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4/5

Santoré Bistro Italiano

45 Marcus Fernando Mavatha, Colombo 7


With high quality ingredients, Santoré serves authentic Italian cuisine at a great location.



Santore is an excellent new Italian eatery hidden near the tennis courts, behind Lifestyles. It has a beautiful, green location, really excellent pizza, fantastic ingredients and intelligent staff. It's currently a bit hard to find, but that's part of the charm. We highly recommend

Background



Sri Lanka has a long relationship with Italy and there are a fair amount of Italian restaurants here. Bayleaf, Echo, La Trattoria (Battaramulla), Michealangelo's, Pasta Hut.

The problem with Italian food is that it depends on excellent ingredients which are either unavailable or very expensive. They are, however, necessary. No amount of technique can make up for a lack of good cheese, meat, etc.

Santore stands out because they seem to import everything from cheese to salami to flour. Even the entire pizza oven has been imported, and it's manned by an Italian, overseen by the owner's Italian mother. It works.

The Food



We tried the Pizza Santore (mozzarella, salami olives; Rs. 1,650) and the Pizza Diavola (tomato sauce, mozzarella, salami; Rs. 1,450). Both were really good thin crust pizzas and they arrived fast - only going in the oven for about a minute. This is possible because they have such a good oven.

We're no experts, but this pizza oven is at least two times what we've seen anywhere else. You could fit three bodies in there. It heats up with firewood and cooks the pizzas beautifully. It's a food geeky subject, but we have a friend who spent ages trying to build a pizza oven here and it's very difficult, nearly impossible in fact, given local clay and materials.

At Santore they've imported the entire oven in parts and only used local cement to cover and finish it. It's really big and makes pizza perfectly. As far as ovens go, this it the best we've seen in Sri Lanka by far and it's manned by a real Italian, Domenico Capodiferro.

There's a lot behind these pizzas, and they're really worth a try. You can taste that everything is high quality, the cheese, the salami, the bread, the preparation. Really good.

The pasta we ordered, however, was not so good. The Spaghetti Carbonara (Rs. 900) was under-seasoned and generally just bland. It did have real bacon so we presume that it's redeemable. The one we tried just didn't taste of much.

We also tried some bruschetta bread with a bit of habanero chili sauce (not on menu, just to try the chili). The bread is baked there and it's excellent.

For dessert we tried the cheesecake (Rs. 650), which was also good.

Basically everything except the pasta was good to stellar, and the pasts is redeemable.

The Service



The restaurant has been open for less than two weeks and the owner is there talking to everybody. His mother is there also, keeping an eye on things. That's always a good sign, and Antonio is very nice and justifiably proud of his place.

The staff themselves are quite intelligent, aware of the menu, and actually quite confident. They seem thoughtful and well-trained. It's early days so we'll see how they sustain under pressure, but overall the ship seems pretty tight.

The Location



The location is right in the center of Colombo, but hidden. It's between the National Museum and the Green Path Roundabout, directly behind Lifestyles Gym. You walk in past the gym and it's at the end of that sidewalk, looking right onto the tennis courts. They have a nice interior where you can watch the pizzas being made, but the real draw is seating outdoors, next to the spiral staircase and on the lawn. During the day you can watch and hear people play, surrounded by green. It's a new spot, and a good one.

The thing that tricked us was that as you walk in you see a little kade called Santore, you have to walk past that to get to the full restaurant, which still has no proper sign.

Conclusion



This Italian restaurant imports the best ingredients (including an amazing pizza oven) and is manned by actual Italians. Top it off with a beautiful, verdant location and intelligent staff and you have a real treat hidden in Colombo 7.

TIP

Ask for truffle oil.
All Reviews

Santoré Bistro Italiano is one of Colombo's better options for Italian fare, serving up stellar pizza and a range of pasta.

In the latter half of 2013, Santoré was the newest Italian restaurant to join the fray. They've got high quality ingredients, authentic cuisine and a great location at the Tennis Association. We liked them then, and that hasn't changed after our second visit.

This Italian restaurant imports the best ingredients (including an amazing pizza oven) and is manned by actual Italians. Top it off with a beautiful, verdant location and intelligent staff and you have a real treat hidden in Colombo 7.

සිංහල සැන්ටෝරේ කියන්නේ ලයිෆ්ස්ටයිල් එක පිටිපස්සේ තියෙන ටෙනිස් කොර්ට්ස් ළඟ තියෙන කදිම ඉතාල අවන්හලක්. ඒකට ලස්සන හරිතමය පිහිටීමක් තියෙනවා වගේම විශිෂ්ට පිට්සා, කදිම රස ද්‍රව්‍ය වගේම බුද්ධිමත් කාර්යමණ්ඩලයක් ඉන්නවා. ඒක දැනටනම් හොයාගන්න ටිකක් අමාරුයි. ඒකත් ලාලිත්‍යයේම කොටසක්. අපි තදින්ම රෙකමදාරු කරනවා ඒක.

Address

45 Marcus Fernando Mavatha, Colombo 7

Directions

Santore is located right inside the Sri Lanka Tennis Association, behind the Lifestyles Gym. On the main road it's between the Green Path roundabout and the National Museum. There's some big trees and a parking lot. Walk basically in to Lifestyles and continue down the path till it ends at the tennis courts. Santore is on your right.

Contacts

E-Mail Facebook

Report Inaccuracy

This place has closed down

Cuisine

Western Italian

Price Range

Between Rs. 1000 - Rs. 1500

Dish Types

Pizza

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
4
Quality Rating
5
Service Rating
4
Ambience Rating
4

Similar Places

User Reviews
R
1

5/5

0

RichardKroon

Delicious food and a lovely place to eat it, I'll be back for sure

G
1

1/5

0

Giules

A family dining experience summarized:
-LKR 1700 for a king prawn pasta dish that was smaller than the palm of my hand. The other pasta dishes were in the LKR 1200 range and up.
-Food quality was quite poor in relation to prices commanded. (E.g. veg pasta dishes swimming in cream, etc.)
-Compare this to high-end Italian restaurants that charge slightly less for superior quality & quantity. -Waiters appeared to be untrained.(I can elaborate)
-No word from the owner despite him being present.
-Poorly lit outdoor area, and poorly lit entrance, risking stumbling on pathway.

R
1

5/5

0

RichardKroon

Delicious food and a lovely place to eat it, I'll be back for sure

G
1

1/5

0

Giules

A family dining experience summarized:
-LKR 1700 for a king prawn pasta dish that was smaller than the palm of my hand. The other pasta dishes were in the LKR 1200 range and up.
-Food quality was quite poor in relation to prices commanded. (E.g. veg pasta dishes swimming in cream, etc.)
-Compare this to high-end Italian restaurants that charge slightly less for superior quality & quantity. -Waiters appeared to be untrained.(I can elaborate)
-No word from the owner despite him being present.
-Poorly lit outdoor area, and poorly lit entrance, risking stumbling on pathway.

U
1

5/5

0

udaras

Awesome stuff…

P
1

3/5

0

praviinaar

It was a great experience. The service was very pleasing but could be improved on. The chicken sausage pizza was quite tasty, however the crust was quite burnt and unable to eat. I would definitely go again.

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