EAT (OZO Colombo).

EAT is OZO Colombo’s restaurant. While their lunch buffet doesn’t have the largest spread, we came away pretty happy with what we tried.

The Food

OZO Colombo is mostly known for their rooftop bar ON14, but they’ve also got a fully fledged restaurant on the 1st floor simply named EAT. They offer both an à la carte menu as well as a buffet (Rs. 1950). We went with the latter, which isn’t cheap but also not as expensive as some of the Cinnamon hotel restaurants like Taprobane and The Dining Room.

In terms of spread, the selection isn’t vast, but they do cover a good variety of cuisines as well as meat variations. While they don’t have a massive salad bar, they do have a corner where you can toss your own Caesar salad with some very fresh ingredients.

The first of the meats we tried was the Thai marinated roasted chicken with carmelized ginger. The chicken here was cooked to absolute perfection, which is so difficult to find nowadays. The chicken, cooked with a caramelized skin, was very tender and falling off the bone with a good balance of seasoning and a ever so slight sweetness.

Next up was the beef kofta cooked in Sri Lankan spices; an interesting spin on the classic middle eastern meatball. It could be because of my localized palate, but I actually preferred this preparation over a more authentic kofta. The kofta was packed full of flavour with a nice spice kick, enhanced by a good gravy.

Completing the meat trifecta was the pork roulade, which wasn’t really rolled but still tasted pretty decent. Once again the pork was cooked very well with the fat rendered to the point where it wasn’t chewy. This one was very light in terms of spice which was fine when had with the other meats, but on it’s own could have done with a bit more oomph, or ideally a nice gravy.

For our carb we went with the polenta, which is quite hard to find in local restaurants. It’s basically a cornmeal mash, which has a less dense consistency of mashed potatoes. In terms of flavour it was fine, but I found the texture a bit too dry.

The dessert spread was relatively limited, centered more around chocolate based options. While most of them tasted fine, more in terms of variety would have added value.

The chocolate offerings – chocolate biscuit pudding, chocolate cake and the chocolate dipped churros, were all pretty decent. The chocolate biscuit pudding was the best of the bunch with the chocolate and the frosting working well together. The churros were also a nice touch, but one of the two we had was soggy.

The cake roll was soft and moist with a nice butter cream filling and bit of crunch from the outer peanut coating. The marshmallow was super soft with a melt in the mouth texture, but a not as sweet as we expected, which was fine since we had it with the cake. The only one that really didn’t deliver was the apple pie which was just bland all around.

Ambience & Service

EAT is on the 1st floor of the hotel which doesn’t provide the beautiful panorama that ON14 does but still has a pretty good view of the ocean. They’ve gone with a modern and minimalistic design with blue and silver colour theme that works well with out being overly flashy. There’s ample seating as well as a good amount of natural light flowing in through the large glass panels. The waiters were friendly, fast and attentive, although when it comes to the buffet it’s mostly self service.

Conclusion

EAT offers a buffet that strikes a good balance between price and value for money. It may not be the largest spread, but it’s well curated and their meat offerings in particular were very good.

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