Despite being surrounded by oceanic waters, Sri Lanka's pool of seafood eateries is quite small. Black Pepper is one of the newest restaurants in Colombo to fill this gap.
We placed an order for a portion of Prawn Fried Rice (Rs 680), Prawns in Black Pepper Sauce (Rs 2,250) and Hot Butter Cuttlefish (Rs 850).
Prepared in generic wok-fried rice style, and sticky in texture, this portion left us impressed with its generous amount of prawns and flavour. Although the portion size isn't massive, it can be shared between two people who aren't into elephantine portions of rice (AKA standard buth kadey amounts).
Topped with their signature black pepper sauce, these jumbo prawns tasted fresh and worked well with the heaty sauce. However, a dish comprising of three large prawns was a little too difficult to split between two hungry mortals, especially at a whopping Rs. 2250.
A Hot Butter Cuttlefish really seals the deal for any seafood meal. Tossed in chilli, this HBC was spicy and crunchy, albeit slightly rubbery.
For dessert, we opted for a portion of Watalappan and Kolikuttu Banana (Rs 580).
Presentation skill level: TROPICAL
Deftly placed inside a halved thambili with slices of kolikuttu banana on either side, this wins the dessert of the year award solely for this effortless yet unique presentation. In terms of taste, the watalappan was just right with the perfect amount of jaggery. To add to this tropical feel, the shell had adequate coconut flesh to scoop along with the watalappan. Together with the banana, this dessert was absolutely palatable, and absolutely local.
Service and Ambience
Sticking to monochrome interiors, this restaurant is spacious, chic and classy.
They've also got their wines on display in the middle, adding to the chic black-and-white ambience.
In terms of service, the staff seemed well-informed on what their roles were. We were checked up on by the management and even the chef. Overall, we were treated cordially and well.
Clearly, Black Pepper's menu and portion sizes weren't curated with gluttonous customers like me in mind. It's a rather sophisticated spot that's ideal for dates or meals with a stacked wallet. Ranking on the higher end of the seafood eatery scale, this restaurant has quite a lot of potential, and we'll drop a fresh review in a couple of months.