Chillax is an easy option if you want cheap beers and quick snacks. It's the ultimate post-work drinks spot if you don't have a club membership at CH&FC, CR&FC, SSC, or any other acronym.
Chill beer is on tap all day (no stopping from 2-5 PM since they're attached to a hotel), the alcohol is fairly cheap, and they've got a whole bunch of cocktails to choose from.
You honestly can't go wrong with a draught of Lion Lager, Carlsberg or Special Brew. A small 275 ML glass is Rs. 200, and 500 ML is Rs. 400. A pitcher is about Rs. 800+.
We also tried an unimaginatively named Arrack Cocktail which was not great at a steep Rs. 750+. A mix of arrack and cordial with a solitary lime piece, this was genuinely so saccharine and one-dimensional that we didn't finish it. We tried a Margarita on our last visit, and it was also not drinkable, so perhaps cocktails are just not their strong suit.
You can choose from a whole selection of bar bites here, from their absolutely excellent Special Chicken Cheese Kottu (Rs. 750), to the usual HBC and French Fries. We tried a Devilled Chicken (a reasonable Rs. 500) and a Hot Butter Cuttlefish (Rs. 750). Both came out lickety-spit, and super spicy.
The chicken was a bit dry, in true Lankan bar food tradition, but came slathered in a nice spicy tomato chilli sauce with vegetables. We would have liked more meat, but otherwise this was satisfactory.
The HBC was a gently battered dish of calamari topped with julienned carrots, capsicum, and leeks. The calamari was fresh and well prepared, but the batter was ever so slightly soggy. It was still a great dish, although Rs. 750 is on the steeper side. We've loved their Special Cheese Chicken Kottu in the past so tried to order that too, but unfortunately they're now only serving it after 6 PM.
The ambience is quite odd, with sand and beach cabana-style hay umbrellas and high stools overlooking a parking lot. The view of the ocean/ road is interrupted by a large pastry shop, so that's a pity. There is quite a large al fresco area, but it's marred by the often loud and jarring music they play on Friday/Saturday nights. We like it right after work, when the sun is setting and it's relatively quiet.
The service here in our experience has been quite good, with quick and attentive staff who appear to be genuinely friendly. A special shout out to Kenneth, who has always been genuinely enthusiastic and nice to us. We do wish the management would bring in proper training to teach the waitstaff how to whip up a good cocktail though!
Cold, cheap beer, good service, and excellent kottu. Honestly, that's enough for us to recommend Chillax to you even without a sea view.
A good spot on Marine Drive for post-work beers and bites.
We really appreciate that fact that there's an affordable option for draught beer on Marine Drive, available through most of the day and into midnight.
සිංහල “අඩේ! මරු ප්ලේස් එකක්නෙ බං. පොඩි හයිෆයි ගතියකුත් තියෙනව” මගේ කටින් පැන්නෙ සනික ආපු හදපිරි සතුටකින්. ඇයි අප්පේ… කවද ඉඳන්ද පෙරුම් පිරුවෙ ඕපන් ප්ලේස් එකක පොඩි අඩියක් ගහන්න.