soothe the body. You can even purchase natural beauty products and get a massage to ease your aching feet.There's also an Art and Jazz Festival as well as a Street Food Festival hosted annually so if you are in town during that time do try to pop in. These festivals are great for families on holiday in the city.Be aware that there are also pubs and bars at the venue which serve alcoholic drinks, however you can easily find non-alcoholic drinks almost anywhere.Bonus tip: The Dutch Hospital is very close to the hotel strip on Galle Road so don’t forget to check out hotels like The Kingsbury and, Galle Face Hotel – it overlooks the Galle Face Green, a great spot to enjoy the sunset from and has some great street food stalls.Address: Hospital St, Colombo 1Operating hours: 10:00AM to 10:00PM (Daily)   3. Shopping Credit: @colombocitycentre on InstagramShopping and eating makes up an important part of Colombo life, there are plenty of high end stores and shopping malls as well as numerous restaurants!As there are many places to shop in Colombo, there are a lot of seasonal sales in the city, so if you are a shopping addict – Colombo is definitely the place to be! Also, if you are looking for places to eat in Colombo there are a lot of options – Upali’s for Sri Lankan cuisine, The Bay Leaf for Authentic Italian and Black Cat Cafe for good coffee amongst many others, just Google and you will be spoilt for choice.Note: According to the workers at Black Cat Cafe, they are unable to confirm if everything on the menu is halal. Hence, we advice that you consume at your own discretion.Head over to the newly opened Colombo City Centre for a more high end shopping experience which houses international brands like Armani Exchange, Swarovski, U.S. Polo Assn. and more! They also feature local high end brands, boutiques and, stores like Odel and Aviraté. If you want to watch the latest blockbuster head over to the multiplex cinema and grab a bite at the food court – The FoodStudio - which serves a variety of cuisines.If you want a real Colombo experience hop on a tuk tuk and head to Pettah. A labyrinthine mix of wholesale shops, historical sites and cheap eateries serving authentic Lankan streetfood – the language spoken here is haggling and it will make for a more thrilling experience.When in Pettah you have to try a Faluda – perfect for people with a sweet tooth (Sri Lankans love their sweets) or if you are more health conscious opt for a Thambili (Coconut water) – nature’s isotonic drink – these can be found on almost every street corner. You don’t have to worry about not being able to find Halal food because most of the restaurants and eateries are owned by Muslims, since they make a better part of the Pettah community. Almost all restaurants, cafes and hotels are Muslim-friendly as Sri Lanka has a population of about 1.9 million Muslims.   4. Festivals Credit: @cinnamonlifecolombo on Facebook  Sri Lanka is a melting pot of different cultures and religions, and Colombo is the epicentre.There are many cultural and religious festivals you can witness while in Colombo. One of the biggest festivals is the Vesak Poya holiday, the Buddhist festival of lights which brings everyone together to enjoy beautiful light and lantern displays, as well as pandols. The Sinhala Tamil New Year is also a major festival enjoyed by all ethnicities and religions; it is similar to a spring festival which celebrates the new harvest of the season. Deepavali, which is the Hindu festival of lights is also a event that should not be missed.Apart from the religious or cultural festivals, Colombo hosts many festivals pertaining to art, music and street food.Be sure to head to the festival hot-spots like Dutch Hospital which hosts an exciting Art and Jazz Festival, Green Path for Foodies On The Street - a festival dedicated to street food and also the many free film and cultural festivals hosted by the different international embassies and organizations in the country. The city also holds music festivals like the Cinnamon Life Colombo Music Festival.Colombo also hosts many shopping festivals, with the largest being the CMB Shopping Festival held annually at the BMICH. Find clothes, accessories and many other things for competitive prices. Colombo is fast becoming a top shopping destination like Bangkok and Dubai, so remember to add Colombo to your list.   5. Food Credit: @mydinemore on FacebookLast but not least, everyone's favourite part about travelling - food. Colombo offers many options for places to eat and drink; almost all restaurants, cafes and, hotels are Muslim-friendly or Halal certified, as Sri Lanka has a population of about 1.9 million Muslims.You can choose between a range of expensive or cheap eateries. One of the budget friendly local fast food joints in Colombo is Dinemore, that serves up a variety of dishes, their most famous being their submarine - the restaurant chain is Halal certified. It's the perfect spot to grab a quick bite and escape the Colombo heat. You can find branches in Colombo 2, 3 and 6.Real Lankan street food is hidden in Pettah. A Pettah staple is Faluda – perfect for people with a sweet tooth (Sri Lankans love their sweets) or if you are more health conscious opt for a Thambili (Coconut water) – nature’s isotonic drink – these can be found on almost every street corner. Try the many types of Achcharu and the local cotton candy - Bombai Motai.You don’t have to worry about not being able to find Halal food, most of the restaurants and eateries are owned by Muslims as they make a better part of the Pettah community.Travelling in Colombo is very affordable!Bus tickets are very cheap, also with the advent of Pick Me and Uber, you can easily get around the city!Tip: avoid normal meter tuks that don’t belong to any taxi service company which may charge more, always opt for Pick Me or Uber or any other private taxi company.Now you know what to do and where to be in this fun, fast growing city! Put on your shades, hop in a tuk tuk and enjoy Colombo!...

