Galle Dutch Hospital.

The Galle Dutch Hospital is small but super nice. It’s a beautifully restored colonial building with a great and growing selection of places to eat, drink and shop.

Right now there’s a good bistro we know (Sugar) and a bunch of interesting new places – Cannon (a bar run by Lucky Tuna), Hammock (Sri Lankan restaurant where you actually sit in chair hammocks), Starbeans (big coffee-shop) and a bunch of jewelry stores. There are more cool places opening soon – (A Minute By Tuk Tuk, a bar we think, and The Tuna And The Crab, a restaurant).

This is a welcome addition to the already walkable and wonderful Galle Fort.

The Building

The Old Dutch Hospital is one of those buildings that has been hiding in plain sight. It’s a long structure on Hospital Road, across from the police barracks and just before Magistrate’s Square. They’ve really done it up such that you can see it from across the water. It’s simply and beautifully restored.

The main experience of the place is walking along the verandah. That’s the front end of the first floor shops – The Tuna And The Crab, Colombo Jewelry Stores, Sugar Bistro, and some souvenir shops.

What’s not entirely clear from the front is that there’s a back, with even more shops and eateries on the second floor. Go up the stairs and there’s even more shops and eateries above.

The Shops/Restaurants

First Floor

Sugar Bistro

We’re writing this a week after it opens, so not everything is operational. Some places, however, are already buzzing. Sugar Bistro is the most prominent denizen of the GDH and their small bistro basically replicates the same menu as the Colombo outlet. Which is not a bad thing at all, they do excellent rice dishes (Batticaloa Prawn, lamprais), crab kottu, steak sandwiches, burgers, etc. Classy joint.

Other stuff on the first floor (that we noticed) were Colombo Jewelry Stores, some other gift/jewelry shops, and an interesting place called The Tuna And The Crab (not open yet).

Second Floor

The second floor actually has more stuff on it. Most importantly, an operational bar.

The Starbeans coffee shop

The spaces on the second floor seem bigger, especially the coffee-shop, Starbeans. It seems like a chill spot.

The Hammock restaurant

There’s also a Sri Lankan restaurant called Hammock where you eat, as the name implies, in a hammock.

The Cannon bar

Finally, at the end of that stretch there’s the Cannon Bar & Grill, which is already quite happening. Managed by the crew from Lucky Tuna, Unawatuna.

There’s also another part of the building which isn’t quite fully shop-ready, but it has a great view. That has A Minute By Tuk Tuk which we think is a bar/restaurant, and some souvenir shops.

Conclusion

The Old Dutch Hospital in Galle is great. It’s not huge, but there’s a good quality of shops, restaurants, bars and coffee-shops inside, and the restoration and location are wonderful. It’s a perfect addition to the already happening Galle Fort.

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