By Hashini Pathirana
The Dinner Buffets in Colombo is one hot topic to review about these days. Without a doubt, Cinnamon Hotels never fail their guests in their food and beverage avenue, providing few of the best dinner buffet affairs in Colombo. We are yet to read about another fine dinner buffet of another Cinnamon Hotel that I’m sure many have tried out already and many would love to try out soon.
Overlooking a spectacular view of city lights and jammed roads down Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 03, “FlavouRed” is the nourishing fine dining restaurant of Cinnamon Red, offering a spread of worldwide food from local to international cuisines, giving all guests a filling dining experience like never before.
As soon as you set your foot out of the elevator onto the 8th Floor, take a right and you will be greeted at the entrance to “FlavouRed”. Warmly welcomed by the hearty Food & Beverage Manager, Wasim and his staff, we were guided towards our table that required a prior reservation, and were served with a Strawberry Mocktail, to quench the beverage thirst. Surrounded by mosaiced walls, red embedded furnishing, aroma of spices and soulful lounge music, it was quite the diverse ambience for a romantic dinner for two, or even for a team dinner with your work colleagues.
Cool fact: The chafing dishes at the spread were all automatic, with sensors to open and close the lids.
Ideal spread of Starters and Appetizers in this Dinner Buffet were quite limited to salads, mortadella, and Sushi mainly. The options of Soup were Cream of Fennel and Seafood Laksa and our absolute favorite was the Seafood Laksa. It was rich in the induced flavors of Seafood and fish, however it did not contain as much laksa in it, as it should have been and maybe that is why we loved it more.
The salads were quite a variety, from cup salads to mixed Salads. We highly recommend the Beetroot and Feta Salad for all vegetarian and vegan guests. Calamari, Cucumber and Corn Salad was rather the hot cake of appetizers, selling out super-fast among the crowd of the night. Pork Mortadella with Mustard Dip and Chicken Mortadella with Pickled Onions were very tender and chewy. Mustard sauce was the ideal dip for Mortadella for its rich balance of sour, sweet and spice. We served the mortadella more than twice for it was worth the tummy space we sacrificed from Mains.
Need not tell you relentlessly about the Sushi Spread here, for it is obvious that we were looking forward to stuffing ourselves with as many Maki Rolls as we could. Moving on to mains got harder thanks to serving a full plate and another of these delish Vegetable and Seafood Makis. Carrot, Cucumber and Watermelon Juice Shots lined up next to the Salads were nothing out of the ordinary, but quite the ideal deal breaker to correct your palette to move on to the mains refreshingly.
Suggestion: We would recommend the Chefs to replace the Unsalted butter with salted butter and arrange for a wider variety of dinner buns and rolls.
The Main Course:
Truly satisfied with the Main Courses laid out at this dinner buffet and loved the packed action stations planned out of many varieties.
- Grilled Chicken, Sausage and Seafood Station
- Spaghetti and Pasta Station
- Roasted Chicken Station
- Hopper Station
Must Try: FlavouRed has done an exquisite job in the Grilling Avenue of this buffet. We wanted to try out Grilled Barramundi and Chicken Roulade in their Grilling corner. Process is to serve our preferred seafood from the chafing dish and bring it to the chef who will grill them for you in split seconds. The Barramundi was grilled to perfection, and the skin was more of my favorite in it. Chicken Roulade was rather dense and hard in texture, taking us more time to chew it. But boy, I’m telling you, their other grilled items in this corner is a MUST TRY!
The automatic and sensor operated chafing dishes were quite amusing to everyone and the main dishes were finely garnished into them, making life at a buffet easier to us. The international mains were infused with a local or desi touch to it and the spread started with Roasted baby potato with basic cream, Vegetable Chop Suey, Indonesian Vegetable Noodles, Naan Roti, Tomato and Coriander Rice with Raita, Thai Green Chicken Curry, Aloo Matar and Kerala Style Channa Curry.
Tomato and Coriander rice with Raita was our go to option for the first plate of mains and it was nothing less than the aromatic taste of Biryani named fancy. The bomb combo of Aloo Matar, a curry rich of Potato and Masala flavor alongside the authentic taste of Kerala Channa Curry (Chickpea Curry), completely enlightened the Indian palette of Mains in our tastebuds, while also enjoying the best Thai Green Chicken Curry I have ever tasted in my life. Tender slices of Chicken effortlessly breaking off the bone and rich green gravy made with Thai authentic green curry recipe, was one fine dish I could eat all alone, unmixed and unmatched!
Moving on to the righter-brighter side of the buffet spread, we went on to try the most happening action station, Grilled & Roasted BBQ Chicken, served with cut slices onto your plate by one of their curator chefs. Needless to say, the queue for this action station spoke for itself, and as a feedback for Grilled and Roasted BBQ Chicken; Very Satisfied!!
