Artwork for New PickMe Flash banner 8 June 2021
Artwork for PickMe marketplace sidebar banner -temp Artwork for Coffee post sidebar 1-Aga coffee

4/5

Semondu (Dutch Hospital)

No 1, Dutch Hospital Complex, Colombo 01


Semondu is Sri Lankan airlines' attempt at semi-fine dining (yup, that's a word now). They serve up continental fusion cuisine, and for the most part, they do it well.



Semondu is one of the few restaurants that's been there since the Dutch Hospital opened up in 2011, and has remained consistently good. It's run by SriLankan Catering, which should generally be a deterrent (try the coach food on their flights to Bangalore). In reality, their food's never disappointed, and it's cheaper than a plane ticket. 

Dining

The menu is well curated, with plenty of variety and cuisines. About half of it is Lankan and the rest a mix of Continental and Asian fusion. Commendably, they manage to handle all their cuisines reasonably well without compromising on quality. Opening with a lovely, creamy Mushroom Soup (Rs. 800) that we shared between two, we settled in for a good meal. 

We were a little disappointed to hear that their lobsters were depleted for the day (there was a large tourist family ahead of us that wiped out their stock), because we were looking forward to the Indian Ocean Grilled Lobster with Creamy Spiced Butter Sauce (Rs. 780 per 100g, minimum order 600g). It's quite pricey, but from what we could see, the preparation was lovely. 

Instead, we settled for the Thai Spice Rice with Crispy Lemon Chicken (Rs. 1300) and Semondu's Fusion Mixed Seafood Plate (Rs. 2500).  

The Thai Spice rice was good, but not vastly exciting. It's a pretty self-explanatory dish, and we got exactly what the menu promised. I wasn't sure how the green salad was meant to contribute in terms of cohesion though. The flavours were all well established, and the meat itself was cooked till tender and no more (a relief especially for crispy chicken!).

The seafood was definitely more interesting, with a melange of prawn, lobster, calamari, and salmon all grilled together with a lovely drizzle of curry cream sauce. It wasn't a very large portion for the price, but it was genuinely delicious and left us satisfied. They do warn you it's just for one person, so we wouldn't recommend you try sharing this as a main. They have a seafood platter for two that you can try instead.

We drew the meal to a close with the Choco Trio (Rs. 800), consisting of white and dark chocolate mousse, a chocolate orange tart, and tamarind chocolate gateau served with berry coulis. The variety of flavours and mini portions made it a great sharing platter, and the taste juxtapositions of tart citrus flavours and rich chocolates were great. 

For the drinks, we tried a papaya juice which was lovely and thick at a reasonable Rs. 375, and a superbly lacklustre arrack cocktail at Rs. 600. It just tasted like cordial, and I couldn't finish it. I'd stick to beer next time.

Ambience

The ambience doesn't get a lot of love from me, mostly because I find it a little confusing - it just doesn't come together that well. There are black and white photos of Lankan life on the walls with random words like "spices" in 90's fonts, teamed with floors that glow different colours like lazy strobe lights. To be fair, it's pretty different to anything you'd see in Colombo so it's a bit of a draw, but if you want an elegant dinner I'm not sure the vibe is appropriate. 

Service

The service was very good. It's a fairly large restaurant, arranged like a long hall (mirroring Ikoi Tei opposite), so it was convenient for us to get the waitstaff's attention. Despite quite a few large tables demanding their attention, we didn't feel neglected at all, and got our orders within 15 minutes. 

Conclusion

Overall, it was a good meal. I don't think there's anything particularly special about the place that would make me a regular, but on the other hand, there's nothing to complain about. It's good, upscale dining at about Rs. 2000-2500 a head, with good service and seafood. 


TIP

You may not spot the entrance as you walk in to Dutch because the sign on the door is missing a few letters. Also HSBC card holders get 20% off until the 31st of August 2014!

Address

No 1, Dutch Hospital Complex, Colombo 01

Directions

It's the first restaurant on your left as you come in through the main entrance at Dutch hospital (opposite the World Trade Center)

Contacts

Website

Report Inaccuracy

This place has closed down

Price Range

More than Rs.1500

Dish Types

Beverages

Cuisine

Semi fine-dining

Ratings Breakdown

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

Similar Places

See 9 Comments