VOC Cafe (Dutch Burgher Union).

We love the Dutch Burgher Union. A beautiful clubhouse, an excellent bar and though there are consistency issues on its day their lamprais is the best in the city.

So when we heard that our favorite ethnicity based drinking/sporting union had opened a restaurant (open to non members) on its premises we were excited. The DBU it seems is finally making an effort to monetize their premises, they appear to need the money as the club house itself suffers from a real dearth of patrons.

The idea of a restaurant in the DBU which benefits from the clubs competent kitchen seemed very promising. However, we were disappointed to find a boxy space with focus on fast-food. No Burgher sweets or curry classics (actually there are some on the menu but they were unavailable). It’s basically a hamburger and hot dog joint.  Now this is fine in terms of the impulse to monetize, and well, Colombo could always use more decent burger joints, the problem though is that the fast-food premise doesn’t really take advantage of the DBU’s location and heritage – you can put a box selling burgers anywhere! Also the burgers when sampled were OK and by no means excellent. Not the giant juicy patties and lip smacking sauce you dream of (remember Garfields on Reid Avenue?). This is more your standard fast-food meat in a bun. For the price 300-500 though they aren’t bad at all, probably better than Mc Donalds’ similarly priced offerings. Decent patties, a fair sauce though. There’s an absence of lettuce, tomatoes and other trimmings…

The price point is definitely a plus and as it benefits from ample parking. If you’re driving by the Thumulla this is a good place to try for quick meat-based sustenance, perhaps it’ll take off. But Im still not convinced that Burgers were the way forward for the DBU though of course it does make for a good pun!


The VOC does an excellent selection of yellow rice lunch packets. For Rs. 340 you get either chicken or pork accompanied by frikkadels, brinaj, chutneys, potatoes, gravy and egg. There’s a light crossover of lamprais elements with the frikkadels and deep fried boiled egg. This is one of the city’s best buth lunch options. Not cheap at over Rs. 300, but it’s a tasty meal and its become one of our new favourites alongside Millenium Restaurant.

The VOC Cafe produces some excellent food. A second taste of the burger had us pretty impressed – the beef patty was flavourful, topped with a messy pile of caramelised onions and nicely smushed with cheese. Want a good lunch? This is where you should go.

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