FlavouRed by Cinnamon Red had us amazed with how finely curated their Buffet was, catering not only to a foreigner fine dining at the restaurant, but also to an ordinary Sri Lankan who would love to enjoy a hearty Sri Lankan meal in a fancy restaurant. We turned our radar towards the Sri Lankan spread and navigated to start off with the Most famous and native Sri Lankan Street food, KOTTU!
Plot twist fans, it was not a basic Kottu, but a species we have never heard of, introducing for the first time in history of Sri Lanka’s Kottu Legend, Kunisso Kottu (Dried Baby Shrimp Kottu). Biting onto the true seafood savor of Kunisso, caught originally from the lagoons of the West Coast, this fusion dish could be given a solid 8/10, and we preferred if it could have been less dry than it actually was. To balance off the spices, dryness and flavors, chefs had prepared a local Crab Curry, thick and spicy, to go with the Kunisso Kottu, which actually did enhance the local flavors of both dishes alike.
The local array at FlavouRed did not limit to the amazing Kunisso Kottu, but also expanded to few more dishes with an origin from the Sri Lankan routes. Red rice flavored and garnished with Curry leaves, Classic combo of String hoppers, Dhal and Coconut Sambol, Fried sprats, Papadum and Chili, and the best addition to the array, a Hopper Station! What more Sri Lankan can it get?!
Our sweet tooth cravings can never be satisfied, and that is a scientifically proven fact! But I challenge you, that at the FlavouRed weekend dinner buffet, your sweet tooth craving shall be fulfilled one way or the other, because the layout of Desserts and Sweets were STUNNING! The last to try but the first to recommend, the Italian Bread Custard Pudding, shall never fail your palette. How soft it was. was the key factor in this bread pudding, rather than how it tasted. Custard and Chocolate were dripping from the inside, yet we added extra Custard sauce and Chocolate sauce on top of it, to make it more heavenly! All in all, this Bread Pudding was Bread-Taking! Recommending you try this with a scoop of Ice Cream on the side, for that kick in your palette.
We also didn’t forget to try out their widely available Red Velvet cakes. Super moist and less icing, Just the way I love it. Familiar desserts such as Chocolate eclairs, Kisses, cheesecakes, and Chocolate Mousse were arranged and garnished in a way that anyone, no matter how full you are, would never dare to skip. You will never go wrong with Basics!
On our plates, we also served a slice of the Fruit trifle, a Strawberry Panna Cotta, A slice of the Mango Gateaux and so on and so forth. Strawberry Panna Cotta did not meet our expectations, but the Mango Gateaux totally made up for it, thanks to the tiny pieces of actual Mango chewing inside, along with the induced Mango flavor of the cake touching every taste bud. Safe to say, the desserts range at this dinner buffet, indeed was a Show Stopper!
For the vegetarian and vegan diners, don’t worry, FlavouRed got you covered! They have separately arranged a spread of Fruits for you. Nelli, Passion Fruit, Guava, Banana, and cut fruits such as Papaya, Pineapple and Watermelon were included. If you are too lazy to mix the cut parts, you can also opt out for their Fruit Salad option, garnished with raisins for that extra flavor. “Kiri Pani”, Curd and Treacle combo was also rested on the side for its own fan base, and we did not miss out on it, for we are truly Sri Lankan and diehard fans of this supreme combination among Sri Lankan desserts.
Wrapping it up:
“FlavouRed”, The main restaurant at Cinnamon Red, Colombo 03, hosts this astonishing Weekend Dinner Buffet every Weekend (Sat and Sun), from 7.00 pm to 10.30 pm, at a rate of Rs. 5200 net per person.
Shout out to the Restaurant & Bar Manager, Shane De Silva, for being a very cheerful staff, constantly checking up on us and making sure that we are enjoying this Dinner Buffet Affair to our heart’s content. His staff, from the chefs who were present at the buffet, the servers and everyone else were trained to offer wonderful hospitality, and always made us feel like dining at home.
Cinnamon Hotels, without a doubt arranges few of the best buffets in Colombo, and Cinnamon Red has grabbed our attention to a memorable dining experience we would love to re-do! However, as a kind suggestion, FlavouRed should be paying more attention to detail, so as to not lose focus on one avenue by paying extra attention to another. (We wish the Naan Rotis had a Paneer Curry to go along with it).
Taking our experience as a whole, Cinnamon Red met our expectations beyond the capacity and if you are within Colombo, looking forward to a Dining experience in a much more relaxed environment with a lesser crowd, FlavouRed could be ideal for you. But make sure to reserve a table prior to arrival, as they sometimes have a full occupancy on Weekends, and you may miss out on a good opportunity.
Cinnamon Red has an after plan and got you covered once again, in case your tummies are full and brimming. Don’t forget to visit their rooftop bar, “Cloud Red” and the pool side once you are done eating, to take a chilled walk while overlooking a promising view of Colombo’s night lights.
Location: 59, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 03
Contact No: 0112 145 145
Price: LKR 5200*
*Price as at November 2022, prices can be subject to change.