  • 8 Best Cafes in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for Your Quiet Me Time Sesh

    You are in Colombo on vacation and you need some privacy to get your work done and catch up on some reading. The hotel room is a great option but your family and friends are getting on your nerves for being too loud. So where do you go to get a cup of coffee and enjoy some quality alone time? Colombo has got you covered. Here are the top 8 cafés where you may enjoy peaceful time to yourself: 1. Black Cat Café Credit: @blackcathackney on InstagramBlack Cat is a quaint little café that serves up good coffee and healthy food. It has a homey, rustic feel to it as it is an old house that has been converted into a café and B+B so...if you want to stay over they can accommodate you. The staff here is very friendly and would strike up a conversation with you and make you feel welcome.The ambience is nice with indoor and outdoor seating – a lot of natural light seeping in through the windows and relaxing music playing. The seating arrangement is great as it gives you the secluded privacy you want even though it’s quite a small space. It's great to work from or have some much needed alone time with a book. Electrical outlets and WiFi are available, so all you gotta do is settle in, and order a cuppa. The prices are between LKR 500 to LKR 100, but definitely worth it. There are two menus, the breakfast menu which is available till noon and another menu for the rest of the day. Their home made Ginger Beer comes highly recommended and their sandwiches are quite good as well. This place is also perfect to hang out with a group of friends, and you can stay as long as you like, even after the café has closed for the day.Charging Ports: YesWifi: Yes Address: 11, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 07Opening Hours: 8AM to 6PM (Mon-Tue)                          8AM to 10PM (Wed-Sun)Note: According to the workers at Black Cat Cafe, they are unable to confirm if everything on the menu is halal. Hence, we advice that you consume at your own discretion. 2. Café Mocha by Barista Credit: @CafeMochaSL on FacebookA spacious café with great ambience, the interior is specifically designed to accommodate people who want to get some work done or simply have a coffee date by themselves. It's a great spot to really sink into work or studying without being disturbed, it is also great to if you want to curl up in a ball on one of the comfy couches or booths and read a book – no judgement here, everyone’s busy staring at laptop screens or books themselves. With ambient lighting and well spaced out tables, it's also great if you want to have any group discussions. It’s a great hangout spot and has pretty chill vibe overall, you can also find some interesting boutiques selling interesting trinkets and batik clothing. The staff is friendly and accommodating. It has a typical coffee shop menu, with some interesting sandwiches which fuse Sri Lankan style fillings with cheese and other condiments. The price range is between LKR 400 to LKR 900, their Spicy Chicken Pasta is value for money at LKR 800 and their Tea is served for LKR 350 a pot.Charging Ports: YesWifi: Yes Address: 8 Stratford Ave, Colombo 6Opening Hours: 7AM to 11PM (Mon-Sun) 3. Caramel Pumpkin Credit: Caramel PumpkinA quirky café, Caramel Pumpkin is the place to be if you want to chill or catch up with a friend. If you are looking for a place that's more upbeat and different from the usual cafés this is the spot for you!It's has some cute wall art that might help get the creative juices flowing if you are a creative as well as bean bags if you want to get super cosy. There is also a nice outdoor area on the first floor overlooking the street below. If you like burning the midnight oil they are open till 1am Friday to Sunday and have an interesting late night menu.They have an extensive menu with a great variety to choose from, but you will not go wrong with the make your own pasta option, which is value for money at LKR 800 and, local gelato (highly recommend the Puttalam Sea Salt Flavour by Isle of Gelato), one generous scoop is LKR 450.Charging Ports: YesWifi: Yes Address: 38 Ward Pl, ColomboOpening Hours: 8AM to 1AM (Fri-Sun) 4. Tea Avenue Credit: @TeaAvenue1936 on FacebookLocated at Barnes place, this café is perfect if you are serious about getting some work done without any distractions or need some alone time to reflect on your vacation or just, chill. It has a variety of seating options and it is great for hanging out with a group of friends. They offer a variety of food and drinks, mainly known for their ice teas and cakes. Prices