Bars is a restaurant/cafe on Duplication Road run by the same hands that brought Colombo the calorific pastried delights of Perera & Sons
. Serving food from a variety of 'bars' - rice bar, pizza bar, salad bar, etc - the cafe is a rather trendy place - elevated indoor/outdoor seating, large glass windows, chic decor and a TV constantly tuned to a travel channel. However, Bars' proximity to the busy Duplication Road can be stressful and sitting on its broad balconey at lunchtime is a rather unpleasant experience; the honking of cars and hubbub of traffic don't quite make for soothing background music. If you're fortunate enough to spot a vacant seat within one of the cool air conditioned glass cubes (on either side of the balcony area - although, bizarrely, the one on the left 'closes' at 2.30 PM), however, secure immediately.
Food wise, Bars has one of those extensive, spoilt for choice menus. Nasi goreng, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, pizzas, grills, pies and so on. There's a lot to choose from, but none of it is particularly cheap. A nasi goreng - a dish quite literally consisting of just rice, veg, and tiny chunks of meat and seafood - can set you back Rs. 600. The mongolian BBQ (again Rs. 600) is actually quite good - there's a nice tang of chilli which just the right amount of subtle sweetness, and the rice is suitably strewn with meat and veg. While it's definitely tasty, it's not worth the whopping Rs. 600 for what's ultimately just a fancy plate of fried rice. The teriyaki beef foccacia sandwich, more suitably priced at Rs. 430, wasn't the best meal. The beef was slightly watery and lacking in any teriyakied zestiness and there was an overabundance of tomatoes (hence the wateriness). You can get a hearty philly cheese steak sub from the Sandwich Factory
for just Rs. 290.
Considering Bars' dictionary of a menu it's perhaps unfair to pass judgement on the food without a wider sampling. From a glance at other plates, the rices - at lunchtime - seems hugely popular. And the desserts are certifiably excellent. The chocolate and cashew nut tart is a thick, rich swirl of chocolatey goodness held by a firm, biscuity tart base, and most of the cakes and sugary treats held in their glass vitrines seem similarly promising.
We wouldn't mind eating at Bars again. The food seems good, and the venue - removed from its noisy surroundings - is quite nice. Service, however, is painfully slow and that added to sitting next to a stream of honking buses can be make for tiresome, irritating experience. It may be better at night.
EDIT by Shifani:
The strawberry cheesecake (Rs. 300) at Bars is pretty good - very cheesy and filling - as long as you get it fresh. Their eclairs (Rs. 120), if freshly made, are some of the best you'll have anywhere - the cream is sweet and light and pretty perfect. The chocolate biscuit pudding (Rs. 300) is a bit on the bitter side, not worth a shot.
Our lemon meringue pie (Rs. 200) was alright, just a lot of lemon cream, but please make sure it hasn't been sitting around for a while - we accidentally bit into one that had gone bad and we're still recovering from the aftertaste. Our vanilla tea (Rs. 150) was strong and tasted awesome but they just give you a teabag in a cup so it's up to you to make sure you don't make it too watery.
The only bar that Bars lacks is, well, a bar. No booze.
Bars Cafe has gotten a facelift, along with a revamped menu. They've definitely got room for improvement, but we were happy to see that they had addressed some of their old issues.
Food wise, Bars has one of those extensive, spoilt for choice menus. Nasi goreng, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, pizzas, grills, pies and so on. There's a lot to choose from, and none of it is particularly cheap.
කෑම පැත්තෙන් ගත්තාම බාස්හි පුළුල් විවිධත්වයක් තිබෙනවා. නාසිගුරාං, සැන්විච්, බර්ගර්, පැස්ටා, පීසා, ග්රිල් වර්ග, පයි ආදී ජාති රැසක් අතරින් තෝරාගන්න පුළුවන්. ඒත්, ඒ එකක්වත් විශේෂයෙන් මිළ අඩු නැහැ.