Pol Sambolaya is this tiny buth kade/restaurant in Kollupitiya that does a pretty good rice and curry. They've got a neat little space with a classic mud house interior and seems like an ideal place for office goers to grab a quick lunch.
Trying to figure out where to have lunch in Colombo can be a tedious task sometimes. We Sri Lankans though, have a natural predisposition towards rice and curry (is that news to anyone?), although finding a good one can be tough. So when we saw the name Pol Sambolaya we knew we had to try out their stuff. They offer a whole range of different rice dishes, including yellow rice, lamprais and fried rice priced between Rs. 200 - Rs. 400, all of it coming wrapped neatly in a kehel kole (Banana leaf).
Their rice and curry (Rs. 220) lived up to our expectations. At Rs. 220 it's a bit more expensive than the conventional buth packet you get at normal shops, but this one is definitely worth the few extra bucks. It comes with keeri samba rice, parippu (dhal curry), brinjal moju, vege mallung and of course pol sambol (imagine the irony had it not been there). This was one of the more solid rice and curries that I've had in recent times, with a large piece of well cooked chicken, good amount of rice and top notch pol sambol. A bit more parippu would have been good but that's just probably because I love my parippu.
The lamprais (Rs. 350) though, was not as impressive. It comes with a two pieces of chicken, fried boiled egg, fish cutlet (more like potato cutlet), ash plantain, brinjal moju and seeni sambol. The first issue was that the rice was far too oily and had a distinct orange tint. Next was the cutlet which had and entire small potato in it (I kid you not). The chicken was still pretty good in this case as well which is somewhat of a saving grace, but overall it's not very authentic.
We tried their lamprais again for our Lamprais taste-off, about 5 months since the first review and this time around it was far better, more in line with a quality lamprais. The rice was far less oily with the proper light yellow colour and the flavour of the ghee coming through well. The blachan was also added which made it a bit more authentic. The chicken, like last time was cooked well and still pretty flavoursome.
Ambience & Location
The mud house interior isn't something you generally come across, it stands out from all the other shops and makes you want to sit down and have a meal.
This is a self service spot in every sense of the word. You pay the cashier, grab what you want, eat, and then (the best part) clean up your mess before you bounce. We like the idea, and people seem to feel the same since the place was pretty packed when we dropped in.
They've go a good location on Galle Road, just before the turn off to Kollupitiya Junction which makes it an accessible spot. There isn't any parking space though, so you'll have to put a walk there.
Pol Sambolaya is an interesting if unorthodox buth kade that does a pretty good rice and curry. Their lamprais wasn't as impressive but people definitely go for the rice and curry.
Stick to the rice and curry, it's good.