Agra is another one of those rare fine dining Indian restaurants in Colombo. They’re not cheap but we think their food is definitely worth the price.
Agra has been around for quite a while now but we didn’t get the chance to drop in until recently. They fall in the same price point as Maharaja Palace, but we feel that their food is quite a bit better. Their menu is predominantly North Indian, so you’ll have a great selection of Tandoori, rice and Indian bread options to choose from. Since it’s in the fine dining range of Indian restaurants, expect to pay anywhere between Rs. 1500 – Rs. 2500 per head, depending on how hungry you are.
You can’t go to an Indian restaurant without trying their biriyani, so we decided to go with their Nawabi biriyani (Rs. 1175), which has both chicken as well as mutton and is served with a fried egg. When you charge Rs. 1000+ for a biriyani, it has to be really good, and in this case it gladly was. The portion is plenty for one person and if you’re not a big eater, it should suffice for two. With plenty of mutton and chicken in it, both cooked and seasoned beautifully, this is one of the best we’ve had.
Their garlic naan and butter naan (Rs. 225) was crispy and tasted good with plenty of butter slathered on top. We also tried out the Tandoori roti (Rs. 175), which is a slightly healthier option since it’s made of whole wheat flour.
We were having a tough time deciding which seafood dish to go with but we ended up going for the prawn kadhai (Rs. 1275) on the waiter’s recommendation. We’re glad we asked him ’cause this went perfectly with both the naan and the biriyani. It’s a safe bet for most locals since the curry has all the quintessential Indian ingredients and condiments like coriander, cumin, clove and garam masala.
Their butter chicken (Rs. 875) was the other curry we tried, and once again it ticked all the right boxes. The chicken was cooked well, the curry was creamy and had a great balance of flavours. We were expecting a let down somewhere down the line, but we couldn’t really find much fault in the dishes, which isn’t something we get to say often.
Ambience & Service
When you have a look at Agra from the outside it’s quite unassuming. The interior though, is beautiful. It’s a got a classic Indian motif which is tasteful while not being gaudy. They’ve got a small stage in the center of the restaurant where they have three musicians on the flute, tabla and serpina, playing some classic Indian and Sri Lankan music. They’ve also got a great seating arrangement with small private spaces on the sides, so you can have a private meal even if the restaurant is crowded. All of it together makes for a very relaxed and enjoyable evening.
Service was also impressive with the food coming to the table in under fifteen minutes. The waiters were very professional and had a good knowledge of the menu. They’ll ask what you’re hoping to have and make suggestions of curries to go with it, which in our case were good ones.
As far as high-end Indian restaurants go, we think Agra is one of the best Colombo has to offer. They’re not cheap, but they give you exactly what you pay for with great ambience and service to boot.