If you're a newbie to Isso, you should know that ordering a dish here includes three steps.
Step 01 - Pick your base
Step 02 - Choose the style that you want your isso to be cooked
Step 03 - Select the carb
Your price point depends on the base you pick.
The renewed Isso menu has a wide range of bases - from shrimp and prawns to mussels and lobster. But at Isso Express, you can't get the whole new menu, except for a few new bases and preparation styles.
So, if you're keen on experiencing the whole new menu, I suggest you check out their Colombo 03 branch. As for this review, we decided to check out a couple of newly introduced dishes that are available in the express outlet.
Featured here is the Teriyaki Drift with regular prawns (Rs. 1590) accompanied with egg fried rice, pan-fried beans, and garlic. Chewy and well-cooked, these prawns were soaked in a thick, deliciously flavored teriyaki sauce, that left a tangy feel on the palate with hints of garlic and ginger.
The carb was your average fried rice - nothing too heavy or oily and had a few tiny bits of egg to go around. The pan-fried beans and garlic pieces were nothing special but functioned as additions for extra flavor.
Ah, the Maharaja Makhani! What heaven that was! A deliciously creamy gravy immensely flavored with a blend of spices, and a teeny tiny sweetness running through, this one boasted a rich butter masala flavor.
We ordered it with Baby Octopus (Rs. 1590) which was tender and chewy, while the gravy itself was good enough to finish the whole couscous on the side. The cucumber salad was crunchy with a pepper hit.
Sticking to our old favorites, we got this 2pc portion of Pisso Wade (Rs. 290). This is more of an expensive, yet delicious and definitely hygienic version of our usual isso wade, and we loved it. They serve it with fried karapincha, and some coconut-garlic based condiment, making for a real treat.
We were super excited to try their Milo Dino, which is easily the best Milo Dino you can get in Colombo, but sadly it's another dish that's limited to the new Isso branch. So we went with this Superberries juice drink (Rs. 390), a product of The Berry Company, and it didn't disappoint. Tart and refreshing, the dominating flavor here was the pomegranate, followed by a swirl of cranberries.
In terms of ambience, it's still the same simple setup of wooden chairs and tables - not a single thing has changed. The service is pretty good too - efficient, helpful and friendly.
Isso is the only prawn-centric spot in Colombo. It's albeit pricey, but still a good option for anyone who is looking for their isso fix.