The Best Eats in Colombo
Visiting Sri Lanka I think it could be hard knowing whether or not you’re experiencing authentic Sri Lankan food – unless of course you know people and go to somebody’s house to try theirs. But here are some suggestions when visiting Colombo – a very diverse population- where you are guaranteed to find great, tasty, high quality, authentic Sri Lankan dishes from all the regions.
The Galle Face Hotel is not to be missed at sunset, its just about the most quintessential place to stay and has a choice of indoor and outdoor eateries and is located right on the sea front so ambiance is excellent. Whether elegant afternoon teas at The Verandah or an innovative modern menu at the 1864. A specially mixed Pimms cup on the Chequerboard or a spectacular Cuban experience at King of the Mambo, the Galle Face Hotel dining experiences are legendary and a ‘must do’ whilst in Colombo.
Nuga Gama, is also on the Galle Road at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel a rustic haven in the middle of an urban atmosphere and serves traditional Sri Lankan buffet cooked by local ammes – try a mix of sambals like Coconut red onion or lime to accompany a black pepper pork curry
Stratford Avenue brings a blend of local and international style with coffee shops, antique shops, bespoke clothes shops, big houses with leafy gardens and embassies. If you are looking for great antipodean style coffee served in a contemporary setting then try Kopi Kade.
Manning Market has vendors selling just about everything grown in Sri Lanka including dried chillies and crates of dried fish of every sort and eight-nine different varieties of dried prawns in amazing colours and sizes. Its the wholesale market for the city. There are also amazing and charmingly labelled chutneys Try dried lime chutney, which is lovely and zingy, and good to have on the side of the rice and curry. Like most markets it is best to go early as it closes at 1pm
Special treats include the seafood restaurant called Seafood Cove at the Mount Lavinia hotel. This is where Rick Stein filmed the memorable episode of Culinary Journeys and where he spent his time in Sri Lanka cooking on the beach with Chef Pubilis. Rustic style beach side restaurant with oodles of atmosphere from hurricane lamps and freshly caught seafood straight from the Indian Ocean piled high on ice buckets is selected by you and cooked to order anyway you like it. Choose from lobster, jumbo prawns, cuttle fish, squid or a wide selection of fish.
Located in Colombo Dutch Hospital in an atmospheric outdoor shopping and dining district, Ministry of Crab was created by one of Sri Lanka’s most innovative chefs, Dharshan Munidasa and is owned by famous cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. It has been listed in Asia’s top 50 eateries many times. The crabs are from ½ kilo to 2kg – known as Crabzilla and comes plated with a choice of 9 flavours e.g. curry, pepper, garlic and chilli. Other seafood, fish and chicken is also served.
Paradise Road Gallery Café is a fabulous café and restaurant – great architecture, great layout, great furniture – a real aesthetic treat. A bit on the expensive side perhaps but well worth it for the fantastic ambiance (something quite rare in Colombo) plus there is a shop with lots of designer knick-knacks that make good presents and are not too expensive to take home.
The food is delicious – like home cooking. Soups, salads and main courses all beautifully seasoned and cooked to perfection followed by truly scrumptious deserts to die for.