Anchored firmly in between the Old Dutch Hospital and the Colombo Clocktower, &Co is a pub on the ground floor of The Steuart hotel, with a chic twist on the old Scottish pub aesthetic. It’s a great spot to drop in for a cold one and chill in one of the grooviest sectors in the city.
The pub itself has the secretive hush of ye olde tavern gents seated amongst the cushioned chairs, elbows resting on the sturdy mahogany tabletops. The walls are a deep, shamrock green with minimal gold border for added effect adorned with various different crests. A lot of wood, a lot of warm lighting and basically the serene ambience is what makes this a cosy place to chill at. It's also pretty popular during weekday lunch hours with the office crowd or tourists in the area, so there's a friendly buzz.
For starters we had the Hot Butter Calamari (Rs. 360) and surprisingly it wasn’t your traditional, crispy skinned calamari but rather batter fried cuttlefish slices coated generously in a honey bbq sauce served with some tartar sauce on the side. Weird though, we've never had this combination before so it was pretty interesting to try it out. If we’re talking spice level, I’d have to give it 3 points out of 5, but the flavour was pretty good. Keep in mind though that the portion is pretty small (unsurprising for 360).
For our first main we had the Big City BBQ Ribs (pork) which at Rs.1,900 were an absolute steal. Rich, succulent and with just the right amount of BBQ sauce, the portion is massive enough to share satisfyingly amongst two people (two of us shared and still didn't finish it properly). They were served with fresh, chunky chips that delivered the perfect crunch, and weren’t doused in salt which is always a plus. They also came with a small dish of fresh coleslaw. The coleslaw left a nice, crisp feeling on the palate, and the purple cabbage featured was crunchy and slightly smattered in dressing.
Our second main was the Aberdeen Steak Pie served with chips and spinach (which takes about 20 minutes to come out). At Rs. 895, it had just the right amount of beef, but the spice palate was nearly nonexistent. I didn’t mind because the total beefy-ness saved this dish for me. Again another slight twist on this dish was the fact that it wasn’t an open pie per se, but a pastry made from pie crust packed with the filling. The spinach was served in a little dish like the coleslaw was, and the chips were the same chunky slivers of potato served with the pork ribs.
For dessert we ordered the Apple Pie with Custard or Ice Cream (Rs. 395) - we chose ice cream. It’s great value for money and it was just..delicious! The ice cream plus the stewed apple were a bit sweet though. The apple bits were nice and soft almost melt-in-the-mouth-gooey, there was a small hit of cinnamon, and whoever came up with this recipe had the brilliant idea of crumbling up some gnanakatha (or something that certainly tasted like it) and using that as a topper instead of the orthodox pie crust. Genius!
The ice cream was your basic vanilla and it complemented the dish well. The pie also came out super hot in contrast to the cold ice cream.
Now for the best part; Drinks!
We ordered the Strawberry Mojitos (Rs.750 for one) and they had a 1 for 1 promotion going on which is always great value. You can choose from a range of flavours ranging from , and we went with strawberry. They’re nice and chilled, the strawberry flavour is legit and not some dubious syrup from a bottle and they’re served with a cherry on top. The taste was just right, crisp and refreshing and the alcohol was a little strong but nobody’s complaining.
The waiters and waitress were pretty attentive and fluent in both English and the menu - always an advantage. They were really professional and well dressed, another factor that’d make me want to keep going there. We asked them for recommendations and they really knew their stuff, well enough to advise us that certain dishes would take a while.
&Co still seems to be going strong with their menu, range of well-executed dishes and use of the awesome colonial building it’s nestled into. There’s a seating space outside which is ideal if you want to chill out with friends in the evening. The area is absolutely enchanting and once you’re done with your meal you could go for an adventure around old Fort to top off the experience.
BBQ Ribs, Mojitos and a lot more. We recently visited &Co by The Steuart and here's what we think.
&Co is a new pub/restaurant just behind Dutch Hospital. The place is spacious and a great atmosphere and the food is quite good and we generally recommend checking it out... in a few days. They don't have their liquor license yet so still a bit lacking on the pub side.
සිංහල හැබැයි ඉතින්, ඒ කරලත් වැදිල නම් නෑ. 50% සැන්ඩි බියර් ගහල ගහල, ටොයිලට් වළ පිරෙව්ව විතරයි. ලිකර් වැඩේ කට්ටියටම අවුල් ගිහින් නිසාද කොහෙද රෑ 9, 9.30 වෙද්දි බහුතරයක් මිසින්ග්.
Walk through Dutch Hospital, exit past Barefoot and Taphouse, and the hotel will be immediately on your left. From Chatham Street, you can turn down Hospital Lane. Parking is hit or miss. Honestly, take a cab.