Dotting the busy coast of Main Street and bordering the likes of Sea Street lies our newest adventure into the vegetarian scene in Colombo.
Sri Rudra Vegetarian Restaurant is a pretty popular option in the area when one goes looking for clean, vegetarian cuisine, and like every other time, we decided to go check it ourselves. And as expected, we happened to have a pretty good experience with this one.
Sri Rudra Vegetarian pretty much looks like any other restaurant of its genre from the outside. Constricting itself to just a sliver of space in the busy street, the only hint of its existence lay in the surprisingly clean lit board with Sri Rudra Vegetarian restaurant written 15 ft above the payment.
Clean with a clear view of everything that goes on in the kitchen, our first impressions upon entering the establishment were pretty spot on. With plenty of seating, private rooms and a wonderfully clean bathroom, we quite literally had nothing to complain about in terms of its ambience. The space is well lit and has air conditioning, what else could you possibly ask for?
Unlike most other Indian restaurants in Colombo, the menu at Sri Rudra Vegetarian isn't a monstrous book of Indian names that we have no clue about. Sticking to essentially a couple of subheadings like Soups, Dinner, Lunch and Drinks with 5-10 options under each heading. We're quite happy to say that we managed to decipher what they had and what we wanted without much effort.
Thus, we began with the Ulundu Vadai (Rs. 80) with an Onion Dosa (Rs.250) to complete the look.
A tad more expensive than the usual Ulundu Vadai you get on the side of the road, we found the Ulundu vadai at Sri Rudra Veg to be all right. Golden brown with bits of curry leaves, onion and green chillies lying idle after being fried up, the vadai leant more towards the tougher side of things and wasn't all that amazing in our humble opinion.
However, the Onion Dosa was on the other side of things, earning a nod from us at first bite. Soft with plenty of chopped up Bombay onions being sandwiched in between, the dos went really well with the curries they served it with. With a tang coming from the dosa, a slightly acidic sweetness taking over via the onion and the curries to bring it a heap of flavour, we loved this one.
Off the soup section, we decided to opt for the Mushroom soup (Rs. 180). A hearty bowl of creamy mushroom soup with an abundance of blended up mushroom included in the mix, the bowl was pretty much a hug in stainless steel and was all in all a delight. Packed with flavour and just the right amount of salt, this definitely deserves a recommends from us.
Our final venture into things of the savouried nature turned out to be in the shape of a Curd Rice (Rs.200). Coming in as a serving enough for 2 and maybe one more, the rice was a giant bed of pearly white that wasn't as great as we had first anticipated. The rice was too much like milk rice and lacked the tang in curd rice that we usually love. However, the lime pickle and curry they serve on the side helped ease it up for us, but we know that they could have done better, unfortunately.
To wash it all down, we started with a Chocolate Milkshake (Rs. 180). Essentially a composite of Highland Ice cream, lots of cocoa powder and a tad too much milk, we didn't love it. If you're not one to like having an overpowering essence of cocoa powder hitting your throat, we suggest skipping out on this.
Instead, we suggest getting the Masala chai (Rs. 150). A concoction of almost room temperature tea, ladened with a load of milk and a possible mountainous amount of ginger, we absolutely loved it. Strong and kicking every box to a good masala Chai (except for the heated factor), we loved it.
Service at Sri Rudra followed suit with the rest of our experience here. Fast-paced, unobtrusive and all in all, all right, we thought the service here was quite good. Sure, they don't ask you how the food went and such, but we can't complain.
In conclusion, we say go for it. The food is cheap and the place is clean. There's enough space to accommodate as many people as you'd like (unless you invite a herd) and the food wound up being quite good as well.