Off The Hook is a new seafood restaurant and bar (pending liquor license) located on Park Road run by the same management as The Bavarian German Restaurant.
Brought to you by the same management as one of our favourite Colombo eateries, The Bavarian, Off The Hook is a new seafood restaurant and bar. The menu is similar to Cinnamon Grand's The Lagoon
, where you pick from an assortment of seafood, choose how you want it cooked and then pick a sauce and side.
Off The Hook has a pretty simple premise - a bunch of fresh seafood (fish, prawns, cuttlefish, lobster) prepared the way you like it. It's still early days but the concept shows a lot of promise.
Off The Hook's menu is divided by cuisine, Western, Thai, Chinese, Sri Lankan and Japanese. The offer mullet, modha, calamari, prawns, crab, lobster and more - I assume it varies slightly depending on the catch of the day. The seafood is spread out over ice at the back of the restaurant so you can choose. Prices vary depending on the weight. They also do sushi.
We ordered the tekka maki to start (Rs. 710 for six pieces). This was fine, generous hunks of tuna enrobed in sticky rice - a bit too sticky, actually. Sushi isn't an odd option for a seafood restaurant, but Japanese being a notoriously difficult cuisine to master it's risky to serve unless you're sure of getting it right. In this case the rice wasn't quite right and we wouldn't highlight this as a sushi place.
For mains we tried the fish, starting with a modha fillet (Rs. 1540 for 350g), served with a creamy garlic butter sauce and mashed potatoes (Rs. 210). The fish was soft and cooked perfectly, falling apart in ribbons as you sliced through. It went well with the mash, which was nice if a wee bit under salted.
We also tried the mullet (Rs. 1320 for 300g), which looked fresh, prepared Szechuan style and accompanied by egg fried rice (Rs. 290) and garlicky kan kun. The fish was not really Szechuan at all (lacked the tingly peppers) and was basically an average and sweet Chinese preparation.
Overall we'd say our choices were average. They do offer proper Sri Lankan preparations of crab and cuttlefish which our neighbors seemed to be enjoying. They also have a seafood indulgence for Rs. 3,640 (for two) which covers basically everything on the menu.
The risk with a place like this is that offering so many options (Japanese, Chinese, Sri Lankan, western, and Thai) means specializing at none. We weren't blown away by our first visit but it's early days and a big menu. We'll come back again and we definitely recommend trying it out.
The dessert menu is limited, with only four options, but they're good ones. We had the tamarind puree with vanilla ice cream (Rs. 290) and chocolate chip mousse (Rs. 390). Both were very good. The chocolate mousse was thick and rich with a generous distribution of large chips (win) and came drizzled with a strawberry sauce.
The service is pro, from waiters standing outside helping you park to prompt and efficient service once you're indoors.
The restaurant has great ambience and it's been decorated well. It's well lit and has a fishy theme. Fish hooks on the walls, wooden floors, faded blue doors, exposed brick walls.
It's early days, so it's hard to say anything conclusive at this point. We also only tried the fish, so our sample is limited. The food isn't quite as excellent as the Bavarian's offerings, but it's good stuff and the restaurant overall is very pleasant.
There's no liquor licence as yet but you can BYOB.