The Irish is an exclusive new addition to Colombo's watering hole scene. What they serve up here isn't exactly traditional Irish fare, but they've got some good cocktails along with a bunch of excellent western dishes. We quite enjoyed our experience here.
We started off with a portion of Spicy Chicken Wings (Rs. 750). Firm on the outside, and soft on the inside, it's a brilliantly executed dish that well serves its name, and probably the best one out there. The meat was tender, juicy and fell off the bone. Drenched in a tangy Korean BBQ sauce, that complements the whole dish rather than overpowering it, this is an ideal starter to awake your taste buds before the main course, and even as a tapa to go with your cocktails.
Light, puffy, and not oily, the Fish & Chips (Rs. 1500) became an instant favorite of ours. It came with two hunks of barramundi fillets, coated with a perfectly crispy, well seasoned, golden beer batter, a side of tartar sauce, tomato ketchup, coleslaw, fries, and two slices of lemon.
As you can already see in this cross section, they've gone easy on the batter, giving you the chance to savor the fishy flavors all by yourself. The fish was soft, simply cooked with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and flaked off to chunks as we bit it. To kick it up a notch, garnish this one with a lemon slice- you can thank me later.
The fries were alright – crispy and sharp with a hint of salt.
The T-Bone Steak will squeeze your wallet dry for a hefty price tag of Rs. 3500, but it's so worth it. It's Australian beef, marinated with rosemary and thyme, grilled to your preference and served with butter sauteed veggies and mashed potato on the side.
The steak was prepared medium rare, just as we asked for it. Generously glazed with a nice tangy sauce, the meat was succulent, tender, juicy and easily cut through. The melt-in-the-mouth fatty layer produced a slightly crispy exterior, so basically it's a flavor explosion of meaty goodness. Each bite was amazing than the previous one, while the accompanying veggies and buttery mashed potatoes on the side were flavorful additions.
Every cocktail at The Irish is priced at Rs. 1200, and during the happy hour (5.00 PM to 7.00 PM every day), they have a one-to-one offer for certain cocktails/drinks.
*Pictured above – Cosmopolitan (left), Whiskey Sour (right)
Involving the usual triple sec, cranberry juice, freshly squeezed orange juice and a generous amount of Vodka, the Cosmopolitan was good as it could get, while the consistency was on point. However, when the second one arrived to the table (because of the happy hour deal), the alcoholic punch was almost lost, the consistency was off, and it tasted like a blend of cranberry juice and water with a teeny tiny alcoholic spark. I mean yes, we get it – it's free, so the change in quality is expected. But don't make it so obvious!
The Whiskey Sour was brilliantly concocted with all the right elements – bourbon, lemon juice, sugar syrup, a dash of egg white, and garnished with a cherry and an orange slice. It was sour (obviously!), but weirdly delicious, and left a fruity note on the palate. We loved it.
Service & Ambience
The service was impeccable. The waitstaff was really friendly, super helpful and attentive. Initially, they sent us a well-done steak instead of medium rare, and when we informed them about it, they were kind enough to replace it with the correct one. The chef, who was recovering from a shoulder injury at the moment, personally came to our table and apologized for the inconvenience.
The staff here seem to know the menu like the back of their hand, so if you have any food restrictions, preferences, or if you simply need any assistance in choosing food, ask away!
With the wooden bar counter aligned with bar stools, wine barrel tables surrounded with tall pub chairs, and the dimmed bulbs hanging from the ceiling – the interior here replicates the bits and bobs of a classic Irish bar. The inside is enough to hold around 50 customers at a time, and they even have an outdoor lounge that you can sit back and relax on a bunch of cozy cushion embedded wewal chairs.
Our total bill came around Rs. 9000 with taxes and service charge, which is quite steep, but acceptable, considering that it's an upscale bar located in Colombo 02. It's a good call for a weekend tipple, where you can sit down and blow off some steam with a boozy glass in your hand and some fine food down your belly.