115 Sir C.A. Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo 2
Open 12 Noon to 12:30 AM, Friday and Saturday till 1:30 AM
7 Degrees North at Cinnamon Lakeside is actually one of the older bars in town now. Their location by the Beira still makes for a great place to chill, and we like the fact that they're trying to keep things interesting with their ambitious cocktails but the execution has room for improvement.
As odd as it may sound, 7 Degrees North at Cinnamon Lakeside is actually one of the older bars in town, which makes us feel really old. Their location by the Beira still makes for a great place to chill, and we like the fact that they're trying to keep things interesting with their ambitious cocktails but the execution has room for improvement.
It seems like it wasn't too long ago when 7 Degrees was the go-to spot for drinks and cocktails, generally considered more refined than the playground of White Horse. Since then, Colombo's bar scene has come a long way, and 7 Degrees is now actually one of the veterans, attracting mostly the working crowd. The prices, however, are still quite high with cocktails coming to Rs. 880 before taxes, so expect to pay around Rs. 2000 per head. They've also got a tapas menu for food, which won't dent the wallet too much at Rs. 450 each, but the portion is for one. While we do want to give them props for their creative cocktail options, our initial round drinks fell short when it came to delivery.
We started with Naarack (Rs. 880), which immediately caught my eye. It sounds great on paper with a combination of arrack, naarang juice, salt and sugar syrup. Being a lover of arrack sours, this sounded like a great local twist but the end result was overly sour and a bit too salty with naarang masking the taste of the arrack. I'm usually a fan of sour cocktails, so if it's too much for me it likely won't sit well with others either. We still think the idea is solid, though the balance needs to improve.
The Vera Eola (Rs. 880), a mix of vodka, triple sec, aloe vera juice, kiwi puree and cinnamon syrup was the other (overly) innovative cocktail we tried. Unfortunately, it was so incredibly sweet that we had to send it back and ask them add a dash of lime. Once again, the flavours of the aloe vera and the kiwi puree overpowered the vodka making this taste like a very sweet fruit juice. At Rs. 880 these should have been on point.
After a disappointing first round we tried out their Strawberry Mojito (Rs. 690) and Arrack Sour (Rs. 880) on the manager's recommendation, and those were quite a bit better than the intial ones. The mojito was on the sweeter side but it was still minty and refreshing without affecting the rum hit. I was worried about the arrack sour, but the balance was much better on this one and since the lime isn't as strong as the naarack, the flavour and kick of the arrack here was a lot more prominent.
When it came to the tapas, the salmon croquettes with sour curry cream (Rs. 450) were okay, but we would have liked it better had the flavour of the salmon been more pronounced. The triangular croquettes were golden brown and crunchy, with the creamy filling adding a nice contrast of textures. However, we did feel that the flavour of the salmon could have been highlighted since that sour curry cream was still there to add the richness.
It's no secret that we're fans of pork, so we can always appreciate a well executed pork dish and the pork belly spring rolls (Rs. 450) at 7 degrees made us happy. As the name suggests these were a spin on the classic spring roll with a slightly spicy pork belly filling. It's not a very complicated dish but all the elements were on point with a crisp yet not overly thick shell with a well seasoned pork belly filling with a bit of chilli heat.
It may be one of the oldies now, but 7 Degrees' location by the lake will always be a great space to wind down. Drop in around sundown and the lake makes for a great canvas for the colours of the sky. If you're not too big on outdoor seating, they've also got a pretty spacious interior area with some comfy couches.
Service was one area where we couldn't fault the guys at 7 Degrees. The waiters were very professional and attentive, and the manager was open to our criticism and offered us a free round.
7 Degrees needs to change things up to keep up with the times, and they seem to know that. It's a great spot to relax after a long day and the service is on point and while we like the fact that they're trying new combinations, they need to balance out their flavours better.
7 Degrees North at Cinnamon Lakeside's location by the Beira still makes for a great place to chill. We like the fact that they're trying to keep things interesting with their ambitious cocktails but the execution has room for improvement.
7 Degrees North. This is one of Colombo's swankiest, trendiest bars. Situated at the five star Cinnamon Lakeside, this drinking establishment is one of those fashionable places where Colombo's most stylish wander to be 'seen'.
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