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2/5

La Fiesta

62/4 Chatham Street, Colombo 1


La Fiesta is Sri Lanka's first Mexican (well, Tex-Mex) restaurant, located on Chatham Street in the old fertiliser building (now, of course, refurbished).



La Fiesta has closed down.

La Fiesta is Sri Lanka's first Mexican (well, Tex-Mex) restaurant, located on Chatham Street in the old fertiliser building (now, of course, refurbished).

There has long been a glaring gap in Colombo's dining scene. The absence of a cuisine much loved and voraciously consumed around the world... Mexican. While you do get the occasional Mexican promotion at the big hotels and Sandwich Factory does include a satisfying Tex-Mex range on their menu, until now there hasn't been a restaurant solely dedicated to spinning out burritos, quesadillas and tacos in Sri Lanka - strange considering this is one of the world's most popular foods, spawning big fast food franchises (Chipotle, Taco Bell) as well as countless food trucks and street stalls over on the other side of the globe. Also strange considering one of the cuisine's core ingredients is the chilli pepper - providing a fine opportunity for us to put chilli on, well, everything.

La Fiesta is Colombo's first attempt at an entire restaurant dedicated to the cuisine. This, however, is not Mexican Mexican, offering more the fast food, franchised version of the cuisine - Tex-Mex. A blend of American and Mexican flavours that gave birth to the fajita, chimichanga, burrito and so on (yes, fajitas/burritos - they're US inventions). But Tex-Mex is good - done bold, with spicy flavours, a lot of meat and absolutely no holding back on the cheese it can be one of the best types of guilty fast food, ever.

La Fiesta is still in the soft opening days (officially open from the 18th), so our comments are only based on this first and very early visit - and bear in mind, things could change. Overall, however, the experience was a bit of a disappointment. While the staff are exceptionally lovely and obliging the food wasn't quite up to salivating standard.

I'll start with the jalapeno rellenos (basically a stuffed jalapeno, Rs. 580 for 5) - a dish you can't really go wrong with, but, well, they did. When I think of a cheese filled jalapeno what comes to mind is a thick, oozing kind of cheese that spills out when slicing into the soft pepper... what we got instead was the pepper, deep fried and drizzled with a rather odd tamarind flavoured sauce, filled with grated cheese - grated cheese. It didn't melt, it didn't ooze out - in fact, it didn't really taste like cheese at all, more a collection of rubbery flakes mushed hastily inside. This is a shame considering this isn't a particularly complex dish, and all you really have to do is make sure the cheese melts.

Moving on to the sizzling fajitas. (Rs. 1200 - a bit overpriced for three small tortillas and a few chunks of chicken breast). Again, a disappointment. The strips of meat were woefully underseasoned, lacking in spice and, more importantly, salt. The tortillas were nice and soft - but irrelevant without a punchy filling. Again, this is a fairly simple dish. You thrown in strips of chicken breast with red and green peppers and onions - you season it, you sizzle it. Roll up with a smear of sour cream, guacamole, salsa and go. Hopefully they'll work on the seasoning.

The thing about Tex-Mex is that it's supposed to have big, spicy flavours, lots of cheese and an abundance of meat. Subtle, mild flavours aren't really what this cuisine is about. But as we said, this is just a preview. We do hope things get better, because a Mexican restaurant is much needed - and it has the potential to really be quite popular. The location on Chatham Street is great and they have a surprisingly enormous space upstairs (although I personally don't much care for the decor - the walls alternate between bright pink and yellow and have a rather unflattering mottled sort of texture). Still, a big space with room for a lot of people - but also with a lot of room for improvement.


TIP

They have a functioning liquor license already, so you can have a drink. Also a fairly good selection of tequilas.

Address

62/4 Chatham Street, Colombo 1

Directions

You can walk through Dutch Hospital, out past Taphouse and down the street. From the road, go down York Street past the World Trade Center turn. It's the second road on the left.

Contacts

Facebook

Report Inaccuracy

This place has closed down

Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
2
Quality Rating
2
Service Rating
4
Ambience Rating
3

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User Reviews
M
1

4/5

0

MsG

Went here last night,and LOVED it! I agree the food really needs to improve but we went for the drinks and in that area we were very happy! The bartender was very nice and chatty,the band was awesome! Def,going there again

M
1

4/5

0

MsG

Went here last night,and LOVED it! I agree the food really needs to improve but we went for the drinks and in that area we were very happy! The bartender was very nice and chatty,the band was awesome! Def,going there again

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