49, Skelton Road, Colombo 05
This place has closed down
The Sooriya Village is a beautiful converted mansion on Skelton Road. Surrounded by lush greenery and a serene ambience this place is a great go-to for an evening read. However, our latest experience left a lot to be desired.
While some of us oblivious creatures may be unaware of this, Sooriya is a record label founded in 1968 and was one of the most popular record labels housed in Sri Lanka. It's now making a comeback with the hip new Sooriya Village.
Apart from having a restaurant to please your gastronomical demands, The Sooriya Village is home to a recording studio, two practice rooms (although one is still under construction), a lecture room, a library and a children's bookstore (which was, in fact, how Sooriya came to life). The idea is to really bring together raw Lankan talent to one space.
They are also known for their live music that happens on most nights, especially on Friday nights and the weekend.
Their concept is unique. The feel is different. And like any village, it's collaborative.
This is quite a pish posh village with a diverse menu and Colombo's renowned Koluu as a consultant for the food.
We placed an order for an Oriental Prawn Soup (Rs 600), a Tuna, Pol Sambol & Cheese sandwich (Rs 900), Pan Fried Fish With a Tartar Sauce (Rs 1250) and a Passion Fruit Pavlova (Rs 600).
I expected a Tom Yum sort of soup, but received something that had been prepared with coconut milk as a base. It tasted mild and the chef was generous with the number of prawns. There were strips of bell pepper swimming through, hinting at very subtle spice. The garlic bread accompaniment was well flavored. However, the portion was quite small which was disappointing.
With three slices of bread, this sandwich had mushed up ambul thiyalish fish paired with pol sambol and cheese. Grilled, as the menu stated, I found this to be a little dry. A saucy filling could have really revived this sandwich because no one wants to see pol sambol going to waste.
If your kids don't eat veggies, batter fry them! (But they might develop obesity. I've warned you.)
The batter fried veggies were pretty delectable. The fish, well seasoned with pepper and some unknown herbs, was overpoweringly buttery, but the texture was nice and firm.
The best part about the meals were the french fries. The Sooriya Village does nice, fat, slightly chunky, well fried french fries!
The real winner of the meal was the pavlova. The passion fruit cream was just so creamy and tangy, the zestiness cutting through the sweet meringue, The Sooriya Village wins a spot in Passion Fruit Pavlova Haven. Once again, would have liked more of this. (NOT ALL GOOD THINGS HAVE TO COME IN SMALL PACKAGES.)
They also have a juice bar with healthy concoctions. And coffee.
What really gives The Sooriya Village an edge over your basic chilled out spots is the ambience. It's refreshing. You are welcomed with calm, lush greenery and then, very aesthetically, you are slapped with art, art and more art. It's bursting with colour.
This village is possessed.
At the entrance of the restaurant you will stumble upon a couple of demonic dancers. They don't move. But they look eerily real.
Look to the left and you'll see a piano that will send you on an LSD trip.
Enlarged cutouts from vintage newspaper features of Sooriya ornament the corridor.
The lawn seating area is not ideal for midday meals unless Mother Nature decides to cool the humid climate, but is ideal for a nice evening chill sesh.
There's an open air theatre of sorts with intricate rod iron figures nailed alongside the ochre colored wall. Perfect for a podi drama rehearsal or a gossip sesh with some juice from their juice bar.
The aura that surrounds this hamlet of art is very calm, and unless you despise the living hell out of all things artsy, you cannot help but feel awed by the rush of tranquility.
Prepare yourself to be served by waitstaff who've added a twist to the classic gamey style sarong by teaming vibrant sarongs with tees that have the name Sooriya shouting in print.
We were attended to by friendly men who left us to mind our own business. Uncrowded, as it was a midweek afternoon and also because they are fairly new, they weren't really around most of the time which made it slightly inconvenient when we needed their assistance.
But on the whole, smiles were served along with the food. So no grumpuses reside in this village.
The recording studio - an hour's charge at the studio would cost you Rs 1200. Great for everyone out there who really wants to break into the Sri Lankan music industry!
The practice suites - an hour's charge at the practice room would cost you Rs 600. It's a well-equipped space with drums, keyboards and all that musical jazz. They have also mirrored an entire side. So, it's ideal for dance practices, too.
The lecture room - this is one impressive lecture room. Not your average lecture room, this Mac adorned lecture room might actually make you focus without zoning out. And it's about music. So what's not to focus?
The library - not your basic library. Dedicated to music, you have yourself immersed in a pool of books related to arts. A treasure chest to be unopened by music lovers. Move over, British Council library.
The children's bookstore - Sooriya's first step was the birth of their children's bookstore and The Sooriya Village has that incorporated too. I didn't really find many books, but I am guessing they still need a little time to fill the shelves up.
The bookstore has Sooriya merchandise and is in collaboration with Yamaha. So you can buy your Yamaha instruments directly from TSV. Also, you apparently get 20% off.
For a place that started less than a month ago, The Sooriya Village has already won hearts with their unique concept. Bringing together 3 incredibly important things -food, art, and music - is genius!
In terms of ambience, they excel. Hopefully, they'd master all other areas as well because Colombo can really do with more top-notch spots with unique concepts.
Since it first opened its 100+ year old doors, Sooriya Village quickly became a popular spot for creatives all around Colombo to frequent. Their food is highly desired by the Colombo crowd, but this time our experience was a bit underwhelming.
A lovely space in Colombo 5 for music, arts, and food.
Not your average village. *strums guitar*
සිංහල ඔය ඉන්න ගමන් පොතක් පතක් කියවන්න, පාඩුවේ තමතමන්ගේ ඔෆිස් එකේ වැඩක් කරගන්න පුළුවන් විදියේ වාතාවරණයක් මෙතැන තියෙනවා.
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