Artwork for Shiwu Chinese - top banner 1
Artwork for WW BYOB Top banner 2(A) - dummy
Artwork for Coffee post sidebar 1

4/5

Shanmugas

53/3 Ramakrishna Road, Colombo 6


Shanmugas is one of the older and more reputed vegetarian Indian restaurants. They're definitely pricier than most places but the food is very good and the service is excellent.



Shanmugas is probably the best place for South Indian food in Colombo (they serve North Indian as well, but this isn't their strength). It isn't too cheap, but the food is authentic and quite tasty - if you like South Indian cuisine, that is. While South Indian food is hugely popular in, well, South India, it doesn't seem to have quite caught on down here on the island. This might be the vegetarian factor - as Indi said, you wouldn't really be stopping by here post night out; Lankans love their meat. But if you don't mind a meal without meat, this is a pretty good place to go.

The Food

The food is very good - although the South Indian menu is significantly better than the North. We ordered the South Indian thali (Rs. 490), garlic naan (Rs. 230), oothappam (Rs. 230), palak paneer (Rs. 530), black dahl (Rs. 480), lassi (Rs. 250) and a filter coffee (Rs. 100). The naan was actually quite bad, it was exceedingly oily and doughy. The palak paneer was nothing to write home about either - it was pretty bland and a bit on the watery side. The black dahl, oothappam and the thali, however, were excellent - the black dahl in particular. This was rich without being overpowering, and had a good edge of spice. The thali (this is a traditional Indian dish, made up of several curries, etc. served in small bowls on a large round plate with rice, puri, etc.) was also rather good - you get rice, papadam, puri, rasam, sambar, curd, potato, dahl, payasam (dessert) and more. It's very filling, and you can have as much rice as you like - although you're not allowed to share. A thali is an interesting meal, and if you've never had one before it's definitely worth a try. As Indi commented, it can be hard to make South Indian food look aesthetically pleasant - this is due to the abundance of unnamed watery curries and sambars, all of which look somewhat similar - but Shanmugas was pretty good presentation wise. This is good South Indian food and pretty close to what you'd get in Tamilnadu.

They do chaats after 6pm (bel puri, pani pur, dokhla, pav bhaji, etc.) which we'd like to go back to try. If anyone else had these let us know what you thought.

The Drinks

The two famous South Indian drinks are lassi and filter coffee. At Shanmugas we found the lassi quite good (although bizarrely served with two cubes of ice) and the filter coffee disappointing. Indian filter coffee is usually served in a tumbler and dabarah - you pour the liquid between the two containers to cool down the coffee and mix in the sugar well before drinking. They served our coffee in a steel mug - which was nice, but not as fun as the tumbler-dabarah experience. They also don't add the sugar, so you have to put it in yourself. This is probably a good thing, but I personally prefer it when they add the sugar themselves - a filter coffee is meant to be milky, strong and sweet, you don't really need to adjust it yourself.

The Place

Shanmugas seems to have gone a bit more upmarket from my last visit, which was years ago. However, the entrance belies the interior. They've got a fancy looking courtyard with cobblestones and plants, but once you go in it's pretty much your standard Chennaiesque restaurants with drab curtains and dim lights. This isn't a pretty place to eat, nor does it have any special ambience. It's kinda like eating at a Saravana Bavan in India - although less hectic. It's not bad - not ugly or dirty, but not beautiful. But the food is good - don't go here on a special date, or for a nice dining experience. It's more about the food.

The Price

The total bill for three came to Rs. 2310, that's roughly Rs. 740 per head. That's not bad actually, and we had plenty of food left over. Shanmugas is expensive compared to places like Mathura, Sarasvati Lodge, etc. but the food is better, so that's fine.

The Conclusion

Shanmugas isn't a fashionable place to get yourself some dinner, but it is very good. The staff are helpful and the service is fast - we got our meal within ten minutes of ordering. Go there if you'd like to try something a bit different, or to have a taste of South India. It's authentic and tasty.

TIP

They actually do a pretty decent nescafe. Also definitely reserve a table if you plan to go after 8.00 PM.
All Reviews

Shanmugas is one of the older and more reputed vegetarian Indian restaurants. They're definitely pricier than most places but the food is very good and the service is excellent.

