AOBA (One Galle Face).

AOBA is a Japanese bar in One Galle Face. They've got all your Japanese favourites – from sushi, sashimi to yakitori and don, and having the opportunity to gobble them down with a glass of Japanese Whiskey/Sake makes the experience extra special. 

Food 

We started off with a plate of Geso Karaage (Rs. 700) which they had a one-to-one deal going on, during happy hour. With the perfect crisp, the batter here was light, had subtle kicks of ginger while the chunks of squid were deliciously chewy. A bit more flavour in the batter could've brought it to another level. 

The Chicken Teriyaki Don (Rs. 900) was lovely. There was a bed of white sticky rice, topped off with pieces of chicken smothered with teriyaki sauce, and garnished with seaweed and bits of spring onions. Tender, succulent and juicy, the chicken was flavoursome, especially with the sweet-salty boot provided by the sauce. The Nigiri Style Sushi Platter (Rs. 1500) featured 7 pieces of nigiri (shrimp, egg, tuna, salmon, crispy fried tofu pocket, squid and sea bass), 1 piece of roe maki, and 3 cucumber rolls along with the servings of wasabi and ginger.

Everything on this platter was well crafted. The fish was fresh, of high quality and stuck well with the sticky rice. Encased in nori and packed firmly into neat rolls, the cucumber rolls were tiny but satisfying.

There was a tinge of sweetness to the crispy fried tofu pocket, while the roe maki was bursting with seafood-y goodness. 

For just Rs. 1500, this platter is a good deal. 

Drinks

AOBA offers one-to-one deals for selected beer, sake and whiskey during happy hours (every day 5.00 PM – 8.00 PM). From what we gathered, their bottles of whiskey and sake are priced above Rs. 4000, but you can grab a can of local beer for about Rs. 500. 

On the non-alcoholic side, they serve coffee, tea and a few juices. 

The star of the show was this Passion fruit Mule (Rs. 800). Refreshing, sweet, sour and fruity, the Vodka punch here was on point. It didn't overpower the other flavours in the mix, and the bits of passion fruit flesh swimming about was a nice addition. 

Ambience & Service

AOBA lies on the ground floor of One Galle Face and has a very cosy atmosphere. The wooden tables surrounded with comfy cushy seats would accommodate for a nice, relaxing meal here. 

Photo credits: AOBA

We were instantly drawn to the food, which is why we forgot to take a picture of their bar counter. This picture was taken off their Facebook page. See how gorgeous it is? There's a display featuring their collection of whiskey and sake, while the area is lit up with umbrella lanterns. 

Welcoming and helpful, the service we received here was wonderful. 

Conclusion

Colombo needs more Japanese bars, and AOBA provides it. Their dishes are well-executed and the authentic taste is pretty much guaranteed. We're happy with our experience, and we're sure that you'd be too. 

*Photographs courtesy of: @raveen.re
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