According to my Aunty Dora, who’s old enough to know, the legendary Colombo eatery, Green Cabin (453, Galle Road, Colombo 3 — Phone: 588811 or 591841), and its sister restaurant The Pagoda Tea Room (105 Chatham St., Fort, Colombo 1 — 011 232 5252)have been feeding hungry Colombo residents for a long time. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, I saw a sign saying that the Cabin is celebrating 127 years, which means it was founded in 1884, making it arguably one of the cities oldest dining establishments.
I, for one, remember coming here as a mere tot for short eats, cake, and their famous chocolate eclairs. Later on, when I was old enough to appreciate iced-coffee, this was the place of choice. It was only rather recently that I ate a full rice and curry mal in their garden, a small oasis of calm in bustling Bambalapitya. I also used to come here for lampreis for lunch, though I think the quality of their lampreis is slipping. But whatever you say about Green Cabin, they are an original, and while plenty of new chains have cropped up to provide competition—including The Fab and Caravan Fresh—I still prefer the short eats and iced coffee at Green Cabin (with Perara & Sons as a close second). Not only do they have such a wide selection, but according to my cousin they are all made fresh in house. The same Rodrigo family also runs both spots as they always have, according to my aunt. In this age of big chains, you’ve just got to love a mom & pop shop where you can still get good food and good service as well as a little piece of history to boot. I managed to get a shot of most of the savory short eats on sale that day, but the stock changes daily. Also, they had a lot more whole cakes and sweet items, but unfortunately, no eclairs!