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Almonds Exclusive

313, Galle Road, Colombo

Almonds is the mysterious new restaurant on Galle Road. We stopped by to see what all the hullabaloo was.




"Almonds" calls itself a "Fine Dining" Restaurant but in reality it’s a religious extremist establishment; It don’t serve alcohol or pork. And as if that isn’t bad enough they go even further and don’t even allow diners to bring in their own alcohol. But there is no signage outside to warn unsuspecting Diners of what they are walking into.

So if you do go there, be prepared to have a dry meal with a milk shake or juice at Rs. 500 bucks + for a glass – the price you pay for a glass of imported wine elsewhere.

The menu is extremely limited and its basically beef and chicken. The prices are exorbitant and much higher than even the five-star hotel prices. Even the lowly pastas are Rs 1,300 here for a small single serve and Beef Lasagna is Rs. 2,700/- For the price of each dish here, you can eat an entire buffet at the GOH or elsewhere in Colombo with starters, salads, soups, full range of quality meats, desserts, coffee and also be very satisfied with the meal. Not so at Almonds.

The frontage of the restaurant is a high glass wall. It separates the Galle Road from the restaurant but brings in all the strong afternoon sun and makes the place very hot. There are quite a few reserved parking bays in front. The inner wall has a large window of sorts, somewhat like a fish tank. Through that window you can see the upper torso and white hats of the cooks, but the cooking itself can’t be seen. That's probably deliberately obscured.

The tables are four seaters, but the seats are double seats. Which means you cannot move your seat in any direction without first asking for permission from your guests. These double seats are far too low anyway and it is extremely difficult to sit back or even lean forward and reach the food on the table without stretching. The seating looks classy, but they are very impractical and uncomfortable and designed just for the look. There are flies flying around in the restaurant and probably many more in the kitchen. The toilets are at the back and they are filthy !

"Almonds" might have got away with their sky-high ridiculous prices if the quality of their food was good. But their food is terrible. The texture of the chicken and beef betrays their long incarceration in freezers. The beef is supposed to be Australian, and hence the high prices, but it is as tough as the cheapest cuts of local beef. On top of the already high menu prices they also add a further 10% to the bill as Service Charge. Whether that 10% Service Charge is given to the staff or not, is a matter for the Labour department to check.

A section of the restaurant is a snack bar selling pastries, cakes and coffee. The pastries are stone cold, and the Cakes are Rs. 600/- to 800/- a slice but didn’t look good enough to justify the stiff price tags. The Croissants used for the sandwiches aren’t crispy, flaky or fresh. They are poor imitations, an apology for a Croissant.

"Almonds" is one of the most expensive places in Colombo even for coffee. A cup or rather a glass of coffee costs over 600 bucks. And the coffee too is bad –too light, bitter and aroma less.

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313, Galle Road, Colombo


It's right next to the DHL Express office on Galle Road.


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