Dwaraka is a new kid on the block in the saturated Indian vegetarian scene of the Bambalapitiya-Wellawatte area. At a little over a month old, the restaurant seems to be finding its feet. Still, they manage to strike a decent balance between authentic north and south Indian flavours at okay prices. While the food is better than mediocre, the location and ambience make it a nice place for a lunch time gathering of friends and family.

The Food

I kick my meal off with a taste of the south. The should-be masterpiece of any Indian vegetarian joint – Thali (Rs. 500). It arrived on a pleasing, orderly platter with colourful curries. A chapati wedged into the corner. A fiery curd chilli sticking triumphantly out of a bed of rice. Everything is unlimited yet the price seems a bit of a commitment, unless you have the appetite.

Misshapen and not layered, the chapati feels like an afterthought but is pleasingly soft. The curries are well balanced, being conservatively salted, spiced and oiled. The dhal is light and just the right amount of watery. The broad beans are creamy and savoury. The sambar with drumsticks is tart. The cooked karawila mallung has a welcome bitter-spicy kick. The dark garlic curry has a deep spicy aroma. And the gotukola adds a refreshing raw element.

As I begin sinking my fingers into the medley of curries, something immediately feels missing. See, a good thali has three rice pullers: curd chilli, chutney (preferably mango or lime) and papadum. Miserly, Dwaraka scores a 1 out of 3. Thali curries are meant to be more soothing than stimulating, but those rice pullers are essential for those of us who need a kick. The least they could have done was throw in some papadum. Minus points.

Next, my tastebuds take a trip up north with a paneer tikka masala (Rs. 650) and garlic naan (Rs. 150). The northern dishes are unsurprisingly very different in character from what I’ve just had. The tikka masala was a bright red, heavy with cream and oil, topped off with a generous amount of shredded cheese. As for the naan: I was almost able to see my reflection in the oil oozing out of it. I know it’s not doing my arteries any favours, but I actually appreciated the decadence.

The garlic naan had a beautifully soft texture with a flavoursome body, but had no distinguishable garlic flavour. Health concerns aside, the oil didn’t detract from the experience. Now, the tikka masala was what caught me completely off guard. It had an unusually intense citrusy punch, counterintuitive to every variation I’ve had. But it worked. Problem was the woeful lack of paneer, with only a few slivers to be found and way too many onion bulbs taking up space. Overall, both dishes were tasty but overpriced.

I wind down my meal with a pista kulfi (Rs. 200) and masala tea (Rs. 70). The kulfi is small but potent. It arrives like a sugary torpedo, densely packed with nuts and dried fruit. The rest of the body is creamy and almost syrupy in texture. Each mouthful blows me away. It’s by far the best tasting item of the lot. The masala tea on the other hand is sadly average. It’s colour was off and the spices didn’t quite reach a complementary equilibrium.

I’m not the biggest fan of restaurants attempting to serve up both north and south style Indian food. Depending on the cultural background of the management and chefs, I tend to find that one section of the menu will always trump the other. With a Keralite manager and a Rajasthani cook, Dwaraka comes close with neither region taking the edge in my preliminary visit.

Location, Service and Ambience

On the corner of Jaya Road and Marine Drive, Dwaraka is a little hard to find, being situated on the top floor of the Dawn and Dusk building with multiple entrances. I was quite pleased when a staff member came outside to guide me up a narrow flight of stairs into the dining area. Once I was seated, however,I had to switch on the fan myself and ask for the menu in a relatively empty restaurant.

There seems to be a lot of staff, plus a captain and manager running around, but the ship needs tightening. Being served by no less than three different waiters, I’m wondering if there’s no system to assign staff to an area or table. At least they seemed knowledgeable about the menu. My dishes arrived promptly but there was one hiccup when I was given filter coffee instead of a masala tea.

Deciding to take some pictures of the interiors while waiting for my dishes to arrive, my cover was sadly blown when the suspicious owner and manager confronted me. A little nonplussed by their mistrust I blurted out that I was taking pictures for a review. Calmed by my response they tell me, “A lot of people are against us”. Intrigued, I prodded for more details but all I got was that there were supposedly some nameless Park Road restaurants out to sabotage them.

