Having a restaurant in a supermarket is probably one of the most practical things imaginable. And while Cargills has been around for ages, they've only just caught up with the trend of having a small eatery in a supermarket and we don't think anyone does it quite well as they do.
Cargills Food Hall is essentially a space in Cargills Food City at Colombo City Centre, that's dedicated to serving up a range of food - from sushi to ice cream.
While the seating area is smack dab in the middle of the supermarket, the food hall itself spreads far and wide with the ice cream station habiting itself in a remote corner of the floor.
You get the cafe/bakery component at the entrance of the Cargills with the juice/salad bar finding home around 10 feet away from both the rice section and aforementioned component. There's a small seating area sandwiched between the salad bar and the kitchen. It's not all that confusing when you get there. But, considering how there's a lot going on, certain parts of the food can be missed pretty easily (we almost didn't get ice cream!).
The seats here aren't all that comfortable but seeing random strangers picking chillies give you awkward glances while you eat, it's a great place to get a very quick meal before you skip on somewhere else. Unless you're cool with the awkward stares, in which case, you're going to be fine.
Cargills Food Hall has a range and we're pretty happy with how you can get anything from sushi to buns to juice to salad without walking for more than a couple seconds.
Unfortunately for us, they had run out of tuna on the day we visited, which essentially meant that the entire Japanese section was off bounds.
Then came this - the Grilled Mixed Seafood Platter (Rs. 1100) served with a side of grilled veggies. It's a pretty decent dish. But, we suggest keeping the mushrooms for last. Coming in as 3 rather chewy and kind of bland calamari rings, a slice of Modha that was buttery, soft and quite nice and a skewer of prawns that had been cooked a little too much for our liking, we thought it was okay. The veggies fell along the same lines. Carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, potato and broccoli, they had been cooked in the same way with heaps of soya sauce lacing through it.
And while we weren't particularly overjoyed with the bell pepper and carrot, we did like the broccoli and the mushrooms. The mushrooms, in particular, were cooked to the point where it was packed with flavour and all in all the highlight of the dish.
The Wok Fried Noodles with Beef came at a deliciously affordable Rs. 450. Coming in as a plate full of well-cooked noodles with bits of capsicum, leeks and carrots tangling through it and a positive smothering of slices of beef, we loved it. With little whiffs of smoke trailing behind it, the dish was packed with flavour and all in all one of the best deals up for grabs at the food hall.
When they said Guava Juice (Rs.200), they really mean it. Not watered down even a little bit and given how we asked them not to put sugar, the guava juice turned out to be this super thick concoction of blended up guava that felt like a mix of cordial and fresh guava. It's bizarre but good. If you happen to like guavas, you're going to love this.
We decided to go with the Choco Nutty ice cream kottu (Rs. 400). A mix of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, biscuits, pani kaju, chocolate sauce and Oreos, here's how it went.
Chopped up into tiny bits, which used to be individual stuff ended up looking like this.
A messy blob of a mix of bits and bobs of everything and a dash of sprinkles with 2 jagged pieces of chocolate wafers, the Choco Nutty was all right. While it wasn't all that appealing visually, there was a mix of chocolate, honey, nuts and biscuit which I thought was quite nice. But, my dinner partner didn't. It's a bit of a chance, this one.
Everything is based on self-service but the food was made within 10 minutes.
While we're not completely blown away by it, with a few tweaks here and there, we think it has the capacity to be a pretty solid place to grab some grub when you're at CCC. The fact that you don't need to completely empty your wallet being a plus point too. So, next time you go to CCC in search of food, drop in here and get the wok-fried noodles with beef.
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