By Hashini Pathirana
The aromatic fragrance of Indian Spices and the native hands of an Indian Chef make Alhambra one of the most significant Fine Dining Indian Cuisines in Sri Lanka. Located at the heart of Colombo, Alhambra is the presiding Indian Restaurant to Ramada by Wyndham. It is as simple as taking a right from the Galle Face Roundabout and you will reach Ramada by Wyndham Colombo just 50 m down the Sir Mohomad Macan Marker Mawatha, Colombo 03.
Inspired by the Art and Architecture of Indian Moghul (often referred to as Mughal) Empire, the ambience of Alhambra is curated to demonstrate traditions and beliefs of North India.. Chandeliers hanging down to lighten up every table individually, paintings derived from the North Indian Culture hung all around the restaurant and even the color theme of the restaurant coordinated to emphasize the Mughal Empire, add defined details to the restaurant in every way.
With a seating capacity of up to 60 guests, Alhambra could be the most suitable restaurant to dine in groups and is also specialized in Corporate Lunches and Dinners. Having a light classical Indian Folk music played in the background, you could find yourself at peace while experiencing true Indian culture when dining at Alhambra!
Staying true to the luscious Indian Flavors, the native Indian head chef at Alhambra, Chef Singh has a very well curated menu at the restaurant. Folklore says North Indians love their Biryani and here at Alhambra, Chef Singh’s Biryani is what the restaurant is most famous for. The Bombay Pot Biryani served at Alhambra which comes with a selection of veg/non-veg out of Murgh (Chicken), Gosht (Mutton), Jhinga (Prawn), and Sabzi (Vegetarian), would be well suited for 2 and is rich in true flavors of the North Indian Cuisine. Their Sawan Biryani option is also available only for delivery.
Another famous dish at Alhambra is their Thali. Thali is an all-in-one platter of Biryani rice served with a choice of meat, dhal, moghul salad and raita, two vegetable curries, pickles and also desserts. Voila! A full course meal in one platter!
The spread of Vegetarian varieties at Alhambra is a significance the restaurant has in attracting many Sri Lankans as well as Foreigners (especially Indians). Alhambra is also home to a magnificent Friday Moghul Buffet with action stations around, especially for all the Puri lovers out there. With a wide variety of Indian Flavors, the buffet menu is creatively portioned and curated to complement various taste palettes. The Friday Moghul Buffet at Alhambra is priced at LKR 4700 per person and serves the true culture of Indian Food.
The delightful menu at Alhambra highlights a Fine Dining Experience of 3 course meals as it includes Appetizers, Main Courses as well as Desserts in it.
“Hara Sabzi Ka Shorba” aka Creamy Mixed Vegetable Soup, was one out of the Garma Garam Shorba (Soup in Hindi) that we ordered. To match our energy levels, we also ordered a “Nalli Soup” which is a Tradition Rajasthani Mutton Soup. The very first sip of the Nalli Soup brought to us an actual Garam Garam (electrifying) taste as it was equally spicy and hot. Chops of Mutton in it were quite tender and juicy, however on an average level, it was mediumly cooked. Creamy Mixed Vegetable Soup was one of the kind and would be an absolute favorite to many Vegetarians out there. The spices were evenly blended with the fresh vegetables and were creamy to the core.
Hara Sabzi Ka Shorba – LKR 600
Nalli Soup – LKR 850
“Jhinga Koliwada”; The crispy crunch of 8 Batter Fried Prawns dipped in Mint Chutney took our hearts away by having its own Indian touch to it. These fried prawns are cooked in a batter of Chickpea flour and Corn flour, and are infused with a mix of Indian Spices. The second starter we ordered was the Punjabi Samosas that were stuffed with Potato and Green Pea Masala, infused with Indian Spices that can be dipped in a Tamarind Chutney and Mint Chutney. The portion comes with 3 Samosas that are bigger in size than usual Samosas we find around street food, and could be the most filling starter to appetize while you wait for your Main Course at Alhambra.
Jhinga Koliwada – LKR 1400
Punjabi Samosas – LKR 550
The traditionality of the Indian Cuisine is not limited to just food but also to their beverages and at Alhambra, the spread of Lassi (Buttermilk) is an absolute favorite of all dine-in guests. Four Lassis listed on the menu and we were recommended their Mango Lassi and Meetha Lassi out of the four. Mango Lassi was a Yogurt drink infused with Mango flavor and Meetha Lassi was the traditional Punjabi Sweet Yogurt drink. Quite similar to Milkshakes, but much thicker texture than that of a Milkshake and is perfectly blended with Indian Aroma.
Mango Lassi – LKR 650
Meetha Lassi – LKR 600
Main Course 1 – How could we not try their Signature Dish “Moghul Shashlik” when dining at Alhambra! If you prefer a more fine dining experience and would like to have one whole biryani, and Lemon rice with Tomato Concoction, just for yourself, well then Moghul Shashlik would be the ideal Main Course for your appetite. This fine dining Biryani rice has all Indian spices mixed and balancedly flavored in it and is served with a separate portion of either Chicken, Mutton or Paneer side by side. To add a twisted flavor, we went with the Gosht Tikka Moghul Shashlik; Fine dining biryani with a portion of Mutton aka Gosht Tikka. Gosh Tikka was well marinated with rich flavors of Tikka Masala and the boneless mutton were evenly chewy with a hint of savory in it. With prices ranging from LKR 1450 – LKR 2000, I’m sure your fine dining biryani experience would start here with a Moghul Shashlik!
Main Course 2 – Chef Singh’s tandoori specialities add more piquancy to one’s dining affair here at Alhambra. Butter Naan and Tandoori Roti from their Tandoori Oven Baked Flat Bread selection along with their Paneer Butter Masala from Vegetarian Curries (Hari Bari Sabziy) and Murgh Rogan Josh (Spicy Kashmiri Chicken Curry) from Non-Vegetarian Curries (Masahari Khana), topped off the Main Course adventure at Alhambra for us! Tearing a slice of well baked butter spread Naan and scooping slices of Cottage Cheese and a spicy gravy cooked with onion and tomato or stuffing in a tender piece of Spicy Kashmiri Chicken with the roti slice, would make the best bite in the world of Alhambra!
Tandoori Oven Baked Flat Bread – Price ranged between LKR 300 to LKR 700
Paneer Butter Masala – LKR 1250
Murgh Rogan Josh – LKR 1200
Dessert – “Rajwadi Mithaiya”; from its’ name to its’ flavors, the Dessert selection at Alhambra stays authentic to the Indian Cuisine. We had the “Gajar Halwa”, one of their special Mithaiya, prepared with shredded carrot simmered in milk and garnished with raisins and cashew nuts to add glamor. Gajar Halwa was an absolute delight, cleansing our spicy and savory palettes with sweet and glaze!
Gajar Halwa – LKR 650
Alhambra was all in all, a magnificent fine dining experience to us, from its cultural ambience, to the friendly and welcoming staff, Chef Singh’s expertise, delightful and authentic North Indian food! The curators of Alhambra have paid attention to detail in making it one of the finest Indian Restaurants in Colombo, serving Indian Aroma fresh out of the Indian Cuisine!
Alhambra, Ramada by Wyndham Colombo, 30, Sir Mohomad Macan Markar Mawatha, Colombo 00300.
Contact Number – +94 76 6645507