Greenlands Hotel.

Greenlands is a great long-running institution from what I gather (my girlfriend’s dad says he used to relish his trips here whenever he would visit Colombo from Kandy as a teenager in the ’60s). It’s a budget South-Indian joint in a peaceful location that has oodles of run-down character and is quite cheap. The ground floor has a restaurant on one side (open 8am-10pm) and a bar on the other (open from 11am-2pm and 5pm-10pm). Upstairs you will find some relatively cheap rooms (Rs. 2,350 with fan; Rs. 3,150 with AC) which constitutes the Hotel, though I didn’t check these out so can’t vouch for the state of them.

The restaurant is a windowless cube of a room painted in hospital green (hence the name I guess), but don’t let that appearance put you off. They do great thosai: large pancakes, filled with a dry curry, accompanied by various chutney’s and dips (all Rs. 140-200). The ghee thosai is particularly good. They also serve chapatti and puri (Rs. 140), idli and vadai (Rs. 50) and a selection of sweets (approx. Rs. 75 each), as well as a decent thali (sorry, I didn’t get the price of this one). The staff are a very friendly and attentive bunch and the service- pretty quick, and they seem to have a steady stream of regular visitors.

I didn’t visit the bar (as it was around noon), though even at this time there were a few people in there. From an outside perspective however, It was closer to the dodgy end of the spectrum and pretty male-dominated. I know Indi has mentioned the gender aspect of Colombo’s dingy bar scene elsewhere on the website, and Greenlands doesn’t appear to be too different. Although I can’t say for certain, not having spent time in there personally, I predict girls visiting the bar alone may feel just a wee bit self-conscious. I do know a fair few people who are fans of Greenlands bar and visit it frequently in the evenings, on that basis I would say it’s worth a visit.

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