Colombo's newest bar/lounge has an impressive view, social buzz, decent if expensive food and drink, but mediocre service.
The Kingsbury Sky Lounge has a beautiful view, from the edge of Colombo Port to the Old Parliament and down the Galle Face Green. At sunset it's truly stunning, though most people seem to go there when the sea is dark, mainly to see and be seen. As the newest spot in the CMB the Sky Lounge is happening most evenings and if you show up at peak times you'll struggle to get a seat. Sadly, at any time you'll struggle to get good service.
Sky Lounge is happening. Partly because it's the newest place in town but also because it's a really great location. The Kingsbury (formerly the Ceylon Continental) sits on prime real estate opposite the Galle Face Hotel and walking distance from the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct and World Trade Center. Of all the city hotels, it has the best sea view, and it's been neglected for far too long. So now it's open, and it is a beautiful sight.
As mentioned, however, the place is nearly empty around 6 PM (sunset) and packed when it's dark.
Sky Lounge has an interesting if expensive drinks menu. They serve only imported beers and have a range of molecular shots (internationally these include foams and scientifically weird drinks, but here they are basically interesting and different shots). Also a lot of champagnes, martinis, etc. Which should give you an idea of the price range. Beers are around Rs. 700 and a shot goes for Rs. 1,000.
The food is quite good, though on the menu we got half the stuff wasn't available. That will change we assume. The Japanese selections are quite good and basics like cooking the meat correctly are attended to. They have a range of seafood and meat items and some interesting veg. They also have a varied chocolate bar - from fondue to poached pears. Again, all expensive, easily pushing Rs. 1000 a dish, going above Rs. 2000 for meats and special treats.
While the Sky Lounge waiters are nice enough, at various points we had to give an order three times (because menu items were unavailable) and were told we couldn't order because it was 10 minutes before the serving time (5:30 PM on the website, but he told us 6 PM). Problems arise, but how staff deals with them is the mark of good service versus bad. This service wasn't good.
You should check out Sky Lounge for the view if nothing else. It is expensive but it's a beautiful view of the sea and city, and one that will change as land is filled in to create new developments over the next decade. Yes, they're filling in the sea. Sky Lounge is a good use of space and for a certain clientele it's a welcome new place to go out.
5 stars for ambience, everything else - less than mediocre