We heard good things about the Podium Restaurant & Bar from Buddhika our Sinhala writer in his writeup and naturally, we wanted to try them out too.
It's one of the fanciest pubs in Thalawatugoda stretch, adjoining Austasia Sports and Leisure Club.
Their menu is extensive and covers all the bases from soups, salads, and different meats like chicken, pork, beef, mutton, and of course, seafood. Aside from that, you can also get wraps, sandwiches, and pasta.
Our first stop was the Chicken Fried Rice (Rs. 900), which was a heap of white rice, served with bits of chicken, carrots, spring onions and egg scattered about. The rice was well cooked, didn't have much in the way of seasoning but had the typical fried rice vibe to it without being oily. Fluffy, with a hint of garlic, the portion of this rice can easily accommodate three tummies, but my lunch buddy and I managed to do justice to it just by ourselves.
The wait staff recommended the Devilled Cuttlefish (Rs. 980) and it delivered! There were plenty of cuttlefish bits swimming about in a beautiful red gravy alongside onions, spring onions, green chillis, tomato and chunks of nai miris. The cuttlefish was a tad chewy as expected, succulent and soused up in chilli, making for a hella spicy dish to pair your rice/drink with. They had managed to pull off this one well, especially the gravy, while finding a good harmony among the flavour elements.
Next up, we have the Pepper Pork (Rs. 980). Aside from a couple, we didn't spot any oily pieces here which is a highlight. The meat was lightly pan-fried, before being smothered with pepper and gave an ever so slightly crunchy texture to the bite. The flavour here comes at you in waves of peppery heat along with a tasteful lime undertone. Coupled with onion and the crunch from lemongrass, this is an excellent tapa which we enjoyed thoroughly.
Ambience & Service
We went there a bit before 2 pm and place inside looked quite dark to keep that nighttime vibe. It wasn't a huge issue but taking pictures was a hassle.
The inside area was spacious, with comfy couches as well as wooden chairs and can hold a good crowd. They also have an outside area if you prefer to have a smoke.
We saw no issues with our service and our food didn't take long to arrive. The staff is happy to make recommendations too.
Podium Restaurant is a pricy option in the area. Nonetheless, their food is absolutely delicious and made to match with the Lankan flavour palate.