Found on the ground floor of the Buddhist Cultural Centre near Thunmulla junction, Ranbath is the newest restaurant in town that serves up organic and completely vegetarian food for a decent fare.
So, just to be clear, we went during lunchtime (at around 1.30/2 pm) and the place was practically deserted with just around three or four other people there. It came as a pretty big surprise to us considering the fact that it’s new. We had heard the food was good and now we can vouch in favour.
As you can probably see in the picture, it’s clean and extremely neat – heck, even the way the plants grew felt organized. It’s spacious enough to hold around 30 people at a time, and they also have a couch to sit down and breathe a bit with some coffee or tea when you’re done eating.
They’ve worked hard to make the place as eco-friendly as possible, which is a huge plus point. The fluorescent lighting and the air conditioning have sort of diminished the whole gami feel in the restaurant, but it shouldn’t stop you from trying them out.
Food and Drinks
As I mentioned earlier, every dish at Ranbath is vegetarian and organic. The rice and curries are offered in buffet style, so you can go around, pick your rice (white/red) and five curries to go with it. Each rice pack costs Rs. 350, and considering the flavors and the portions, I’d say it’s pretty solid.
They present their spread in massive clay pots and serve them on nelum kola (lotus leaves), placed on a clay plate.
I’m going to be honest, I like meat. It’s not like I can’t live without it, but all in all, I like meat. And still, I didn’t miss it at all when I was dining here.
The rice they had was not the normal rice you get at the grocery across the road from your house. The server gave us this fancy name, but it kind of just flew over our heads. I know we should’ve taken notes [Ed note: take notes], but anyway, we do remember the curries we tried.
Let’s start with their magnificent mango curry. I’m not even exaggerating when I say this – there was half a mango on my plate. It was cooked right and had strong hints of spice, with a lightly sour flavor coming through. We can say the same thing about the amberella curry – deliciously tangy and well seasoned.
The gotukola was nice and fresh while the devilled capsicum added a little heat to the whole meal. However, the parippu was a tad overdone, so it felt more like a pulp than anything else.
Everything we ate felt super fresh, and delicious. From the adequately spiced kang kung (water spinach) to the karawila (bitter gourd) curry, they seem to know their way around Sri Lankan curries. The thalana batu (Thai eggplant) is a creamy gravy with a bit of a grainy texture to it. We’ve tried many versions of Thai eggplant curry, but this is certainly one of the best we’ve had in Colombo.
Ranbath also has breakfast options such as pittu, kola kenda, and mung kiribath.
In true Sri Lankan spirit, we decided to try a Wandu Aappa (Rs. 50) as well. It was very sweet and we could clearly taste that it was made from sugar and not jaggery, which is disappointing.
On the subject of drinks, we ordered a Milk Tea (Rs. 60) and a Coffee (Rs. 30). The tea was like this milky-white aqueous liquid which we ended up leaving half finished. On the other hand, the coffee was alright – not watery, and serves as a decent cuppa if you’re here and need your daily dose of caffeine.
The food is good, they serve enough to make you feel full and overall, we liked our experience here.