By Shamrina Carim
A Sri Lankan experiencing the magical inspiration of Sri Lanka in the heart of Colombo, is a one of a kind privilege.
Colombar is a conceptual establishment, made to flaunt the beautiful colors of Sri Lankan specialty to the foreigners and as well as to the local market. They have preserved their brand to the core by instigating several elements of Colombar. For instance, the first gaze you notice is the “Colombar” road board, scripted in all 3 languages. Therefore, the other elements of the restaurant plus bar were clearly experienced by us, through a brand story — guided by the enthusiastic group of Senior executives of the property generously.
You walk through a mood of lantern lights, setup in strings leading you to the live music tent, sit down on one of those handmade fresh tables, and overlook a mesmerizing view of the lake with an eventful boat, streaming north and south around the restaurant.
The touch of locality is strongly demonstrated with the brand elements such as the lantern logo, imprinted on the canvas alias linen uniforms of the servers and bartenders at the restaurant. Furthermore, the atmosphere provides a peaceful setting, delivering the experience of typical Sri Lankan hospitality.
Drinks to gulp
Have you got excited with a menu that screams “culture” with meaning and actual representation of the food and drink available at the restaurant?
Colombar is a spot just to explore that!
The first try on the menu turns out to be a surprise. Lantharuma (meaning – lantern) depicts the art of serving Ceylon Arrack infused with a perfect mix of ginger and tamarind in a lantern bulb jar! The shots are perfectly distillated with the flavor of Sri Lankan Achcharu, bringing out a very subtle hit to the drink, making you want more.
2. Yaal Paanam
Take your taste buds down a memory lane to Jaffna. A purely produced local jaffna arrack transported from the North to Colombo, plays a significant role in the bartender’s act of preparing this succulent drink.
The extraction of Palmyrah Arrack, is measured and served with reasonable percentages of mango chutney, jaggery, the touché of tamarind and a spice around the ring of the glass to assemble the perfect shot of spice and flavor!
This is not your usual Ceylon Arrack hitting your smell senses. The beautiful aroma of cardamom comes out strong, forgetting the fact that you are consuming alcohol, but a sweet dash of jasmine, banana flavor, a dollop of yuzu syrup and a pint of beer. All these are incorporated at a particular range of alcohol blend, to make you feel mellow, and sober.
4. Gin Ji Baras
This is the spot where you interact with your barman. This dry drink is personalized to ensure a not dry experience, but to indulge in a flow of Yellow Gin and an incorporation of exported spices. You will feel the spike of cinnamon once you raise the glass to savor the shot, (or a sip) as you prefer!
Does this ring a bell to the days where you go on a trip down south, then buy the Kalu Dodol? Yes, the sweetness is back, if you have not visited the southern part of Sri Lanka for a while.
Enjoy this traditional Ceylon Arrack subtle mix with a deep flavor of coconut and jaggery. You might misinterpret eggnog for this drink, but it sure hits the better parts of Sri Lankan richness right after taking a sip of this Dodola.
Bites for you – Appetizers
1. Black Pork Curry
My partners treated themselves with this perfect paste of soft and tender pork cubes, enjoyed with the accompaniments that we were served. The specialty of maintaining the thick curry is the blend of boiled cassava and thick coconut milk, giving out an aroma of slow cooked flavored meat. The Pol roti is a perfect combination for the Black Pork Curry, cooked with enthusiasm by the head chef of Colombar.
2. Sri Lankan Spiced Chicken Tenders
This is not just any KFC chicken bucket. The chicken fillets were soft to its name, the mild spiced batter was coated in one layer and fried into a light golden brown texture. The taste of the tenders were defined with the accompaniment of a Green Chili Curd. This hit a different note to imply the beauty of trying out a westernized dish with a Sri Lankan accomplice. The combination was addictive.
3. Ambulthiyal Quesedilla
A feast to the eyes before tasting was the title reserved for this settling local dish! Ambulthiyal is a preservative cuisine prepared in clay pots on firewood stoves, bringing out the flavor of ingrained spice juice.
The fish Ambulthiyal is concocted with sautéed capsicum and onions with an additional touch to this Mexican tortilla – Cheese! That’s what makes the combo bomb.
4. Egg & Cheese Roti
Here was one of our favorite dishes to enjoy with the drinks served on the table. This is different from the kade egg roti or the Chef has successfully brought a different place of food to a different space of experience.
Try this Egg roti, rolled in with melted cheese. Dip into the creamy egg and tomato curry for a softer bite.
5. Pol Roti with Katta Sambol
This was a gestured accompaniment into our tasting addition. Colombar wins with the Pol roti and katta Sambol where the roti is handmade or much more reminds you of the homemade rotis your mom prepares hot hot!
Request your server for this amazing dish since it’s off the menu.
Why should you make this a once in a lifetime visit?
If you are a fan of NEW Conceptual experiences with food and drinks, this is a central spot to try in Colombo. The richness of Sri Lankan culture is demonstrated with class and elegance, while you enjoy a lively evening outing.