Where else will you be able to find such a place amongst all of the hubbub in Colombo? Gammanaya presents you with a dose of nostalgia, and their food completes the illusion of having transported you to a Colombo of maybe fifty years ago.
With an open space of habarala leaves behind the restaurant, the interior here is made to look like a traditional village house made out of clay. The place was also adorned with a couple of beautiful pictures, old-fashioned lamps, and the leaf they served us in, all gave it a very quaint vibe, which we loved.
Gammanaya serves a wide range of the OG Sri Lankan food, while they also resort to food like paratha which they serve at breakfast and dinner. We went during lunchtime and had a vast arsenal of various rice and curries to choose from, ranging from the orthodox fried rice to the yellow and white.
We opted to go with the yellow rice, polos, ash plantain, fish, brinjal, cutlet and the stuffed capsicum (yes the server too raised a questionable eyebrow when I ordered both, but what can I say, I'm a huge fan of the stuffed capsicum).
The meal, which just cost Rs. 310, had a couple of drawbacks but was delicious, nevertheless. The rice was impressive, with kaju (cashews) scattered here and there along with a few other spices, and the rice was not the least bit oily and was perfectly fluffy. The curry portions could have been bigger; the rice to curry ratio was a bit off.
The brinjal curry seemed like a not-so-successful imitation of the moju, but the ash plantain and the polos were perfect. The polos, spicy and soft, the gravy oozing through its flesh, while the fish we ordered was properly marinated and cooked, which perfected our meal, along with the cutlet. As a fan of malu miris though, I found this particular rendition slightly disappointing.
They also serve a wicked omelette, a delicious malluma, succulent chicken and perfectly salted fried fish amongst other things.
As for dessert, we got some good ol' Fruit Salad (Rs. 150) in a cup (which was lacking ice-cream). The fruit wasn't all that fresh and seemed like it had been prepared in the morning.
We also had the Curd and Jelly dessert (Rs. 50), served in a yoghurt cup, which was surprisingly satisfying.
This is an area which Gammanaya can definitely work on; their staff weren't rude, but they were not very accommodating either and were very curt.
If you are feeling nostalgic, and need a break from all the fast food you're having and want to have some good old Sri Lankan food at an affordable rate, this is an option. Serving a variety of tasty as well as healthy food, Gammanaya is an ideal place to have a relishing meal.