Montage, meaning "the process of selecting, editing, and piecing together sections of film to create a continuous sequence" certainly took a few sections of film from an Alien Vs Predator movie. (I'll get to this later). To make a long story short, Montage was pretty bad...yeah...you know where this is going.
The one thing that is worth mentioning about Montage is its service. The member of staff who took my order was polite and nice before and after the incident I will discuss later on. He was an attentive chap, and the only steward that was present.
In terms of ambiance Montage is as outdated and untidy as dirty black and white film. Surely the venue is spacious, so you don't really get the impression of it being all that bad. However, pay a bit of attention and you'll notice a few things that border on the undesirable; There's a painting suspiciously blocking 2/3rds of the Kitchen window. The kitchen itself didn't look all that great from where I sat, when I approached the restaurant from the back I saw stacks of take-away boxes piled out in the open on a dusty staircase. This place screams disorganised and unkempt. You do get a good view of the beach though.
It happened at the beginning. I ordered a serving of Chicken Wontons. As fate would have it the steward informed me that they were unable to make wontons at that time of day. Instead I lazily rattled out for him to bring me Vegetable Spring Rolls. Big Mistake.
I bit into my first spring roll too hastily and walloped it down without taking notes on taste and texture. So I grabbed another piece and bit into it. The exterior was your usual crispy roll while I noticed the filling seemed to be rather dense and too full of vegetable to be present.
That's when I saw it.
Creeping slowly from where I had picked up part of my cut spring roll and lettuce came the unmistakable wriggle of a worm. I immediately spewed the half-chewed roll out of my mouth. Seriously, if you're running a restaurant wash all your so called "fresh ingredients". I don't really care if it's a worm or a caterpillar or a pupa of some sort. It should not be there.
Vegetarians might be disheartened.
Quite obviously I lost my appetite. The rest of the review was spent asking - Did that grain of rice just move? - Did that shrimp just wriggle? - What is love?
You get the picture.
I didn't enjoy the rest of my meal, but I'll try give you the most earnest analysis.
The Hot Buttered Cuttlefish (Rs. 648) came with heaps of vegetable garnish to cover the lack of it. It is close to ordinary, coming with the usual sweetness and bite of heat around the batter. Chewiness is overall a diffuse element, with a few smaller bits gathering a crunch.
I might have enjoyed the batter-fried prawns because...well...prawns. However, the crunch of the batter was often followed by a gooey membrane between the prawn and the batter. That, given my earlier experience was unpleasant. For the same price as the cuttlefish this is an all right option since it's got a fair serving of prawns.
I opted for an Indonesian style seafood rice (Rs. 528). I've spent some time around Jakarta and this was as Indonesian as Sri Lankan Chinese is Chinese - Which isn't a bad thing, but it tasted just like ordinary fried rice from 168 with a bit of Nasi like colouring, cashews, shrimp and weirdly soft cuttlefish tossed in. There's occasional pockets of saltiness, which I quite liked, but really, you might as well grab yourself a seafood fried rice.
If the worm incident hadn't happened Montage would have probably ranked a 3 star. It isn't special or out of this world. Its management needs serious re-thinking- clean up, look nicer, and heavens...wash your ingredients.
Ps. The restaurant apologised by waiving the spring rolls off the bill. It is appreciated, but I would have been mad if they hadn't.
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