Shamrock.

Shamrock is a new Irish pub that has opened up alongside Red Snapper. We’re not huge fans of their club area, but the lounge at the back makes for a cozy hangout spot. Plus, they serve up some excellent cocktails.

Ambience & Service

We came across Shamrock a few weeks ago while dropping in at Red Snapper, which has taken the place of La Fiesta. Shamrock is part club and part lounge. We were unaware that it was part club heading in, so the loud music caught us off-guard. When we asked the staff if there was a quieter room, they promptly lead us to the lounge, which had soft lighting and some comfy—if a bit incongruousbeige, colonial-style sofas. They should, however, seriously consider soundproofing the club area, because the music makes it tough to converse. Shamrock’s location in a narrow alley is not the ideal one for a club either, since parking is scarce.

We visited on a Tuesday night, and were the only group there, so we can’t really speak for the speed of service on busier nights. In our case, the service was speedy and efficient. The waiters were attentive without being overbearing, and quite forthright with their opinions, telling us that some of our custom cocktail ideas didn’t make sense.

The Drinks

Shamrock offers a respectable repertoire of cocktails, which also include some interesting signatures. Prices are not too steep, with cocktails ranging from Rs. 400–Rs. 800. It is still very new, though, so we wouldn’t be too surprised to see prices go up a bit sooner rather than later.

First off, we tried the Fragrance (Rs. 680), one of their signature cocktails, which has a mix of vodka, Midori melon liqueur and pineapple. They didn’t have Midori on the day, so they substituted it with a watermelon liqueur, which made for a pleasant replacement. The cocktail is understandably very fruity with the vodka being somewhat understated. It’s not the strongest of cocktails, but we can definitely see the ladies liking this.

Arrack is my alcohol of choice (peasant, I know), so their Arrack Sour (Rs. 450) made me very happy. Up until I had tried this, ZaZa’s arrack sour was my favourite. But Shamrock’s version blows it out of the water. It has got 50ml of arrack for plenty of kick, slight acidity from the lime/lemon juice, and sweetness from the citrus liqueur. Well-balanced and great for practically anyone.

Their Old Fashioned (Rs. 690) sticks to the usual preparation with bourbon on muddled sugar and bitters. Again, the kick of the bourbon came through well, but we would have preferred a little more sweetness to balance out the bitterness. 

The Food

We were happy to see that Shamrock has strayed from the conventional Sri Lankan bar menu, going with more interesting options like nachos and pork kottu. (If you’re a fan of pork, Shamrock offers a ton of choices.) The food prices aren’t too bad either, with everything priced under Rs. 1,000.

One thing that immediately caught our eye was the pork cheese kottu (Rs. 550). To me, a spicy pork dish is the perfect accompaniment for arrack and this pork kottu checked all the boxes. While the portion wasn’t large, there was a good amount of meat. It was well seasoned with an emphasis on the chilli, which added that needed heat. 

We were excited to try the Mexican pulled pork and guacamole wrap (Rs. 620), but it turned out to be a complete letdown. First off, this was NOT pulled pork, but just the usual chopped pork. The wrap was also stuffed with far too many bell peppers, which overpowered most of the other flavours. The guacamole in the description was practically indistinguishable.

Conclusion

Shamrock is still very new, so we expect that there will be changes in the menu and prices over the next few months. While we don’t recommend it for clubbing, we can vouch for their cocktails.

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