Four years after Taphouse replaced Brewery by O! at Dutch Hospital, Fort, they've gone on to open up an outlet at the Galle Fort. The place still doesn’t seem to have the formula right. Food isn’t that great, the service is slow and the music is terrible. The best thing that can be said is that the drinks aren’t too expensive.
The Potato Wedges (Rs. 485) were a little rubbery but that’s possibly down to the fact that it was sweet potato. It doesn’t really go with beer and I don’t really know what it would go with, to be honest.
On the other hand The Sweet Potato (the non fried variety) and Chicken (Rs. 500) was actually quite good, reminded me of thakkadi, a dish of meat and flour dumplings commonly eaten among the Muslims in the central province.
The cheese and onion burger (Rs. 800) was the best out of what we tried. The seeni sambol is a nice touch and I particularly liked the taste of cardamom. Though I did think the whole thing could have had more filling between the buns.
We got pitchers of beer (Rs. 1363) and were given disappointing plastic cups to drink them out of. This kind of contrasted really badly with the otherwise classy vibe the place seemed to be (rather unsuccessfully) going for.
The very generic cocktail menu doesn't really excite. You can get a range of daiquiris (Rs. 525-550), martinis (Rs 600-625) and margaritas (Rs 900-925) as well as some basics like the screwdriver (Rs 575), pina colada (Rs 900) and White Russian (Rs 975).
Taphouse is located on the large, open promenade behind the Dutch Hospital Building Galle Fort. In the daytime it is unbearably hot, the sun beats down mercilessly and your reduce to the sparse seating along the corridor and inside. At night the place transforms into a haven for partygoers and casual drinkers alike. On crowded days, like when the Lit Festival is on, it can really start popping.
The music isn’t much to write home about, in fact it downright sucked on one night I was there because we could hardly hear ourselves speak. We were all hoarse by the end of the night. At the end of the day though, the location is the one thing that Taphouse has going for it, despite their best efforts to kill it.
The food took a really long time to arrive and repeated visits to the bar were needed to get our drinks to the table. Of course this was on a very crowded night and it’s reasonable to assume that Taphouse was over capacity. Still, this being during the GLF, they should have been prepared.
Don’t expect miracles from Taphouse, but it’s great location does much to make up for what it lacks. Overall it’s a good place to spend some time over a few drinks at the Galle Fort in the evenings.