Although YAMU has been covering Colombo and the wider city, a place we've neglected a little is Battaramulla - apart from when we wrote about The Hidden Kingdom of Kotte
Battaramulla's not a bad place. And all that open space near the Diyawanna Lake has been done up beautifully - the roads are paved, there's good ambient lighting and you get ducks chasing each other by the sand paths. It's really pretty - a good area for night walking and socialising in general.
Last night we found ourselves right in the heart of this foreign land, at a lovely restaurant/bar called The Boardwalk, run by Water's Edge. It's quite a nice place, and makes a welcome change from our standard drinking venue, O Bar at the Dutch Hospital
At the moment, however, The Boardwalk looks nothing like a restaurant or a bar. In fact, even from quite close up it looks a bit like a private party or wedding reception being held by the lake. Picture this: a large roof of corrugated iron, held up by scaffolding, and chefs cooking on portable stoves placed on long buffet tables. There's no signage indicating that The Boardwalk is a restaurant, nor does it have any discernible entrance - but if you do approach this seemingly private function, you'll soon find lots of sofa seating indoors and cement benches and tables outside on the grass.
Apparently the restaurant is currently under renovation, explaining its rather in media res appearance. And due to this, their menu is limited. You can basically order from either a variety of devilled dishes (chicken, cuttlefish, etc.), or nasi goreng (all between Rs. 600-470, sa). Small selection, yes, but what more does a Sri Lankan need to accompany an ice cold mug of Lion? The full menu, catered by Water's Edge, will be back once all that scaffolding unfolds into their planned two storey building.
In terms of food, there's nothing exceptional to recommend here. Even a peek at the original menu didn't reveal anything that exciting. But Water's Edge food is fairly good, so it'll probably be decent. What we do love about this place is the location - and the novelty of being somewhere different (that is if, like us, you haven't ventured too far east). It's beautiful here at night; you can see the cars zipping past on the other side of the lake, the reflection of their lights refracting prettily on the water and the night sky opening up wide above your head, unobstructed by tall buildings. It's nice sitting outside amidst such a large, green open space. It's our favourite new place to drink a Lion, a tall bottle of which costs Rs. 500 (compare with other prices on our Lion Index
The only major downside is the band, who make conversation difficult by being far too loud. But look for those small gasps of relief between each number and try to do most of your talking then. Alternately, just sit further away from the speakers.
So if you're caught in a bit of a rut and bored of the same old rotation of bars, do try The Boardwalk. It's one of our favourite new venues - and (depending on where you live of course, but in general) it's really not that much further out of the way than O Bar.
There's a large empty area near The Boardwalk, and apparently they have nurseries here every Sunday selling a good range of plants.