Ginza Hohsen is in no way "new" to the Japanese restaurant scene in Colombo. Having actually started shop over 30 years ago at Hilton Colombo, they've come a long way since then. After a steady stream of moves from here and there, they're finally back in the vicinity of Galle Face Green with their all-new location at Galadari Hotel Colombo.
Like the other restaurants at Galadari, the entrance to Ginza Hohsen is also at the side of the hotel. Meaning, you can go through the main entrance, but, there's no real necessity to go through the lobby unless you really want to.
That being said, it's virtually impossible to miss this restaurant. We say this because there's a giant sign outside with "Ginza Hohsen" in giant lettering that smudges off any possibility of you getting lost. This, as surprising as it might be, adds to the entire ambience of the restaurant somehow. With wooden furniture, lots of sunlight, plastic potted plants and large takes on framed calligraphy adorning random parts of the restaurant, the ambience here is quite nice. There's enough space in the restaurant to seat at least three dozen people without batting an eyelash, and it's as comfortable as it could get.
The menu at Ginza Hohsen is giant varying from sushi, and katsudon to yakitori and ramen etc. However, if you happened to drop by during lunchtime as we did, you might get a couple more options.
Fortunately for us, the waiter was kind enough to recommend this, the Spicy Tuna Maki (Rs. 980) - 8 generously portioned out sushi rolls that are not very spicy, but filling as sushi rolls could possibly get. Crunchy with a thick layer of spicy tuna in the middle, this is perfect if you're looking for something filling to kick things off and not much else. The rolls kept falling apart at the seam, but, tasted alright. Served with a small side of wasabi and pickled ginger, it wasn't out of this world good, but, it was worth giving a shot at.
As for our mains, we decided to go with a Buta Niku Shoga Jyu set (Rs. 2, 350). Coming in with a number of sides including a small helping of a garden salad, Miso soup, pickled radish, scallions, wasabi and some soy-sauce based soup this didn't disappoint. If you're looking for a simple lunch with variety, this would work well, but, if you're one to look for a lot of flavours, you're probably better off with the next option on our review.
The Serving of udon noodles was wonderfully cold and was served with sliced seaweed on top, combined with the soy sauce soup and the scallions making for a brilliant mix of refreshing and filling. However, we weren't the biggest fan of their pork. Served on a bed of sticky white rice, the pork was essentially just caramelised onions and pieces of pork with a hint of teriyaki sauce in it. Sweet and slightly salty, it wasn't much in terms of flavour.
The serving of pickled radish and fruit, on the other hand, was a welcome addition to the set.
We also opted for a Teriyaki Chicken (Rs. 1200) With White Rice off their lunch menu. Served on a helping of white rice, the chicken was smothered in teriyaki sauce (unlike the previous one) and was actually quite nice. Slightly tough, it had the sweet and salty elements well balanced. Again, it's not a complex of flavours you get in here, but this is one filling meal.
The miso soup was the true hero of it all. Salty, warm with pieces of tofu and radish swimming about here and there, it was a giant hug in a bowl and we absolutely loved it!
We also decided to go with their Cinderella (Rs 480) and a Cranberry Crazy (Rs. 480).
Silky smooth and as thick as it could get, the Cinderella was a mix of every fruit that makes up the tropics what it is. Mangoes, Pineapples, banana and orange juice, the Cinderella was cold, thick and not really my cup of tea, but only wasn't because I'm anyway not a giant fan of this combination of fruit. But, we guarantee that if you do happen to like this combination of fruit, you'd like this, no doubt.
The Cranberry Crazy was more along our alley. Sure, it's the polar opposite of the Cinderella with most of the ingredients being not fresh, but, sweet, tangy and packed with cranberry juice, this is everything you'd look for on a hot Colombo afternoon. It does taste slightly artificial, but apart from that, it's not a bad drink to opt for.
The service at Ginza Hohsen was superb. The staff was super accommodating throughout our experience with everything from the seating process to helping us choose what to get to bring the food within 10- 15 minutes of ordering.
They paid attention to us without being obtrusive even with multiple foreigners around and whilst they did happen to leave us alone, they were kind enough to make small talk with a customer who was dining alone.
A fancy Japanese restaurant to get lunch at if you're looking for variety.
Ginza Hohsen is a popular Japanese resto in Colombo.
සිංහල ගින්සාz හොහ්සෙන් මෙනූ එකේ ඉතාම රසවත් කෑම තියෙනවා කියලා කිව්වත් ඒක හොයලා බලන්න බැරි තරමට එහෙ ගණන් වැඩියි. ඔබ හොඳ සුෂී, කත්සු දොන් සහ අනෙකුත් ජපන් ආහාර බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවනම් කොළඹ තවත් විකල්ප තියෙනවා. (ඉහළ මට්ටමෙන් නිහොන් බාෂි සහ පහළ මට්ටමෙන් සකුරා)
The residential Japanese restaurant at Water's Edge.
Colombo's beloved sushi restaurant is now in Kandy.