Licensed to Grill started off as a food stall that served up some stellar grilled meats at a very reasonable price. But, a lot has changed since their humble beginnings.
With an all-new space, a heap more on their menu and a whole load of artwork, Licensed to Grill are one of the more hip places in Kandy's restaurant landscape, which is essentially why we couldn't leave till we had tried them out.
If you don't have Google Maps on you, finding a place in Kandy is by far one of the hardest tasks given to mankind. And Licensed to Grill takes it a step further than everyone else.
Step one of finding L2G is finding this particular corner of the city.
If there's one thing Licensed to Grill does that beats 90% of the restaurants we've been to, it's the ambience. We're not even exaggerating.
The night air combined and the general chilliness of Kandy acts as the backdrop to the restaurant. With a mix of every kind of chair you can possibly think of, fairy lights and bits of colourful graffiti on every visible space of wall, the ambience at Licensed to Grill was utterly beautiful. There's enough space to seat well over 30 people without batting an eyelash and given the types of seating they have, you're bound to get comfortable at some point.
We suggest going at night when the lights come out because while it's practically impossible to take a decent picture of your food, it makes the whole place that much nicer than you'd expect it to be.
The menu at Licensed to Grill mainly covers the bases of grilled and smoked meats and such. But, keep in mind that the meatier options are only available when there are food festivals and such in the near future. So, if you like us expect meat after seeing the menu, don't be disappointed, you have been warned.
We happened to drop by when the only options up for grabs were in the shapes of burgers, wraps and not much else which is how we wound up with a Chicken Buster (Rs. 1000). Essentially just a grilled bun, a chicken patty, an egg, lettuce, gherkin and such and a heap of ketchup, the Chicken Buster was quite nice. With a bunch of crunchy veggies, a thick chicken patty that tasted as fresh as a chicken patty could get, we liked it.
Here's the thing though, Rs. 1000 for a burger is a bit much, especially considering how it's just a burger, a couple of fries and not much else. And while the fries were spiced adequately, they were super oily. Plus, the burger didn't give that burger vibe you look for in a normal burger. Maybe it's my obsession with pickles talking, we're not sure, but we do think that they could kick it up a notch on this one.
That being said though, the patty was brilliant. Big and utterly juicy, we loved it.
The Prawn Wrap (Rs. 600) was more along our line of what's good. A thin wrap that was just the right size without being too thick, the wrap was a beautiful assemblage of big pieces of salty prawn, veggies and very little sauce - which we enjoyed. It isn't very big so, if you're looking for something heavy, we suggest getting something else.
Out of the range of drinks available, we went with a Blueberry Fizz (Rs. 200) and an Iced Tea (Rs. 200).
The Iced tea was pretty basic take on the drink with both the lime and the tea pulling through beautifully and with little indication of added sugar. When we said basic, we didn't mean in a bad way, because while the drink hit base as much as it could, we loved it.
The Blueberry Fizz was more or less just blueberry extract swished in with Sprite, and we totally loved it. Wonderfully fizzy with the blueberry kicking in just the right places, it's perfect for when you want something along the lines of a mojito but wants something a bit different to the usual lime and mint.
The staff at Licensed to Grill was both unobtrusive and quite well versed with the menu. However, they did seem low-key mad that we were there. It could have been because we took a long time to decide what to get or because we kept walking around taking pictures - we'll never know.
Nonetheless, they managed to get our food within 20-30 minutes of ordering.
We say go for it! The food is quite nice and the ambience is brilliant. But if you're looking for more meatier options, we suggest checking up when they have festivals and such or just sticking to what they already have.
One of the nicest ambiences in Kandy.
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