Smokestacks by Licensed to Grill

190, Cotta Rd, Colombo 08

Managed by the popular grilling spot in the hill country, Smokestacks by Licensed to Grill does some great slow-cooked meat.

After spending a few years grilling up some delicious BBQ in the hill country, Licensed to Grill has finally come to Colombo with an all-new look! This new venture has taken up residence down Cotta Road, and fills the void of one highly anticipated need in Colombo's food scene - the smoked meat. 
Of course, there are restaurants in Colombo that serve slow-cooked meat, but Smokestacks by Licensed to Grill is the first spot dedicated just for that. 

Food & Drinks

The menu here is comprised of a variety of slow-cooked meat (chicken, beef, pork, and lamb), a range of pastas, burgers and sandwiches. From what we gathered, they mostly use jack wood for the smoking but have hopes to switch to cinnamon wood in the near future. 

This is the Smoked Platter (Rs. 2700) - a plate full of all of the smoked meat (except lamb) they have to offer, a side salad and a helping of garlic bread. 

The meats were smoked for hours before being seasoned, which has created these layers and layers of pink shades spreading through it. In the beef and pork, this pink colour grows brighter as it reaches to the outer layer, while leaving lighter shades in the middle. However, for chicken, it was other way around. The more you go towards the middle and closer to the bone, the pinkier it got. 

Tender, juicy and succulent, they easily fell apart, and were generously rubbed with salt and pepper. We liked how they've gone easy on the seasoning. However, if you prefer some extra flavour, make good use of their homemade nai miris sauce. It's the bomb! 
Served on a bed of deliciously thick cream sauce, the Chicken Pasta was cooked al dente, and had a smoked chicken leg, and garlic bread on the side. From flavour to texture, everything on this plate was spot on, while the sprinkle of parsley brightens up the whole thing. At Rs. 700, it's a solid deal, considering the quality of the elements at play. 

Smokestacks by Licensed to Grill offers a few drinks, plus, it's a BYOB kinda establishment. We opted for the Apple Mojito (Rs. 400). Refreshing as hell, it had the sweet and sour flavours of apple coming through perfectly, while the mint leaves thrown in works its magic. 

Service & Ambience

Smokestacks by Licensed to Grill has an incredibly friendly bunch of staff. With genuine smiles and helpful tips, they made us feel accommodated. The food took around 20 - 30 minutes to arrive, which is quite alright considering that they are fresh out of the smoker. 

Downstairs is where the magic happens, which you would be able to observe if you decide to sit at their outdoor seating space aligned with wooden chairs and swings. They also have an indoor seating arrangement upstairs, which is quite nice if you prefer to stay away from all the hustle and bustle as you enjoy your meal. With walls decorated with graffiti art, it's like a representation of how artists can take over any space, and turn it into something so cool. 


Smokestacks by Licensed to Grill knows what they're doing, so the satisfaction is pretty much guaranteed. The meat is smoked as it can get, portions are hefty, and not too heavy on the wallet. So grab a few beers, head on over here and smoke some meat, everybody!

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