No. 2, Alfred House Road, Colombo 3.
Open 10 AM to Midnight
The Gallery Cafe is one of those perpetually hip spots in Colombo. The ambience is one of a kind and the food is consistently good, but it will leave a dent in your wallet.
It's been 3 years since our last visit. Aside from a few minor changes, it's more or less the same. The food is consistently good, and it will still leave a dent in your wallet. It's located on Alfred House Road, down Alfred House Gardens.
Their menu has not changed since our last visit. They have an extensive menu consisting of Western, French, Italian, Asian cuisines as well as some locally inspired dishes.
We started off with a Chicken Meditteranean Salad (Rs. 1245) which I have to say, took me by surprise. There seemed to be a lot more add-ons to the traditional Meditteranean Salad and it paid off. The chickpeas and the cashews brought so much crunch and flavor to the dish that it did not feel like a starter at all, more like a main. The veggies were fresh and the chicken bits were thinly sliced, therefore, easy to bite into. It was tossed with a honey garlic sauce which added the perfect amount of sweetness to it. It was a great a choice.
As our mains, we got a Chicken Nasi Goreng (Rs. 1850) which did not feel like it was worth all that money. The portion itself was decidedly small with a very little chicken and seafood pieces mixed in. Not to say that it wasn't delicious because it was, but I have certainly had better for much less. Also, I have to mention, they have added a bit too many additives because as soon as I ate it, I felt bloated and very drowsy.
Finally, we tried the Coq Au Vin (Rs. 1345) cause I wanted to try something I have never tried before and may I just say, this was a solid choice. A Coq Au Vin basically is a braised chicken with wine, mushrooms, garlic, and lardons. This was not the most authentic version as they have used onions instead of garlic and of course, no lardons. It also came with a side of mashed potato, a puff pastry, and a side salad.
The chicken braised was delicious with a strong taste of wine and a tinge of spiciness. There was a potful of chicken inside, enough for two people and they were cooked perfectly. The mashed potato was creamy, smooth and melts in your mouth. It was amazing. The puff pastry, oh wow! It had a golden crisp on the outside with a buttery smooth layer on the inside. It was warm and paired well with the chicken.
Our dessert was a Mocha Hazelnut Cheesecake (Rs. 795) which again, was really good. The base was a thick coffee layer which dialed the sweetness of the mocha hazelnut filling, although it wasn't that sweet, to begin with. It came with a side of melted ice cream which was a nice addition.
We were also served complimentary pieces of bread which were phenomenal. On our previous visit, there had been only one bread served and it had been served cold. It's really nice to see that they have improved on it, as we were served not one but 3 pieces of bread and they were all served warm and smelled fresh.
They have a separate beverages menu which has cocktails, mocktails, fresh juices, coffee, tea etc.
I ordered a Mojito but they served me a Virgin Mojito (Rs. 545). Anyhow, it was still a good drink. It was refreshing, cool and acidic which is everything you would expect in a mojito.
The staff is very professional and courteous, but the food takes ages to arrive. We had to wait for good 30 minutes waiting for the mains. We had to fill up on bread cause we were really hungry.
The place is really beautiful and gives off a colonial vibe with its architecture and furnishing. The outdoor area, in particular, is pretty neat. There's enough space to hold the customer flow they get during the lunch rush and if the weather allows, I suggest sitting outside. It's very nice.
It's a great spot to celebrate a special occasion cause they do have candlelit dinners, or even to just have a late lunch with your family. Keep in mind, you would have to wait a long time for the food which is the only major issue we encountered. Other than that, while the prices are exorbitant, the food is quite good.