BreakOut Lounge.

Overlooking the Kotte Pond and Kimbulawala Jogging track lies BreakOut Lounge – a new restaurant that offers good Sri Lankan fare with an air of serenity. They're still at their soft launch, so we decided to drop in for a First Look. 

Ambience

It's like a walawwa from a storybook of T. B. Ilangaratne, but modernised to match with this era.

With crisp white walls, old-timey wooden windows, elegant furniture and a giant overhead roof at the entrance, the ambience here was graceful and has a very homely vibe. As you enter the place, you'll spot the giant rooms on your left and right, occupied with wooden furniture, which caters to the dining needs. 

They also have this beautiful, breezy garden area shaded with massive trees. Quite calm, quite beautiful. 

Food 

This is not a restaurant you can just walk into when you feel like it. As I said, it's still the soft launch and they are on a "minimum food waste" policy, so you have to make a reservation before you go in. While doing so, you can check what's on the menu, as their offerings are subjected to availability, and they tend to add specials to the menu as they can.

On the day we visited, they had the introductory Rice & Curry with Fish (Rs. 400) and Chicken (Rs. 400). We tried them both, along with the complimentary appetisers they offered. 
Resembling the flavours of pol roti, but very thin to the point that it breaks into pieces like a biscuit, the Coconut Strips were one of the appetisers. It paired really nicely with the dynamite lunu miris they provided

Whether it be soothing a fever, comforting an upset stomach, or improving the digestion, Thambum Hodi is a wonderful cure that we Lankans go for. BreakOut's take on this gravy was leaning towards the sour side, followed by a delightful wave of spiciness.

*Pictured above (from the top left corner) – Red Rice, White Rice, Pol Sambol, Winged Beans Curry, Snake Gourd Curry, Mukunuwenna Mallum, Fried Keeramin, Kohila Sambol, Onion Sambol, Chicken Curry, and Thalapath Fish Curry

Our Lankan palates are not used to the simple pepper-salt combo. We need something beyond that, which is why our buth plates are comprised of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy elements. The folks at BreakOut Lounge seem to have understood it well, and the spread they offer here is enough proof of that. 

At Rs. 800 (for both Chicken and Fish), we couldn't believe the massive spread of rice and curries that landed before our eyes. I mean, look at it! Each rice portion was accompanied by four vegetable curries (snake gourd, winged beans, potato and green gram), three sambols (kohila, pol and onion), a mukunuwenna mallum, the protein of your choice, and the condiments of fried keeramin karawala, papadum and fried chillies. Given how generous they're with the portions, this is probably the best deal for rice and curry we've gotten so far. Four people can easily feast on this. 

*Pictured above – Potato curry (left) and Green Gram curry (right)

Immersed in creamy coconut gravy, all the vegetable curries were well-executed and had a lot of curry flavour to taste. They did a good job balancing out the spiciness of the meal. 
Oozing out with a nice peppery hit, the Thalapath fish curry had two massive chunks of fish, cooked to perfection and was dunked in a thin, spicy gravy. The fish tasted fresh, and despite being smothered with spices, the seafood-y flavours nicely emerged through. 

Featuring four sizable chunks of chicken wrapped in a chockfull of goraka, tamarind, pepper, and karapincha, the chicken curry was superb too. It contributed to the sour side of the meal. 

*Pictured above (from the top corner) – Fried Keeramin, Onion Sambol and Kohila Sambol

Freshly made, the kohila sambol had bits of onion, tomato, and a sprinkle of pepper slipped in, while the onion sambol had lots and lots of umbalakada. The whole thing was soaked in a splash of lime making it very sour to the taste, but not in an annoying way. 

Salty, yet packing a spicy punch from green chillies and chilli flakes, the fried keeramin was as good as it can get.

*Pictured above – Mukunuwenna Mallum (left) and Pol Sambol (right)

The Mukunuwenna Mallum added for a good crunch, while the pol sambol providing a spicy kick. 

Our dessert was a Rulang Pudding (Rs. 350) which was served with a bunch of cut-up fruits – mango, papaya, orange, grapes, and watermelon. Dense, yet creamy in texture, the pudding itself had only a little amount of sugar in it, along with a few dried plums. Pairing it up with the fruits certainly made it more interesting. 

Drinks

As for drinks, we got the Belimal with Hakuru (Rs. 150). Very much like black tea, but with a stronger bitter note, it was good. The kithul hakuru they serve is of very high quality, which acts as a sweetener that tones down that bitterness. 

Service

The waitstaff at BreakOut Lounge was welcoming, polite and accommodating. They were happy to answer our questions about the food and did not forget to check back with us time to time to ensure that we're having a good time. 

Conclusion

This is one of the finest rice and curry experiences we've had. They're planning to add more items to the menu, while becoming a fully functioning restaurant that's not limited to reservations. 

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