Deciding on a place to eat might just be the most time-consuming thing. I've been there. So, for this weekend, we compiled a list of places that we highly recommend you check out if you're looking for a place to relax and enjoy some good food with great company. All these places are amazing and there's a variety of cuisines for you to choose from.
Mainland has remained a crowd favorite ever since they opened up. They serve a delicious range of authentic Chinese cuisine, with the notable exception of pork. It's certainly not the cheapest place costing around Rs. 1800 per head, putting them on the higher end of Chinese restaurants but we can assure you it's a worthwhile dining experience. Aside from the most common Chinese dishes, they have some delicious rice dishes like the Fragrant Pot Rice (Rs. 895) or side dishes like Wok Tossed Prawns in Black Bean Sauce (Rs. 1095) which is incredible. We also have to give a special shoutout to their Crispy Lotus Stems (Rs. 745) which is a must try at Mainland. For dessert, we recommend the Coconut Dumplings with Honey Butter Sauce (Rs. 495), which a great way to finish off your meal. Their service is professional, friendly and efficient. The place itself has a very Chinese vibe to it which makes the whole experience more special.
If you love Japanese cuisine and looking for a place to sit down for a proper meal, Ramen Misoya is the place for you. They are Colombo's first Ramen dedicated spot. They offer a simple menu with three types of ramen, served with either chicken, pork or veggies. The three types are slight variations of their miso based broth; Hokkaido (salty), Ise (malty) and Kara (spicy). We'd recommend either the Ise or Hokkaido broth since you can actually add the chili paste to it separately to bring that heat. The basic version costs about Rs. 1200 and we love it. They also have other stuff like the Double Pork Cachan (Rs. 950) which is one of the best rice dishes we have had in Colombo, and that's saying a lot. Their service is excellent and the place quite large so enough to hold a decent amount of people.
If you're not the biggest fan of Indian food, Chola will change your mind. It certainly did for me. Their food is so delicious you just cannot get enough, especially their Butter Kulcha (Rs. 250) and the Paneer Butter Masala (Rs. 800) which is by far the best we have ever had. Everything is authentic, perfectly seasoned and prepared by Indian chefs. It's a great place for a family dinner; very cozy and spacious, enough to hold multiple large parties. Their service is fast, accommodating and friendly.
If you're looking for a place to hang and get some work done with your friends, or to grab a late lunch after a movie, Tokiwa is the place for you. Or, if you're a fan of Japanese cuisine in general. Their Omurice (Rs. 1150) is phenomenal that you will find yourself scraping the plates off. However, if you're craving something sweet you should go for the Fuwa-Fuwa pancakes (Rs. 850) which is so light it's like you're eating a cloud. They also do a mean Matcha Frappe as well (Rs. 730). Also, they've got a variety of bagels and a decadent chocolate cake if you don't want a heavy meal and just looking for a snack. Their service can be slow at times but the ambiance is very chill, peaceful with lots of natural light. You can spend hours there without being disturbed.
If you're looking for a place in the suburbs, Aasife does some good Indian cooking. The best thing about the place is how cheap their food is compared to other Indian restaurants. They have an impressive selection of Biriyanis, out of which we would recommend the Prawn Biriyani (Rs. 580) which is quite a large portion (enough for two) and lots of prawns for you to dig into. Frankly, any other choice would be just as good. Aside from that, you should also try the Butter Naan (Rs. 100) and the Kerala Chicken Masala (Rs. 480) which is as good it gets, with an abundance of chunky chicken bits to go around with a spicy, peppery gravy. It's a great place for dinner or lunch for that matter with long tables and comfy booths enough to fit a large number of groups. Their service is nothing to complain about. The staff is friendly and lets you enjoy your meal in peace.
Sometimes the greatest places might not be at the heart of the city. Lounge 171 is by far has been my favorite. Why? The food is ridiculously good, the drinks are equally amazing, the portions are massive and everything is unbelievably cheap. Their Oreo Blast is just Rs. 400 and it comes in a massive jar with lots of whipped cream. Their Cappuccino is also a huge mug that comes with a giant chocolate chip cookie, all for Rs. 350. They do a really good Ham, Cheese and Egg Submarine for just Rs. 550, which is not just delicious, but very filling as well. Not only that, their vegetarian options are not just some veggies tossed together. The vegetarian submarine has fried veggie balls which tastes superb. I cannot recommend this place enough. It's a great place to invite your friends over for a treat. Your friends will be happy and it won't make a hole in your wallet. They have newly opened up their rooftop as well which is ideal for a romantic dinner or even to spend some quality time with the fam.
If you're on the lookout for some classic fine-dining experience, there's no better place than the London Grill. You'll come across some of the best services in the city here. Every waiter and the maître d' we came into contact with was polite, efficient, and knew their way around the menu and on special occasions like birthdays, they would go out of your way to make you feel special. Therefore, if you're ever in need of a place to celebrate, this might just do. We'd recommend you start off with a Crab Ravioli (Rs. 1200) and go for either the Organic Sous Vide Pork (Rs. 1450++) or the Surf & Turf Angus Fillet (Rs. Rs. 3700++) both of which were incredibly delicious and well executed. As for drinks, the wine list here is extensive and well-curated. While there are plenty of nice Continental bottles ranging up to Rs. 25,000-30,000, there are a couple of reasonable options at about Rs. 5,000 as well. We tried Rosé d'Anjou and it was exquisite. The place is very charming, with tables for couples as well as larger groups. You would be well taken care of here.
There you have it. Hope you have a great weekend!
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