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4/5

Elevate

No.278/4, Union place, Colombo 02


With a restaurant, members lounge and the highest rooftop bar in the city, Elevate is the most happening place right now.



Claiming a spot 29 floors high, Elevate is one of the most happening places in Colombo right now. With a number of events - BBQ nights, hopper nights, brunches, buffets and wine tastings, it's hard to imagine what's not happening here. Not only do they have a restaurant, but also a members lounge, and the highest rooftop bar in the town, which resides on the 30th floor of Access Tower building.
 
In this review, we look at their daily lunch buffet, which takes place on both weekends and weekdays. 

Food

Priced at Rs. 1750 on weekdays and Rs. 1950 on weekends, they offer a spread that contains bits and bobs of Lankan, Indian, Italian and Western fare. It might not be the biggest buffet spread you see out there, but for the given price, it's pretty darn solid. 

Starters

The salad bar was good. With deliciously made couscous, a range of veggies, dippings and dressings, you can build your own bowl of salad to start with. They do some superb spring rolls too - crispy, stuffed to the brim with a well-seasoned blend of carrots, leeks and onions, albeit oily for our liking, but tasted good enough. If salads aren't your thang, you can always go with this. 

The starters section was comprised of two types of soup, a variety of buns and butter. 

*Pictured above - Chicken Tomato Soup (left), Creamy Mushroom Soup (right)

We started off with the soups - Chicken Tomato and Creamy Mushroom. Hearty, garlicky, oniony and slightly grainy in texture, the Creamy Mushroom soup had lots and lots of mushrooms. We were able to taste in every spoonful, and left us drooling for more. 

The tomato-ey goodness of the Chicken Tomato soup paired with spices reminisced a mildly flavoured tom yum soup - but trust me, it's not a bad thing. With plenty of veggies and chicken bits swimming about, it had the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavours, and a teeny tiny spicy kick. 

Fluffy, light, airy and with a little crisp to bite, the buns were freshly made, and went really nice with the butter and soup. 

Mains

The mains section had four types of carbs - garlic fried rice, white basmati, red rice, penne pasta, and six curries to accompany them, alongside a bunch of condiments - papadam, tempered garlic and achcharu whatnot. 

They also have this action station, where you can get some freshly fried fish, sausages and meatballs.   

We tried a little bit of everything.

The garlic fried rice had a sprinkle of spring onions and carrots, and they've gone really easy on the seasoning, which we liked. Soaked in a creamy-as-hell mushroom sauce, the penne pasta was cooked al dante, while the adequately boiled potatoes had the touch of parsley, bringing an earthy flavour to it.

With layers and layers of perfectly placed pasta sheets, veggies drenched in tomato puree tucked in between, and lots and lots of cheese, the Vegetable Lasagna was top notch. We liked the Eggplant curry too. Immersed in a thick garlic sauce, the chunks of eggplants were cooked well, not at all mushy, and had a teensy bit of spiciness to it. 

As for proteins, they offered Fish Tikka Masala, Crumb Fried Chicken Drumsticks, and Beef Meat Balls. Carrying a potent punch from a luscious blend of spices the fish tikka masala was a good one, while the juicy, homemade meatball curry was oozing out with a nice peppery flavour.

My favourite however, was the crumb fried chicken drumstick, which was wrapped with a layer of biscuit crumbs, and had good crispiness to bite. This layer of crumbs here is quite thin, so the meaty goodness of the chicken perfectly came through. 

In the Lankan side of things, their kohila and niwithi-parippu curries were excellent. There was a lot of curry taste, and the right amount of milkiness in the parippu curry, which comes from the good ol' mitikiri (first milk). 

Desserts

The dessert collection was comprised of puddings, freshly cut fruit, fruit trifle, cakes, chocolate mousse, and even curd and honey.

All of them gets our resounding approval. My personal favourites were the fruit trifle, caramel pudding, and the chocolate mousse. 

Drinks

They serve a range of alcoholic drinks on their à la carte menu, and we settled for two cocktails. 

This Red Kiss (Rs. 1290) is one of my favourite cocktails in town now. Probably because I love anything that has vodka-cranberry concoction, and this one had it, along with strawberry and lime. 

A little bit on the sweeter side, but perfectly balanced out with the sourness of the lime, and just the right kick from the vodka, it was absolutely refreshing. The bits of strawberry floating about were a treat too. 

I'm not the biggest fan of Black Label Whisky, but if it's your favourite, this Whisky Sour (Rs. 1390) should be right up your alley. Presented in a salt-rimmed glass, it was garnished with an orange slice.  

Ambience & Service

With plush, comfortable chairs neatly aligned on a well-maintained, tiled floor, modern brick walls decorated with paintings, it's pretty much everything you expect from a fine dining restaurant in Colombo. The ambience here is quite calm and peaceful, while the light music that fills the room. 

This is the balcony dining space. If your idea of a perfect meal includes a dazzling view of the city, this is just where you should be.

Courteous, helpful, friendly and attentive, we received some excellent service here. Our glasses never ran out of water, and the staff is happy to assist you in any way they can. 

Conclusion

Delicious food, good cocktails, affordable prices and happening vibes - all wrapped into a place that offers some breathtaking views of the arising city of Colombo. What's not to love? We totally recommend! 

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