Shanmugas is probably the best place for South Indian food in Colombo (they serve North Indian as well, but this isn't their strength). It isn't too cheap, but the food is authentic and quite tasty - if you like South Indian cuisine, that is. While South Indian food is hugely popular in, well, South India, it doesn't seem to have quite caught on down here on the island.

සිංහල ෂන්මුගාස් දකුණු ඉන්දියානු බොජුන් සඳහා කොළඹ හොඳම තැනයි. ඔවුන් උතුරු ඉන්දියානු කෑමත් පිරිනමනමුත් ඔවුන්ගේ ශක්තිය එය නොවේ. අහර මිළ අඩු නැත. එහෙත් කෑම අව්‍යාජය. රසවත්ය. දකුණු ඉන්දියානු කෑම දකුණු ඉන්දියාවේ තරම් ඊට පොඩ්ඩක් දකුණින් ඇති ලංකාවේ ජනප්‍රිය නැහැ. ඒ ඉන්දි කියන හැටියට නම් ලාංකිකයෝ මස් කන්න කැමති නිසා. මාංශ රහිත කෑම වේලක් කන්න කැමතිනම් මෙතන හොඳ තැනක්.

Address

53/3 Ramakrishna Road, Colombo 6

Directions

Shanmugas is down Ramakrishna Road, off Galle rd, in Wellawatte. It's at the end of a small lane right before Marine Drive.

Contacts

Website E-Mail

Report Inaccuracy

Open 10 AM to 10 PM (weekdays), 7AM to 10.30PM (weekends)

Cuisine

Indian South Indian

Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000

Dish Types

Naan Lassi

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
4
Quality Rating
4
Service Rating
4
Ambience Rating
3
Similar Places

User Reviews
S
1

2/5

0

Sumaiya Yoosuf

Please remove the delivery tag. I live in Dehiwela and they refused to deliver it.

G
9

3/5

0

GayanP

it's quite out of the way, but an OK place for south Indian vegetarian food. Far from, Colombo, far from Galle Road and down another by lane. However there are enough parking spaces near the restaurant.

This is an OK place for south Indian vegetarian food. No meat or alcohol and they don't allow you to bring in your own bottles either. The food is the usual wayside south Indian fare but at a much higher price and without the worry about hygiene.

The lunch time specials are the Thalis. There is one called "unlimited Thali' but they have no interest at all in seeing what needs replenishing on the plate. You have to draw the attention of a Waiter and ask for replenishments. But in cheaper places there is no big deal about "unlimited" but they routinely go round with curries and rice ever ready to top up.

The food is OK . Comes semi warm but its nothing to rave about. The coffee however is fantastic although extra small in size.

Air conditioned, sparse, dingy and no decor. But clean and brightly lit toilets

S
1

2/5

0

Sjt Abeyrathne

Even though they say they deliver… they deliver only up to Galle road and That is walking distance to this place. better take that delivery tag away.

S
1

2/5

0

Sumaiya Yoosuf

Please remove the delivery tag. I live in Dehiwela and they refused to deliver it.

G
9

3/5

0

GayanP

it's quite out of the way, but an OK place for south Indian vegetarian food. Far from, Colombo, far from Galle Road and down another by lane. However there are enough parking spaces near the restaurant.

This is an OK place for south Indian vegetarian food. No meat or alcohol and they don't allow you to bring in your own bottles either. The food is the usual wayside south Indian fare but at a much higher price and without the worry about hygiene.

The lunch time specials are the Thalis. There is one called "unlimited Thali' but they have no interest at all in seeing what needs replenishing on the plate. You have to draw the attention of a Waiter and ask for replenishments. But in cheaper places there is no big deal about "unlimited" but they routinely go round with curries and rice ever ready to top up.

The food is OK . Comes semi warm but its nothing to rave about. The coffee however is fantastic although extra small in size.

Air conditioned, sparse, dingy and no decor. But clean and brightly lit toilets

S
1

2/5

0

Sjt Abeyrathne

Even though they say they deliver… they deliver only up to Galle road and That is walking distance to this place. better take that delivery tag away.

See 24 Comments