Priced at Rs. 3,000 AYU at Mövenpick Colombo is one of the newer additions to Colombo's buffet repetoire. This was our second visit since Kinita's first look. TL:DR she found it very promising but it was still a work in progress with some promising things still at the stage of promises (I'd say it was like the parliament, but that stopped giving even remotely promising vibes a long time ago).
It's easy for buffets to get carried away and try to offer too many different options, without really doing anything particularly well. Luckily, AYU manages to strike a healthy balance between variety and quality.
The cheese, bread, cracker and jam station was exceptional, with a great variety of cheese and jam to choose from. The space had meats as well, but like we said above, no one was manning the cold cuts machine to give us any. And no one turned up even after we asked (repeating myself because actually peeved).
The salad station was dope. A quinua and dried tomato salad, combined with manioc chips and hummus had me drooling. We were happy to see a few Middle Eastern favourites like baba ganoush in the mix, though I did find it a bit too tangy for my liking.
When it comes to buffets there's always going to be hts and misses, but the vast majority of them were hits so the misses can be safely ignored, or accounted for taste. The continental section had some great mini-beefstakes, grilled chiken and fish but their potatoes were a bit lackluster.
The Sri Lankan section was excellent, there was a mutton curry in particuluar which was delicious. The devilled seafood didn't look too apetizing so I skipped that. But with red rice, dhal, curries and an army of 'rice-pullers' from papadams to more pickles than your pickle-obsessed aunty can identify provided this entire section with more local flavor than a lip servicing conference on reconciliation and diversity.
There was a small japanese section, which didn't impress too much. It contained salmon and crab maki rolls, they were decent, but lacked that melt-in-your-mouthiness that good sushi will give you.Overall I would give this section a resounding shrug.
The lunch buffet will set you back Rs. 2930 nett, but AYU also has an a-la-carte menu with items mostly in the Rs. 1000-4000 category.
The drinks menu has a variety of cocktails and mocktails specially offered by the restaurant. The Ebony (with cognac, butterscotch ice cream, nutella and oreo Rs. 1190) looked like a heart attack in a mason jar, so we tried the Kiwi Granate (Rs. 990) which comes with bacardi, pomegranate and kiwi. This was a bit too sweet for my taste but both Kinita and Bhagya had enjoyed it during their visits to Vistas and Robata.
We went in for a late lunch (around 2p.m.) and found that the service was beginning to tire a little. Like for example, there was no one attending the cold cuts station, which was a bit disappointing. Besides that the staff was friendly and generally attentive, though a bit more attention to detail nearing the end of service is required.
AYU really exudes an upmarket feel with plenty of natural light that bounces off the marble and ceramic surfaces beautifully. It doesn't look at all like a run of the mill hotel buffet, the food islands were artfully placed and dispersed throughout a wide space.
A nice place for a mid-range, satisfying meal, service can be a little lazy. The ambience and vibe is classy without being too stodgy.
The AYU has got its act together with food that is mostly good, and an ambiance that is easy and relaxed.
The shiny new Mövenpick Hotel in Colombo's main restaurant.
සිංහල දැන් මෙතන තියෙන හොඳම දේ තමයි ජනේලෙන් එළියේ පේන දර්ශනේ. ඉතිරිවා ගෙවන මිලට වටින තත්ත්වෙකට ඉක්මනට පොලිෂ් වෙලා එයි කියල අපි බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා.
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