Tucked in next to Independence Square, stepping into Agra is a lot like stepping into an Indian fairytale — at least in terms of ambience. Dimly lit with oriental music, Agra is a North Indian restaurant with pretty solid (albeit expensive) food.
Comprising of a large dining area which could easily host a large gathering, you get compartmentalized seating areas which are perfect for a cosy family meal, or even date night. It's actually dark, with warm yellow lighting and good airconditioning.
The waitstaff leaves you well alone (it's a bit hard to get their attention if they're not around, and there aren't many around), and are friendly, efficient, and helpful. There's plenty of privacy, especially during weekday lunch hours.
With a decidedly North Indian menu, the options vary between vegetarian, non-vegetarian, soups, naans and the likes. We opted for some classics — Butter Naan with a Chicken Hyderabadi curry, and a Mutton Biryani. Prices are quite steep with one naan clocking in at Rs. 250 and the chicken curry being Rs. 975. The biryani was Rs. 1,575.
Before that though, we started off with a jinga aur nimbu shorba (Rs. 575), which is a mouthful of a name for a soup with prawn, lemongrass and ginger. The aroma wafting off this was heavenly. It packed a punch too, what with the spices going beautifully together. It wasn't overpowering, nor did it have too much heat: it was just flavoursome. Plus there was a rather large portion of prawns swimming at the bottom too.
You'd never think that creamed spinach could ever taste that good until you try the Chicken Hyderabadi. Immensely flavoursome, don't let the green tint of the dish put you off regardless of how disturbing it is to see a meat dish look like a vegetable curry.
The naans complemented it, but they didn't justify the price tag.
Given how we loved the soup and the chicken, we were expecting great things of the mutton biryani. Alas, reality fell dramatically short of our expectations as the biryani wasn't fragrant, moist, flavoursome or anything that a biryani is supposed to be. Also, the mutton bits in it were dry and lacked flavour.
We got a Sweet Lassi (Rs. 550) and Masala Tea (Rs. 250) to assuage our thirst. The tea had a nice cardamommy flavour going on, but was vastly improved after adding a small dash of sugar. Also, there's enough tea in the pot for three cups, so we think that's pretty good value for money.
The Sweet Lassi on the other hand, was intensely sweet but very creamy and satisfying.
We really enjoyed our meal here, except for the biryani which was a let down. It's a great place for a quiet meeting (really quiet, given that we were the only diners there) or a date, except for when you want to get the waitstaff's attention because they tend to not be around when you need them. Add to that, the taxes and service charges are pretty high, so keep that in mind when you're ordering. Our total came to nealry 6000 rupees, which is a lot for what we had.
Agra is a North Indian restaurant with pretty solid (albeit expensive) food.
Agra is another one of those rare fine dining Indian restaurants in Colombo. They're not cheap but we think their food is definitely worth the price.
සිංහල කොළඹ නියම ඉන්දියන් රෙස්ටුරන්ට් හොයාගන්න ටිකක් විතර අමාරුයි. හැබැයි ඒ තියෙන කිහිපයෙන් එකක් තමයි අග්රා කියන්නේ.
Sri Lanka's first Bombay Borough.
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