From McDonald's to Manhattan Fish Market, international franchise restaurants are found almost everywhere in Colombo. Here we have listed a few of those that aren't very popular, along with a few possible reasons why.
Recognized as Bangladesh’s favourite burger joint, Takeout Lanka doesn't necessarily live up to its name with its exorbitant prices and limited menu, which were (unfortunately) the highlights of our experience here. However, the high meaty factor in the burgers came to save the day in terms of food, but sadly, the drinks were pretty mediocre. Anyway, we liked their Beef Cheese Delight which could be one of the reasons you won’t mind visiting here again. Nevertheless, the classroom-like arrangement of seating and not-so-efficient service were quite disappointing - it might make you go elsewhere if you’re looking for a place to get a decent-ish burger for an affordable fare.
Despite of the negativity in terms of service or ambience, Ponnusamy Non-Veg Restaurant can be described as similar to a video game because even though ordering is a challenge, the food can be a reason to be victorious (except for its desserts, which are disappointing and almost nonexistent). It's sister restaurant to Vasantha Bhavan, and this duo are a rather well to do establishment in India, and currently they've got two outlets in Colombo - Hortan Place and Narahenpita.
Overall, the experience could be ideal if you’re looking for a not-so-authentic taste of Indian food, uncomfortable seating and a menu long enough to leave you dizzy before you've even got to the middle of it.
As the vegetarian counterpart of Ponnusamy Non-Veg Chettinad Restaurant, Vasantha Bhavan also has a long list of south Indian food options on its menu to leave you confused about what exactly you want to get. However, the food proved to be quite alright in terms of flavour and quality, but the beverages could use some work. The prices are a bit steep when compared to other restaurants of its kind, while the ambience and service have no real distinguishing qualities.
Although not “Indian street food” per say, Street Foods by Punjab Grill is not a disappointment. Originated in India, they serve up a range of Sri Lankan and Indian dishes, which had both ups and downs in many aspects (with a majority of ups), and our experience here was quite good. They've got an impressive array of grilled specialities, and a particularly great Mutton Rogan Josh curry.
The interior here looks like a normal Indian restaurant in Colombo with a bunch of adorable wall art, while the staff were cheerful and eager to help with enough subtlety to not make us feel uncomfortable. We'd definitely recommend it.
With a whopping eight different types of biryani to choose from, Aasife Biriyani does not have the popularity it deserves. It's yet another Indian franchise restaurant that's setting their roots in Sri Lanka. Their menu offers an array of North Indian food to choose from with generous portions for decent prices. They also dishes out a few Chinese dishes, which aren't half bad, but the sheer range of Indian food is the clear winner here. Although, the beverage list can be a bit upsetting in terms of authenticity, the food, the service and the ambience all make up for it and all in all give a wonderful experience.
A French baked goods franchise known for its sandwiches and not-so-wallet-friendly prices, Delifrance, started out with two outlets in Colombo, now it has simmered down to just one, and it resides in ODEL. Nevertheless, in regards to taste and service, Delifrance can still be registered as in its prime. With good bread and flour sourced from France, their stuff are in good quality but compared to other similar places like Baguette it's a bit overpriced and underwhelming.
Located down Duplication Road, the Nara Thai is an authentic Thai restaurant that comes all the way from Thailand, and they do some good Thai food for a decent fare. Be it a family dinner, date nights, or even the casual lunch date - this place has got you covered. The ambience here is really beautiful and decorated to enhance your experience while the service is efficient with waiters who actually have an idea of what goes on in the menu. Our overall experience was quite good, which is why we would recommend it for anyone who is looking for a relatively fancy place serving Thai cuisine.
Found on Bullers lane, Colombo 7, Cajun On Wheels AKA C.O.W is a Singaporean seafood chain known for some good seafood dishes with prices which seem rather intimidating from afar and alright close by. The dishes mainly consist of simply cooked varieties of fish and other seafood which are also available in sharing platters which differentiates them from other similar restaurants of its kind. No complaints can be made about service as it's attentive and fast. Good food, nice ambience and ample parking, we recommend!
An international franchise originating from Japan, Beard Papa's isn't anything remotely like what the name suggests. The restaurant actually specializes in a variety of cream puffs and coffee. Available here in a number of options, the cream puffs will leave you messy, satisfied and begging for more. Coffee is also available but we must all agree that it's the choux that steals the spotlight.
So, there you have it! If we've missed any other unknown international franchaise restaurants in Colombo, do let us know in the comments.
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