With their carefully curated, picturesque ambience, exquisite dishes and super friendly staff, Arcadia Cafe & Restaurant is Colombo's newest hotspot. We dropped in for a First Look and let me tell you, for a restaurant that's just two weeks old, they're doing a darn good job.
From starters to desserts, the food menu at Arcadia is quite extensive, interesting and suits every palate. They do a bunch of Western, Sri Lankan, Italian and Indian fare, comprised of different meats - chicken, lamb, beef, and also, seafood. Therefore you have a variety to choose from.
We started our meal with a soup - Herb Infused Chicken & Noodle Broth (Rs. 490). Hearty, and oniony, it boasted a nice lemongrass-y aroma and had lots and lots of boiled chicken pieces, and vermicelli that we could taste in every spoonful. The broth was thin, very smooth on the palate, with a hint of chicken stock flavor which binds well to both the noodles and the meat.
As for our mains, we ordered a portion of their Naan with Chicken curry (Rs. 590) and Mustard Marinated Fillet of Beef (Rs. 1650).
Let's talk about this excellent fillet of beef first. You get to choose how your meat should be cooked (rare, medium rare, well done), and we opted for the medium rare. Bedded on a deliciously buttery layer of mashed potatoes, it was topped off with herbs and accompanied by a side of marinated radish and mustard sauce.
It was a chunky fillet of beef, smothered in a creamy mustard sauce with a hint of vinegar in it. Falling apart with ease, the meat was tender, juicy, and succulent, with a beautiful pink color equally spreading through the whole fillet. The flavors here were smokey and sour, complimented by the abundance of mustard sauce, but not in an overpowering way. We highly recommend this.
Soaked in a thick gravy that's loaded with a ton of curry flavor in it, the chicken curry is certainly one of the best dishes we've come across. It had three luscious pieces of chicken, cooked so well and the meat slid right off the bone. With quite a bit of peppery flavor nicely emerging through, it was hella spicy, but if you have a true Lankan palate, handling this heat should not be a problem.
The rotis were alright - freshly made, with a few crispy bits here and there and a good crunch to bite.
Beautifully glazed with a blowtorch, the caramel on the top layer gave a satisfactory crack, and what's below that was an insanely rich filling of custard, followed by a layer of sweet raspberry coulis in the bottom. So. Darn. Good!
The drinks menu at Arcadia is composed of coffee (hot/cold), juices, tea (hot/iced), milkshakes, mocktails, and smoothies.
The Marsh Hot Chocolate (Rs. 450) was essentially a hot chocolate topped off with a drizzle of caramel and a few marshmallows. It could certainly use some work in terms of flavor because what we tasted wasn't quite chocolatey enough. The first half of the cup was mostly milk, and even if we stirred it well with the layer of chocolate lying at the bottom, it didn't contribute much to the overall chocolatiness.
The Seascape Strawberry (Rs. 460) was essentially a blend of milk, freshly crushed strawberries, and strawberry syrup. It was thick, and had a good consistency, but could be improved with some more strawberry flavor in it.
Like we mentioned in the beginning, the ambience here plays a huge part, which is one of the many things that we love about this place.
The first part of the restaurant is designed for the quick grab and go, but if you're looking for a meal that you can enjoy peacefully in a surrounding that has burst into bloom, with flowers, plants and the sheer beauty that come with it, I suggest that you check out their roofed backyard.
This dining space is encased with lots and lots of beautiful orchids, ferns and a bunch of other plant pots latched on to the walls. They basically transform the whole place into a botanical dreamscape, while the lights hanging from the ceiling provides the perfect environ for your Instagram pictures.
Arcadia provides you with comfortable seating, and enough space to accommodate around 30 - 40 people at a time, in the backyard alone. Altogether with the front part of the restaurant, over 50 people can dine-in here without any issue.
The food and drinks took around 20 minutes to arrive, while the staff was incredibly friendly and supportive. With lots of genuine smiles, they made us feel welcome. From what we gathered, the food here is cooked by the ex-head chef of Hotel Sudu Araliya.
Aside from the minor issues in their drinks, our experience at the Arcadia Cafe & Restaurant was absolutely wonderful, and we enjoyed every bit of it. We hope to do a fully comprehensive review within a few weeks, so stay tuned!
Good place for snacks & short eats, but other food are ?
Great place to have a delicious Sri Lankan buffet…