Disclaimer: This is a First Look (Preview) only.
As a part of YAMU's updated review policy, new restaurants will not receive a review or rating until 6-8 weeks of operation. Below are our first impressions of Isso. We'll be writing an official review in 6-8 weeks.
Isso is pretty self-explanatory — it derives its name from the prawn, they serve prawn, they are prawn. Isso offers a focused and concise menu, centred on a single ingredient.
Isso is located in Thimbirigasaya, at the Cakery's old premises, and occupies a small space with pine tables and stools. The ordering system is displayed prominently right above the counter, just in front of you as you enter. The menu system is very simple - it's basically self-service where you pick your choice of prawn (large, XL and XXL), your gravy or sauce, and your carb. Each food item is represented on a board, so just mix, match, and place your order.
The manager (or guy behind the counter) makes it a point to explain the ordering system to his customers (like Large and XXL aren't portion sizes but prawn sizes).
Their kitchen area is separated by glass, so you can see your prawns being prepared right there.
We went for large prawns prepared with their home-made secret sauce (a lime and chilli sauce), accompanied by sweet potato fries.
The sweet potato fries come smattered generously with salt and chilli, cut and fried akin to fat fries.
The second portion we ordered were the XXL prawns made with the Northern Twist (Jaffna curry styled, with tamarind, ginger, onions, and spices), comparable to a Jaffna crab curry or a black chicken curry. When served, the Large (Rs. 900) and XXL (Rs. 1300) prawns appeared to be roughly the same size.
We opted for roast paan as the carb, which works well for dipping, proper Sri Lankan style.
They also have thambili, water, and spicy coffee for drinks; the spicy coffee being sukku kopi, the one with dried ginger in it. The chilled kade chai is an interesting addition too.
There doesn't seem to be a washroom and there's definitely no washbasin, although each table has hand sanitizer. This is more of a take-away joint, despite having a few seating arrangements. Ambience wise, the music is quite loud. The food is packaged in compartmentalized, microwaveable boxes, so if you can't finish it you can just cover it up and take it home.
Overall, we had a tasty, enjoyable experience - but we'll refrain from commenting further until the full review. Stay tuned!
Isso is the only prawn-centric spot in Colombo.
Isso deals with isso. Curried isso, tossed isso, isso with roast paan, and isso with bathala chips. Yes.
Isso's pretty self-explanatory — it derives its name from the prawn, they serve prawn, they are prawn.
සිංහල අන්න ඒකට ජැෆ්නා බේබි ඔක්ටපස් එක. හප්පොච්චියෝ.. පංකාදු පහයි කියන්නෙ, ඒකට නම් සම්මානයක් දෙන්න වටිනව. කියල වැඩක් නෑ යාළු, හොඳ ඝන කරියක්. උණු උණු රෝස් පාන් එක්ක නැගල යනව කියන්නේ… රම්පෙට පොරි වගේ ආයෙ.
සිංහල ඉස්සෝ පිස්සෝ වෙනුවෙන් ම වෙන් වෙලා තියෙන එක ම තැන මේක තමයි.
සිංහල මම හිතන්නෙ ඉස්සෝ කියන්නේ ලංකාවේ ගොඩදෙනෙක්ගේ ආසම කෑමක්. ඉස්සෝ කියන වචනෙ ඇහුණ ගමන් පිස්සු හැදෙන යාළුවෝ ගොඩක් මට ඉන්නවා.
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