Thai food is pretty mainstream in Colombo now, and you're absolutely spoilt for choice, whether you're feeling an elegant Royal Thai meal or a quick take out from Rice Box. Featuring everything from pad thai and pandan-wrapped chicken to mango sticky rice, here are some of the best Thai cuisine options on the island!
For the longest time, Royal Thai was the epitome of Colombo's Thai scene, but as of 2016, The Boulevard takes our top spot. With the ever impressive Chef Mama at the helm, The Boulevard has been dishing out top notch Thai from day one. They're on the pricier end of the spectrum, but it's well worth it both in terms of the quality of dishes as well as the service. It's a complete Thai dining experience, with the food having a great balance of flavours, seasoning and spices while staying true to the authenticity of the dishes.
Colpetty's Nara Thai is a solid Thai restaurant that fits the bill for both family dinners and date nights, or even the casual lunch date. The food is good, the portions are reasonable for the price, and you don't need to book a plane ticket to savour authentic Thai cuisine. It's pretty good for an international chain franchise!
Royal Thai is still arguably the most popular Thai restaurant in town and they've been one of the most consistent. The flavours you expect from authentic Thai - lemongrass, kaffir lime, ginger, cilantro - all come out well in their dishes and are nicely balanced. The food is clearly cooked with restraint - Royal Thai doesn't give in to the temptation of Srilankanizing their curries to appeal to the local palate. Their ambience is easily the best out of all the Thai spots on our list too.
Tom Yum specializes in Thai street food with interesting additions like Thai ice coffee and BBQ. The namesake Tom Yum soup here is one of the best we've had. It's an explosion of flavours, a great fusion of ten or more flavours including shrimp, squid, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, mushrooms, and a whole lot of chilli. Their service can be a bit sketchy but their food is great.
With a Catalan name and completely new and revamped Thai menu and decor, La Rambla is culturally confusing. While we do think they should drop the Spanish "La Rambla" name, there's no denying their Thai fare is top notch. If you need any more convincing, this spot is from Tasty Caterers, who are also responsible for the stellar Thai food at Boulevard. This is seriously high-quality Thai dining, from execution to service. However, our total bill for 2 was Rs. 6171, which is very expensive even by Colombo's rising standards.
Jack Tree admittedly aren't always strictly Thai in terms of flavour - there's sometimes a tad of Sri Lankanizing going on with the spices - but the dishes still keep with the general theme and the seafood variants especially are quite tasty. They do a mean sweet-corn saku for dessert.
Pho Vietnam's got an upstairs neighbour from their neighbouring culinary region, Thailand. Cilantro is a tiny little restaurant that serves up good Thai food at prices that don't make you wince. We'd recommend it as the food and service are great, and prices are reasonable (and inclusive of tax), although portions aren't massive. It's a great place for an office lunch or post-work family meal. Don't forget to try their mango sticky rice - it's delicious!
Siam House serves up good Sri Lankanized Thai dishes in big portions and is another Colombo favourite. Some memorable dishes we've had here include the papaya salad and the classic red curries - both deliciously cooked up with a mix of Thai flare and Lankan spice. They also do more adventurous dishes than your usual Thai, like the fish bowl salad. They're also one of the oldest Thai establishments in the city.
Quick Thai is another popular Thai restaurant, with branches both in Colombo 7 and Battaramulla. The food here may not have the attention to detail that Royal Thai does, but tends to keep more to the spirit of the cuisine than at Siam House. The seafood dishes and the red curries are a win.
Quick Thai Is a quality experience with delicious food in Battaramulla. The prices are a tad steep but you can have a filling meal for about Rs. 1500 per head. We recommend their prawn pad thai.
Grand Thai is one of the out-of-town Thai restaurants on our list. It's a very tasteful restaurant at the Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya, all ceramic vases, purple orchids and soft acoustic Thai music. The portions are pretty big, and they do Thai dishes with a bit of a modern twist.
Thai Heritage is located in the Galle Fort. They've got a limited menu and though we wouldn't call any of their dishes mind blowing, they're not bad. While the seafood we had here was a hit and miss, they did serve up pretty impressive pad thai with plenty of flavour.
Rice Box at Nawala's Steam Boat is an affordable option if you're looking for some decent Thai food, and its massive portions ensure good value for money. The food is good, but could be better with just a few little tweaks and adjustments. The restaurant itself compromises the whole experience, so delivery and/or take-away is the way to go.
We're yet to review Siam View in Arugam Bay, but it's meant to be one of the oldest Thai restaurants in Sri Lanka. We'll also be updating this list as more restaurants open up, so if there's any we've missed, let us know!
Ambul Thiyal is a small streetside restaurant down High level road, and does good rice and curry for an affordable price tag.
Donate your hair to cancer patients and get a free styling from Ramani Fernando Salons!
A home-based chef who makes some darn good lamprais, among other things.
Here's a round-up of Colombo's buffets with what they do best.