The Ocean (The Kingsbury).

The Ocean is the Kingsbury’s seafood restaurant – the food is fresh off the ice, and it’s good. They actually seem to be in competition with The Lagoon at the Cinnamon Grand, since they have the same basic theme: pick fresh seafood off the counter, and make your choice of sauce and preparation. 

Food & Service

Like we’ve said, it’s all fresh here, with everything from lobsters to garoupa to prawns, it’s all laid out on a bed of ice at the end of the room. It’s at the far end of the room though – we were told we had no option but to get up from our seats and walk to the other end to order our mains, which is a little annoying. Here you pick your meat, how much of it you want, and how you want it done. We got salmon sashimi, the Chef’s Special of tempura prawns, and grilled garoupa in chilli garlic. 

The salmon sashimi was actually quite good. It comes in 13 pieces with the wasabi and soy sauce, and costs Rs. 990, which is good by general sashimi standards. The fish was wonderfully fresh and high quality. The Ocean might not be the best place in Colombo for Japanese food (Nihonbashi, Cafe Japan), but the stuff is definitely good.  

Our side of garlic rice was well flavoured, a little oily, and surprisingly for two people the bowl cost only Rs. 200. The garoupa we got was beautifully presented, and all around smelled and tasted superb – lightly grilled, with a crisp outer coat, fresh and slathered in a bit of sauce. Our prawns didn’t come tempura fried like we ordered but were skinned, soft and in a thick white sauce – still tasted good however. 

Although the manager seemed rather stoic and preoccupied when we walked in, service was generally good, with a friendly chef, a very attentive waiter, and these cleanly prepared dishes taking just about 20 minutes to reach our table. 

Ambience

The Kingsbury is a fancy place to dine, so like the Lagoon this is one of the classier seafood restaurants in the city for a formal or business meal. The only complaint we’d have is that customers have to walk to the end of the room to make their order of mains, so take a seat near the chef’s station maybe. You can watch him prepare your food through the glass wall. 

The Kingsbury took a big hit once the ongoing Port City project just swallowed up its view of the ocean. So there really isn’t a view anymore, unless you like piles of rocks. 

Conclusion

The Ocean is a very good option if you’re looking for good seafood. The food is fresh and very well prepared. We were surprised that our wallets weren’t demolished at the end of the fiasco – for sashimi, rice, prawns and garoupa, for two, it cost Rs. 3,600, which we think is great for the quality of food and the upscale ambience. 

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