Colombo is home to rather a lot of sports clubs. Covering a wide range of sports - rowing, swimming, yachting, rugby, cricket, gol- and a range of ethnicities – Dutch Burgher Union, Moors Sports Club, Tamil Union, and of course the Sinhalese Sports Club - these clubs remain at the heart of many Colombar’s social lives.
Crucially, the various clubs have various pedigrees and discussing (vociferously, after five scotch and sodas) where in the hierarchy of club cachet your particular establishment stands is a key element of belonging to a club.
It is, however, far beyond YAMU's humble purview to comment on the superiority of the Colombo Sailing Club over the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club, the Rowing Club over the Gymkhana club, or the Nuwara Eliya golf club vs the Royal Colombo Golf Club. We are not members of any of these fine institutions.
The one club we do seem to frequent on a regular basis is the Ranodoli Sports Club(RSC) a fine institution located on Fife Road. Here, as in all decent clubs, we find we can interact with like minded people, cultivate friends of the correct social standing, impress and entertain visitors and crucially drink in an environment that is guaranteed to be free of our wives and girlfriends.
Now while it might lack the Swimming Club’s impressive colonial club house or the Rowing Club’s fine wood paneling, in the crucial matter of drinking, the Randoli Sports Club is second to none. A shot of arrack (100 ml of course, no other unit is considered) costs Rs 150 while a bottle can be had for Rs. 1200. Our favorites are Old Reserve (Rs. 210 a shot) and VX (Rs. 190). Lion is Rs 190 a bottle and every evening sees a great many bottles consumed. RSC members have a superior understanding of the value of alcohol and their capacity for liquid lubrication puts even the famed drinkers of the Havelocks Sports Club and the SSC to shame.
We haven’t yet determined what sport the RSC is affiliated with but we think its something to do with pouring Beehive (local brandy) through a funnel while a minor riot is in progress by the bar - at least we’ve seen the waiters do this fairly frequently.
A good drink of course takes you two thirds of the way to being a good club but what really lifts RSC into elite sports club territory is the very handy food menu. A good devilled pork for Rs. 400, superior fried rice and a separate Thai menu (men of the world we Randolites) – the dry chilli pork from the Thai menu, Rs. 400, is really very good.
A good drink, bites and lively conversation all tucked away in Colombo 5 – this is really the club for Colombo’s gentlemen of class and distinction.
Do not order the wine.