range from LKR 500 to LKR 1000, their Charcoal Waffles at LKR 850 is one of the best items on their menu and you can get Ice Teas between LKR 400 to LKR 500.Many electrical outlets are available, so you don’t have to worry about your laptop or phone battery running out of juice and WiFi is free for one hour with every purchase; however you can stay here as long as you want without any disturbances. The music is unobtrusive and the booths are perfect to set up shop and finish any tasks at hand. If you are someone who likes working at night, this spot is highly recommended, they are open till midnight.Charging Ports: YesWifi: Yes Address: 55 Barnes Pl, Colombo 7Opening Hours: 7AM to 11PM (Mon-Sun) 5. Café Kumbuk Credit: Cafe KumbukSimilar to Black Cat Café, Café Kumbuk is located in an old colonial house that has been renovated, with both indoor and outdoor seating. However, it is not air-conditioned. If you are vegan or a health food junkie this is the place to be.The interior is nice and comfortable with a minimalist but rustic aesthetic; however, seating is quite limited. Other than that it's a great spot to relax and enjoy a healthy but tasty meal. They use organic ingredients and their menu changes seasonally. The price range is between LKR 500 to LKR 1500.Charging Ports: YesWifi: Yes Address: 60, Horton Place, Colombo 7Opening Hours: 8AM to 6PM (Tue-Sat)                          8AM to 5PM (Sun) 6. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Credit: The Coffee Bean and Tea LeafThis American chain has 3 branches scattered around Colombo, however the Maitland Crescent outlet would be the best of you are a night owl.Similar to Tea Avenue in spaciousness, this coffee shop has a cool ambience. With urbanised interior and interesting seating, this spot will not disappoint. The café also serves essential coffee shop fare and is a great spot to hangout by yourself or with a group of friends. Their ice coffees and frappes are popular amongst the young crowd and are great if you want to escape the heat, their price range is between LKR 500 to LKR 1500.Charging Ports: YesWifi: Yes Address: 07, No 2 Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7Opening Hours: 6AM to 12AM (Sun to Thur)                          24 hours (Fri and Sat) 7. The Blue Swan Credit: @blueswancafe on InstagramThis small, cosy café serves up their own brand of coffee and chocolate along with some delectable desserts and sandwiches. The perfect spot to grab a book and escape, the café is decked with comfy seating and has only one or two people making up the staff – however, this does not mean service is bad! Be sure to try their Chili Hot Chocolate priced at LKR 350, which is a peculiar concoction of chilli with hot chocolate, also the Cheese and Tamarind Toast for LKR 400, another quirky treat. The place is almost always crowded, however it is worth the visit for the good food and drinks at very affordable prices as well as its notable homely feel.Charging Ports: NoWifi: Yes Address: 24 Fife Road, ColomboOpening Hours: 10AM to 7PM (Mon to Sat) 8. Noteworthy Café Credit: @NoteworthyCafe on Facebook If you are a book lover or an art enthusiast, this café will not disappoint! The ambience is comfortable but rich with the velvet carpets and the apparent Van Gogh Theme, you can see copies of his best work hung up on their walls! Also, the staff there are friendly and accommodating. They have an impressive drinks menu that serves up some of the best coffee in town. If you are a fan of breakfast, they serve up all breakfast all day and have some interesting sandwiches – like the Green Goddess (LKR 500) for you health nuts and the Fish Ambulthiyal Wrap which has an authentic Sri Lankan curry filling (LKR 600). Their menu is quite extensive and has something for everyone; the price range is between LKR 1000 to LKR 1500. If you want some proper alone time – just you, a cup of coffee and a book? Look no further than Noteworthy Café. Fact: The café does not have WiFi as the owners want the customers to immerse themselves in the café experience and communicate and relax in the traditional ways.Charging Ports: NoWifi: No Address: 4 A Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7Opening Hours: 7AM to 9:30AM (Mon-Thur)                          7AM to 10PM (Fri-Sun)Important: Most Cafes in Colombo are Halal friendly and don’t really serve pork products so there is no need to worry about the food not being Halal, however, if you want to make sure you may always enquire with the staff. When you are in Colombo and craving that much needed alone time with a nice hot, steaming cup, you know where to go!...

