Cinnamon Lakeside offers an all access Sunday Brunch starting at Rs.2700. They've done a lot of things right, unfortunately, the food was not up to scratch.
The spread offered was large, so large in fact that it spanned the 3 main restaurants at Cinnamon Lakeside, namely The Dining Room, Long Feng and Royal Thai. They covered pretty much any type of cuisine you can think of, whether it be Continental, Chinese, Korean or Mediterranean. With such an extensive spread we obviously couldn't try everything, so we tried our best to sample as many different items as we could. Sadly though, what we realized was that it was more a case of quantity, rather than quality with only a few of the items really standing out.
We tried the Korean Style Chicken, Beef Lasagna, Pasta, Lamb Stew, Cashew nut Curry, Pan Fried Pork Chops, slices of Roast Ham, Lamb and Beef, as well as the Vegetable Salad just to make ourselves feel less carnivorous. We liked the Korean Style Chicken, which was lightly batter fried and mixed in a sweet and sour sauce, all of it having a nice balance of flavours. The Cashew nut Curry was seasoned well and prepared gamé style, with the gravy having a nice consistency. The Vege Salad was another item that impressed us, with the herbs mixed in adding a nice depth.
We encountered a very unfortunate situation where the slice of Roast Lamb we got was raw in the center, which was near impossible to cut through. I generally prefer my red meats cooked to a medium-rare temperature, but this was far too undercooked to be palatable. They did however promptly correct the issue after we informed them, but when you're charging Rs.2700, mistakes like this shouldn't happen at all.
The slices of Roast Ham and Beef were cooked through well, but even they were slightly bland, though the mustard sauce and red wine sauce did enhance the flavour quite a bit. The Beef lasagna was very dry, and I knew it wasn't going to be very pleasant even while serving it because it all fell apart as I cut into it, and the cheese sauce was pretty much non-existent. Everything else we tried was also average at best.
The dessert spread was equally impressive and for the most part was presented quite well. The only exception was the Croquembouche (profiterole tower covered in string sugar), where the string sugar had melted and caramelized to form a hard toffee on top of the profiteroles. The desserts we tried were okay, but again nothing amazing.
We tried the Chocolate Mousse Cup, Mini Strawberry Cupcake, Macarons and the Profiteroles from the Croquembouche. The Strawberry Cupcake was the pick of the bunch, with a soft moist cake and frosting with just right amount of sweetness. The Chocolate Mousse was also quite good for the most part, but the raspberry mousse on top had a slightly overpowering tartness. The Macaron however, was very disappointing. There was no symmetry in terms of presentation (as you can see in the above image), and as soon as I bit into I could taste the dessicated coconut, which is commonly used as a substitute when Almond meal is unavailable. Finally, the Profiteroles themselves tasted good with the custard filling having a smooth texture but also not as good as they could have been because of the caramelized sugar on top, which was pretty much a very hard toffee.
Ambience and Service
It's such a shame that the food was so underwhelming, because the management at Cinnamon Lakeside had pretty much everything else right down to a tee. Overall, the ambience was fantastic. You can choose to have your meal at any of their main restaurants or even poolside. The music was also some of the best we've heard being played at similar venues.
The staff was friendly, very attentive and showed a level of professionalism you seldom get to see. Even when we informed them about the undercooked lamb they were very courteous and promptly got to resolving the issue. It should also be noted that "All Access" means that you have access to the pool and even a bouncing castle for kids play in.
The Sunday Brunch at Cinnamon lakeside has a ton of potential, with great ambience, activities, service, music and such a massive spread, could arguably become one of the best buffets in Colombo, but only if they up the standards of the food. Maybe even reduce the quantity, and give more priority to the quality. Ultimately though, at the moment, we don't feel the quality of the food is worthy of the Rs.2700 cost, but if you're looking to have a swim and chill it may still be for you.