There's been a lot of hype about the Hilton Residence's new restaurant FLOW. They offer a range of cuisines - Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese and Japanese. These are still the opening days, so we may make a second visit once their menu is set up, but meanwhile we gave their buffet a shot. It costs about Rs. 2900 per person.
Hilton as a five-star hotel is generally known for its pleasant ambience. FLOW is pretty nice, a short walk from the lobby and across from the HCR bar, with soothing colours and a delicate partition wall. Although they occasionally missed a few requests for water and food, the staff were generally attentive and friendly, with the manager taking us on a little tour of the buffet and what not. We saw mostly tourists and Colpetty aunties in the room with us.
The food at the buffet here is more appetizingly displayed than at most other hotel buffets. Instead of big silver containers or ceramic bowls, much of the food is placed in rows of wide non-stick pans, so it looks hot-hot and more inviting for serving.
The buffet typically includes Japanese, though sadly they didn't have sashimi ready during our visit, a very detailed salad bar (you can even make your own salad), a continental table for pastas and meats, a spicy array of Indian dishes, a little touch of Chinese (wok fried noodles, some seafood), and Sri Lankan hoppers and pittu.
The Sri Lankan food here is spot on - they make some wonderful hoppers and thick, delectably spicy seeni sambal and lunumiris. We also tried out the chicken curries from the Indian selection and these were well seasoned and tasty. So Sri Lankan and Indian felt like their strong suit - which is great news for European tourists looking to try out something new.
We also tried out the seafood, beef and chicken kababs, and lamb chops - the meats are alright, tasty but indistinct, nothing you'd remember the next day.
There isn't much carb selection outside the Indian department - just pastas and the spring onion rice - the latter was pretty good, a little oily and very flavoursome, while the pasta just tasted okay, served with a watery tomato puree, and needing a bit of seasoning.
We are hopeful about the Japanese section here than at most buffets. The tragedy was that they only had sushi on the day that we visited, but we were told they usually have salmon sashimi and other meats available too. The sushi we had was by no means the best out there but it was still good, with avocado, sticky rice and fresh ish salmon and crab.
The desserts were not as underwhelming as most of the mains kind of were - we went all out and grabbed a bit of everything. The blueberry cheesecake is legit, rich and creamy, with a good thick biscuity layer and plenty of fresh blueberry topping. The chocolate mousse is also pretty simple and tasty if you're a chocolate lover. Besides that they had tarts, 'vanilla explosion' marshmallow/ tiramisu type cakes, and fruits, which were all pretty so-so.
The food was alright, it had its highlights, but it wasn't 3000 bucks worth of wonderful. FLOW hasn't finalized their menu yet, so we've got our fingers crossed and hoping their a la cart menu is going to be more exciting than the buffet.