  • Instant Noodle Trippin’ and Halal Travel [Opinion]

    Instant noodle trips – or spontaneous, short, cheap trips packed with a punch I never knew my type of travel had a name until I read the recent Mastercard-CrescentRating Halal Travel Frontier 2019 (HTF2019) Report outlining trends that will shape the US$220-billion global halal travel industry. The full report can be downloaded Halal Travel Frontier 2019.   Of the 17 trends identified, three hit home personally: the urge for “instant noodle trips”, stronger female influence in planning trips, and travel to non-traditional “Muslim” destinations such as Japan and Africa.   I have always encouraged friends to travel beyond their comfort zones and experience local cultures, beliefs and people. In fact, I truly believe that putting oneself in so-called uneasy situations is the perfect test of one’s faith. The keyword here is uneasy, not dangerous. Doing the latter is just being foolish.   The reward after each “uneasy” situation is a deeper understanding and appreciation of others. You then realise the biases you have are your own. You make those walls so, there’s nobody but only you who can break them.   Me spending the night in this monastery in MyanmarWhat do Muslim travellers need when they travel? Two biggest needs are halal food and prayer spaces.   Since we are on the topic of instant noodles, I realise my trips are literally about instant noodles. You see, many of my travel mates are non-Muslims and I refuse to inconvenience them or limit their culinary enjoyment so Maggi and Indomie have become a staple in my backpack. Proof I have been instant noodling for years…Vegetarian meals may be an alternative for many Muslims, but they are not for me. And that’s because I hate vegetables and will not touch them with a 10-foot pole.   I remember telling the travel guide on a trip to southern Africa that I was a vegetarian. After many days of not touching her food and cooking instant noodles instead, she confronted me. She was amused when she found out the truth. “There ARE halal food here!” she roared. She called me a “fake vegetarian” and then whipped out a halal chicken to cook the next day.   (Below) An old video of some stuff I carry with me on trips. This was filmed a decade ago so, apologies for the poor quality. Sad? Not really. The search for halal food sometimes takes me to the homes and dining tables of Muslim strangers.   (Below) A curious tuk-tuk man in Cambodia spotted me eating at the same halal Indian restaurant for three consecutive meals before offering to take me to a Kompong Cham enclave, where I was treated to a sumptuous halal beef meal by the village chief and Muslim elders. (Below) I also had a free chapatti dinner at the home of this generous Muslim family in Myanmar. They were poor in money but not in spirit and felt compelled to share what little they had with a fellow Muslim. No electricity means it’s candlelight dinner. How fancy!   Now, back to the rising trend of “instant noodle trips”. I am glad that this is trending (and trendy) among millennials and Gen Z travellers. Compared to years ago, travel has now become more affordable with lower airfares offered by budget airlines. Social media and mobile applications have also made it easier to research on-the-go about new places, discover travel promotions and discounts, and minimise risks and dangers with real-time warnings about natural disasters and terror attacks for instance. It is easy to DIY. Personally I use Expedia to compare flight prices, and then book tickets directly from the airlines. I book accommodation on Booking.com an hour or two before arriving at my destination. The good thing about using the same app consistently is that eventually one becomes a “frequent traveller” and gets offered more discounts and deals. One memorable instant noodle trip was a 2015 solo travel to Sri Lanka. I flew budget from Jakarta to Colombo on AirAsia, and then took either public buses or trains to Kandy, Dambulla and Jaffna. Within each city or town, I hitched tuk-tuks or simply explored on foot. I befriended locals and other tourists and they were ever willing to impart local wisdom and lend some company. I had no itinerary, no goals and no fixed plans. When I found bugs in bed, I covered the pillow with a shirt and slipped into my cheap travel sheet. No fuss. Bed bugs are part and parcel of “instant noodle trips”And when hungry? Search the walls for “halal” clues and tuck in. Bismillah. Article credit: The Flying Sarong...