Enjoy your weekend luncheon at one of these places.
Isso is still the only prawn dedicated place in Colombo, and they do it right. We've been visiting them almost every year so trust us with these recommendations. The prices are at Rs. 1290 for Large, XL at Rs. 1490 and XXL at Rs. 1690. The Hot Butter prawns is a great reincarnation of the classic HBC preparation. It is cooked just right with that heat from that extra chili coming through well and a nice crunch from the thin batter. If you're into a more sweet and sour flavor, try the Eastern Spice. The Southern Twist is a Jaffna style prawn curry and it’s safe to say they do it justice, so you can also try that. To wash it all down, try the Narang Juice (Rs. 300) which is refreshing in itself. The staff is quite friendly and they have a dine-in space for around fifteen but they cater to take away and delivery orders as well.
Monsoon is a top-class restaurant that serves Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. We recommend the Hainese Chicken (Rs. 950) which is a soft (not overcooked) chicken with that delicious jelly-skin. It comes with a side of rice and a stock which is worth sipping on its own. Also, the Crispy Hoisin BBQ Ribs (Rs. 1,300) was a perfectly cooked meat with a thick, sweet glaze covering it. The meat flakes easily off the bone and, slathering it with the sauce, it's a perfectly balanced delight. You can also bring your own beer. Their service is really fast, so fast that even if you go in there hangry, they're ready to accommodate. It's a great little place for some semi-fine dining.
If you're looking for a place to enjoy Pizza Night, Rocco's is a great dine-in restaurant in Rajagiriya serving wood-fired pizza with a range of toppings. You should try the Pizza Amore - Five Cheese (Rs. 1200) which is a combination of ricotta, blue cheese, parmesan, mozzarella, and, in addition to the usual four you normally find. The Salmone Affumicato (Rs. 1300) is probably the best meat option which comes with some capers, onions and a lovely dill sauce. The salmon shines bright, with just the right amount of acidity, and we highly recommend it. As for drinks, go for the Strawberry Iced Tea (Rs. 250) which actually tastes like strawberry juice instead of the synthetic syrup taste we usually get in some other places. The service and ambience is on par with the food, but it's best to make a reservation if you're going with a group.
If you're into the spicy flame-grilled chicken, this is the place for you. All you need to do is choose the size of your portion (1/4, 1/2 or a full chicken) and the spiciness of the Peri Peri sauce. Their chicken is cooked through and not as dry as it's often the case. The generous amount of Peri Peri marinade made the meat spicy and tasty and helps to keep it moist and tender through the cooking process. They have some great sides to go with the chicken and we recommend the Corn on the Cob (Rs. 180) which is sweet and juicy and has a distinctive grilled taste that was lacking in the chicken. Service is very pleasant and attentive and it's nicely furnished with rustic wooden tables and chairs.
It's the weekend yes, but if you still want to go out with your friends and keep your clean eating game strong, try out the Eggs Benedict (Rs. 650) at Calorie Counter. They've modified the famous American breakfast dish to make it very healthy. They've pretty much replaced all the components, with smoked salmon being used instead of ham, bagels swapped for healthier multi-seed bread and a creamy avocado dressing replacing the hollandaise, all of it topped with a perfectly poached egg. It is delicious, healthy and pretty close to the real thing. They also have great post-workout smoothies like the Energy Protein Booster (Rs. 480) which is a blend of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries with red rice milk. Their service is always friendly and excellent and the place is cozy, spacious and charming.
Baguette is a great place to drop in for some coffee and delicious snacks to fill you up. They have been consistently good with their baked goodies and they have certainly improved on their coffee since our last visit. Definitely try the Turkey Tartine (Rs. 400) which has a rich bread base and delicious in itself topped with a generous layer of mozzarella and turkey. The Sacher Torte (Rs. 450) is an amazing chocolatey treat with a raspberry filling. As for their coffee, they serve an excellent Iced Coffee (Rs. 350) which is essentially ice cubes mixed in with a shot of espresso and water. It's a great pick-me-up on a sunny Saturday. Their service is really good with the friendliest staff you will meet. They know their way around the food and very informative as well. It's a cozy little cafe and squeaky clean if you look for that kinda stuff, like me.
Graze Kitchen is Hilton's multi-cuisine all day dining restaurant. The buffet costs a flat Rs. 3100 (inclusive of taxes and service charge), which is one of the best value for money luxury dining spreads in the city. They feature action stations and sections with Japanese, Italian, Grill, Thai, Chinese, Sri Lankan, and Indian cuisines. The Japanese selection was well-executed and inventive, with funky maki selections and lots of fresh sashimi. The Indian section featured a delicious selection of hot naan and prawn biriyani, while the Western selection consisted of Italian pasta, roast chicken and the lamb that came with delicious sauces. As for desserts, they do an excellent Tiramisu. The staff is courteous, attentive and always there to help explain dishes. As for the ambience, you're basically walking into a sexy and sleek open-plan area, with lots of natural light.
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Here's a round-up of Colombo's buffets with what they do best.
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