El Janah is a relatively new addition to Mount Lavinia, next to Subway – Mount. The name, El Janah translates as “the paradise” – let’s see whether they lived up to the name.
One of the more obvious things on their menu is the variety of foods they have. It takes inspiration from Italy, America, the Middle East, Thailand, Australia alongside Sri Lankan versions of fried rice and noodles. As for drinks they have fruit juices, milkshakes, coffee and tea.
The spaghetti was cooked well without getting soggy and the portion size is plentiful for one hungry belly. Sadly, the noodles were albeit too slippery before taking the time to mix it well with the sauce. Combining the sauce with the noodles kinda helped to improve the flavour and we felt they should have made the sauce thicker while adding a bit more pepper.
We found bits of carrots and mushrooms mixed in as well as decorative parsley sitting on top. While there was enough cheese sprinkled in, all the ingredients felt disjointed rather than actually going together. The chicken ham pieces were cooked well but it didn’t do much in terms of flavour but added more texture of the dish. However, there were plenty of ham pieces mixed in the with the plate. All in all, this wasn't a bad dish, but there wasn’t anything to rave about.
As far as we know, Malaysian Beef Rendang is supposed to be a punch of spicy hotness that will hit you hard. But here, from the first bite until you swallow it down, the ginger dominates the flavours making it unappetizing. Maybe its spices are hidden in the gravy, but you can barely taste them. However, there were plenty of beef pieces which were cooked well, which to our disappointment didn’t seem all that fresh either.
Everything from colour to the aroma and taste didn’t do much justice to the authenticity of the dish, as they've promised on the menu. Yet another run of the mill disappointment of beef curry with ginger. We sincerely hope this was just a mishap and they do better on making it authentic. The steam rice being steamed rice didn’t carry any flavour but it was cooked well.
Drinks & Dessert
Pictured above from left to right; Gin & Juicy, Ice Tea
We decided on Iced Tea (Rs.195) and Gin & Juicy (Rs. 395). The Ice Tea had a hint of peach and a low amount of sugar which would have been perfect if it wasn't watered down. When we inquired during the order we were told that there would be Gin in the drink but, to our dismay, all we found was another watered down drink with a dominating ginger flavour. For the price, this was another letdown. With a bit of tweak, they can improve a lot with these.
Since we were more or less dissatisfied by our meal, we ended up getting a Chocolate Mousse (Rs. 395) to help drown our sorrow because chocolate understands. And we thought it tasted good, rich in chocolate flavour and albeit thick.
Service & Ambience
This section got to be the redeeming feature of the restaurant. We got very prompt service and the wait staff was helpful and accommodating.
Pictured above, ground floor.
You have the ground floor with decent seating and the first floor should you need a more intimate setting and a better seating environment.
Pictured above, 1st floor
They also have a rooftop area overlooking the Galle road with a bit of view on the sea far away.
Pictured above, top floor
They could certainly do better with the decorations with the place. The AC turned off at the time we visited, probably because there were no customers at the restaurant. But upon inquiry, they quickly turned it on.
El Janah's menu can offer you a decent range of options if you are in the area looking to grab a meal. Even if we didn’t necessarily enjoy the food here they have, it has the ambience to hold a small party, a gathering or even a get together with friends. Prices here are more or less in line with what you’re expected to pay and you won't lose a limb either. But we really hope they focus more on the quality of their food and improve.