Located down Marine Drive, Spice Coast is a restaurant that serves both Indian and Chinese fare. We've been here a few times, and tried quite a bit of things on the menu. From what we have gathered, it operates under a new management now, therefore, on a sunny weekday, we found ourselves in Spice Coast again.
True, they have a range of Chinese dishes on the menu, but they lean towards the Indian cuisines, and offer a few Sri Lankan stuff as well. Neatly categorised, their menu includes a variety of soups, salads, and curries which are either vegetable or non-vegetable based. On top of this, they offer rice, noodles, dum biriyani and biriyani sawans too. You’ll find beverages like fresh fruit juices, coffee/ tea and desserts on a separate menu.
Spice Coast Colombo Chicken Dum Biriyani (Rs. 519) on the menu caught our attention right away.
The rice itself was well cooked, but probably due to our spice-loving taste buds, the seasoning and the flavours from the herbs came across as too laid-back with a mild herb aroma. The chicken tasted less flavorful than we expected, but it was at least tender and the meat fell off the bones easily.
Mixing the raita, gravy, chicken and the boiled egg together helped enhance the flavour of the dish. Despite being a bit of a letdown, it was decent enough that we managed to eat it.
We also got a Butter Naan (Rs. 169), a Tandoori Paratha (Rs. 189) and Paneer Butter Masala (Rs. 529) to accompany them.
The Butter Naan (Rs 169) was indeed buttery and when we dug into it, we got our hands messy from all the buttery goodness it carried. A bit crispy on the outside, it paired well with the curry.
Tandoori Paratha (Rs. 189) was a bit on the hard side, with charred bits here and there, enhancing its flavour.
The Paneer Butter Masala (Rs. 529) turned out to be the saviour of our meal. Starting off with a sweet baseline and ending with a subtle tang, it was delicious. The milky cubes of paneer were deliciously chewy, and we found more than enough of it in the mix. Heck, we ended up eating just the paneer with the gravy since it was that good.
We got the Sweet Lassi (Rs. 290) was basically a glorified yoghurt drink. They hadn't gone crazy with the sugar and it was adequately chilled and served as an okay drink. For its price, one is better off buying a yoghurt drink from a supermarket.
The Gulab Jamun (Rs. 270) was a letdown. It straight up tasted like chewing gum. The syrupy taste was too strong that we couldn't get any another flavour from it. It’s disappointing that the delicious creamy flavour that you'd expect from a good Gulab Jamun was nowhere to be found.
We didn’t see much of a difference in the ambience - in comparison to our previous visits. The place has enough space to hold about 25 - 30 people and was clean. The inside was quiet even though it was quite close to the road. The table we sat on was weirdly sticky which we weren’t a fan of.
We've heard good things about their service and it may have raised our expectations a bit. During our visit, Ice Age, the movie, was playing on the TV on the wall. As pleasant as the waiter was, he seemed quite focused on watching it instead of paying attention to us - from the moment he came from the kitchen towards the sitting area, his eyes followed the screen.
Our meals weren’t delayed, so we didn’t mind it much. But we had to wait a bit to get our bill.
Spice Coast has a bit of work to do to live up to their name. We weren’t disappointed by our meal but it had both ups and downs and will depend on your palate. The prices aren’t expensive, and the Paneer Butter Masala is a must try.