Curve is the new tapas bar next to Park Street Mews. It's not cheap, but the cocktails and tapas are good. These days it's also pretty happening.
When we went to Curve early on a Friday the tables were all reserved, which is a good thing for a new bar. We tried a range of stuff and, while it gets expensive, the cocktails are pretty intelligent and tasty and the tapas are not bad. There's also one gem in the menu which may be the tastiest and cheapest shot in Colombo.
Olives and a watermelon mojito
This being primarily a bar, let's start with the drinks. They have mojitos, martinis and caipirinha/colada type cocktails for around Rs. 700 each. We tried a Curvy Mojito (rum, watermelon, mint, brown sugar, lime). It arrived topped with shaved ice which, as it melted made for a cool and really tasty drink. However, not a very big drink, in the end.
We also ordered a house wine which was quite good.
Overall (and we obviously didn't try much) we were impressed rather than depressed with the drinks. Prices are about on par with cocktails anywhere in this town, and they seem to be paying some attention to the mix.
Being a tapas bar, drinks are meant to be had with bites. We tried to pull a fast one and order the cheapest thing on the menu (besides the salad), a Pimentos Pardon (Rs. 250). This turned out, however, to be a plate of insanely spicy capscicum like peppers which were impossible to finish. I thought they'd be red and gentle like the things they stuff inside olives, but no.
On the more expensive side, we tried the Grilled Prawns With Paprika and Garlic (Rs. 900). This was pretty good. Well seasoned, small but respectable sized prawns, nice biscuits besides. Not mind blowing, but nice bites.
The crab croquettes
We also tried the Crab Croquettes (Rs. 800) which were actually a bit bland and flavorless, lacking enough kick from the mustard sauce to pick them up.
Finally, we tried the Mushrooms In Garlic (Rs. 400). A simple dish, just seasoned mushrooms and a bit of diced garlicky veg, but quite good.
That gets us to the highlight of this place, which is somewhere between dessert and drink.
A cool shot
Above is the Spice Apple Ice Cream With Cognac (Rs. 150). This, the cheapest thing on the menu, is the best. It's a lovely little dollop of ice cream swimming in a liqueur shot. It's delicious and just the right combination. They're using decent alcohol also (cognac, Bacardi, Baileys, Kahlua, etc) so this just may be the most pleasant and affordable shot in the city.
While the total for food and drink was around Rs. 3,600, with service and tax it became Rs. 4,600. So, those tapas add up. It's not cheap, unless you're happy with eating chillis and ice cream. Actually not a bad idea.
The interior bar
Park Street is the closest thing Colombo has to a walking strip. There's a shop, an events space, a restaurant, and now this, a bar. Not much, we know, but that's where we're at for now. As such, Curve is a welcome addition to the space. Colombo has a woeful lack of truly new bars, owners instead keep renaming the same old spots.
Curve is completely new, carved out of part of the old Park Street Mews Restaurant, and has a bubbly and interesting decor. The bar is bright while keeping the mood lighting dim and they have live music inside (which may be a pro or a con, depending on your taste). There's also more seating outside, where we sat. If there's an event at the Stables down the way you can sit and watch people coming and going (pro) though there may be noise spilling across (con).
Overall it remains a great spot. Feels like a proper city.
The service is good, fast taking and delivering orders, a bit slow with the cheque. They maybe hover a bit too much waiting for the order, but that's better than being ignored.
Curve is a welcome addition to Colombo nightlife. They do decent tapas, good cocktails, and extraordinary ice cream shots, all in a beautiful and social location. If you order to satisfaction, however, Curve is not a cheap night out.
Try the ice cream liqueur shots.