A significant investment looks to have been made on furniture, decor and random high tech appliances like an unnecessarily complicated electronic tissue dispenser and faulty sensor based tap in the toilet. But overall the colour scheme of woody browns, blue and green highlights, with huge windows pouring in natural light make for a cosy setting. The waiting area for take-away customers boasts large comfy sofas overlooking the ocean.


Dwaraka is named after Lord Krishna’s mythical home town. Their food is good but don’t go expecting a spread worthy of a Hindu deity. Their strength lies in their location and ambience, though they offer take-away and delivery in the Bamba-Wella area. Aside from slightly high prices, an order mix-up and a weird encounter with the world of restaurant intrigue, I still walked away pleased and would be willing to give these guys one more shot once they hit their stride.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp




Beyond the Hook: Exploring Totally Hooked’s non-Seafood dishes

By Hashini Pathirana Totally Hooked CMB, as we are all aware, is widely renowned for

Kamu Yamu Guide

The Art of Fusion Cuisine at Mövenpick Hotel

By Vera Wadugodapitiya We walked into Robata Grill, Mövenpick. Instantly, what struck me about the

Highlights Kamu

A Taste of Mexico – Cinnamon Red’s Latest International Cuisine

By Shamrina Carim Every month, Cinnamon Red has come up with an exciting initiative to

Highlights Kamu

A Classical High Tea Encounter with the Coronation at Mount Lavinia Hotel

By Shamrina Carim Mount Lavinia Hotel hosted a casual evening of classic high tea encounters

Highlights Kamu

The Bento Box at Royal Thai, Cinnamon Lakeside

By Hiruni Herath When you step into the Royal Thai Restaurant at Cinnamon Lakeside, you’ll

Highlights Kamu

Totally Hooked – The Ultimate Seafood Destination

It is not a surprise that “Totally Hooked CMB", the talk of the seafood town,

Highlights Kamu


Award Winning Indian Restaurant Junior Kuppanna in Colombo

Junior Kuppanna, opened its newest international branch in Colombo on 25th May 2023. The new


Hilton Sri Lanka Unveils ‘Enchanting Beginnings’ Wedding Sale

Swoon over exclusive wedding packages in stunning venues for a lifetime of memories Colombo, Sri


Ramada Colombo’s Exclusive Limited Time Wedding Discount

Book before June 15th and enjoy 25% off Planning the perfect wedding can be an


The 30th Gratiaen Prize shortlist was announced with the launch of the Gratiaen Trust Young Writers Club

The Gratiaen Trust in association with the John Keells Foundation partnering with the Trust for


Hilton Sri Lanka is set to commemorate Mother’s Day in grand fashion

Continuing our long-standing tradition of celebrating extraordinary mothers, Hilton properties across Sri Lanka have gone


Celebrate the Most Precious Woman in Your Life at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts Colombo

Celebrate the Most Precious Woman in Your Life at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts Colombo Colombo,


Yamu Guide.

Beyond the Hook: Exploring Totally Hooked’s non-Seafood dishes

By Hashini Pathirana Totally Hooked CMB, as we are all aware, is widely renowned for

Kamu Yamu Guide

7 Decent BnB spots for under LKR 7500 – Sri Lanka

We all like spending mini vacations at affordable spots to relax or stay on the

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Places to Dine Under LKR1500 LKR per person

By Udaraa Gamage Are you a foodie looking for budget places to satisfy your taste

Highlights Yamu Guide

The Aesthetics of Club Palm Bay

Club Palm Bay is a hotel located in the heart of a charming fishing village

Yamu Guide

High Tea Affairs at L.A.B by Hilton Colombo

By Hashini Pathirana A little chit chat with your besties, while sipping onto an Iced

Yamu Guide

The Art of Gifting with Shirohana

By Rahma Rifkhar From the picturesque green hills of Nuwara Eliya, nurtured by experienced hands

Highlights Yamu Guide