Ivy Lane Colombo has joined the ranks of the Colombo city hostels. It's supposedly related to the Clock Inn. Adjoining the hostel is their restaurant, which is open for lunch and dinner and serves both Sri Lankan and Indian food. I dropped in for lunch and had a pretty mediocre experience.
The menu at Ivy Lane offers Sri Lankan rice and curry and mostly Indian fare. They've got soup, salad, biriyani, fried rice, noodles, parata and kottu. For sides, you can order mutton, beef, chicken, fish, prawns, crab, cuttlefish, egg or go vegetarian. For lunch, they've got a set menu, so I tried the VIP set menu (Rs 300).
It took 20 minutes for the food to get to the table, and by then the rice was barely warm. The chop suey wasn't very palatable, and the chicken was quite dry. Overall, this was a bit disappointing but there's enough for two people. It also comes with a sweet and sour chili sauce.
For sides, I got the Chicken 65 (Rs 490) and Mutton Kadai (Rs 700). I was disappointed that it wasn't a real Chicken 65. It's not a difficult dish to accomplish, really, so either they don't know how to make it or just don't care. What I got was some fried chicken with a pretty unremarkable sauce.
The mutton kadai, though, was fragrant and yummy. You get plenty of mutton and the curry has got a lovely tang to it. It's not too spicy and the coriander leaves give it a nice kick. The meat itself was soft but also quite fatty, though, so if you don't like that, this may not be for you.
I also got a sweet lassi (Rs 180) to wash it down and this arrived well before the food. It just tasted like the yoghurt drinks you can get at any grocery store. A little too sweet for my liking, and not too thick.
The space at Ivy Lane is tiny. You could barely fit 10 people in there. I couldn't really feel the A/C at work, but there are fans, so it doesn't get too hot.
Service is mostly handled by a kid who looks about 14. They don't really interact with you, so you have to go up to them and place your order. If you sat down and said nothing, they won't bring you a menu.
Ivy Lane Restaurant is alright if you want take-out or work around the area. Their rice and curry lunch is reasonably priced at under Rs 200 for chicken, fish or egg. Their Indian fare is neither here nor there, so we wouldn't really consider them a place to go for Indian food.