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4/5

Tides Restaurant (Marino Beach Hotel)

No 590 Marine Drive, Colombo


Marino Beach Hotel's flagship restaurant that serves some brilliant food and also comes with a breathtaking view.



Located on the second floor of the Marino Beach Hotel, Tides Restaurant is their flagship restaurant. We decided to go in for their dinner buffet last Sunday and check them out. 

There aren't many things in this world that have not been lapped at by the waves of time, and buffets are one of them. Originating in France, way back in the 16th Century, even before the French Revolution(!) buffet-style dining is still quite popular amongst diners, a testament to what an exciting journey through food it is. 

The Buffet

The buffet costs Rs. 2,750, and considering everything we devoured, we think the price is quite justifiable. The trick we follow to eating as much as possible at any buffet is to attack all of the meat available straight away and stack up on a protein supply enough for a week but this particular Sunday we decided we would take a somewhat orthodox approach. 

The Beginning Of Our Quest

Quests usually have an end goal, but we had no particular goal in mind when we went in for dinner, except for, perhaps, obtaining a satisfactory food high. How did we fare on this exciting journey? 

(Like all heist movies, quests too have an assembling of the team, but since Rick Sanchez dislikes this part, we too shall adopt a condescending mood towards it and skip the assembly of the team and go straight towards the adventure!)

The starters consisted of an array of bready items, from rolls, biscuits, baba ganoush and even sushi!

Keeping in mind that we had to conserve as much energy as possible and that we had to trudge through a lot more terrain, we decided to go with a few of the basic appetizers. 

The thin-crusted crispy slices of pizza had one of the most appetizing, flavourful toppings, and with plenty of sausages adorning the surface, it was simply heavenly. It took all of our willpower to not wolf down a few more slices, reminding ourselves that we will need more of the ammunition as we went on. 

The Chinese Rolls, with a crispy, slightly hard outer surface, consisted of a fishy (fish flavoured, just to clarify) filling, that was the perfect amount of savoury. 

The shawarma amidst the arsenal of food was a pleasant surprise. The roti, soft and slim, the meaty filling gushing through the wrap with each bite, was delightful!

The soft rolls were quite fresh and had that bready aroma wafting from it. We also liked the biscuits, that gave a kurakkan-ish aura and paired with the cheese, it did its rightful job of kindling the hunger.

(We skipped the sushi stuff not because we do not particularly like it of course, but to just skip the drama of battling the monsters of the sea during our quest. We also had a time-limit because the restaurant closes at 10!)

Just like Naruto calls upon Kurama for more help and awakens the beast within (literally and figuratively), the appetizers do a solid job of preparing you to take on the next big challenge. 

The Boss Battle

Tides Restaurant provides to their diners an international cuisine and this is reflected in the mains as well. 

This time around, the carbs were calling to us and hypnotised by how good it looked and smelled, we decided to serve a little bit of everything. 

The White Steamed Rice on our plate was perfectly fluffy and warm, and the Awadhi Vegetable Biriyani was surprisingly good as well. It had that kick that most biriyanis do not have, that extra flavour, which  compelled us to make sure that it deserved a berth amongst the good biriyanis we had, despite it being just vegetables. The biriyani had plenty of spices ​​​​​infused into it, and also ample amounts of sweet raisins and cashews which was just heavenly. We'd give it a solid 10. 

The Oven Roast Beef was tender and well prepared, although we did not really like the pepper sauce concoction that had been added to it, as it left a slightly strange aftertaste. 

The Roasted Chicken with Curry Sauce was quite brilliant, and the meat, juicy and luscious, perfectly went with the biriyani that we had served. The curry sauce, thick and spicy, when slathered on the chicken, is a perfect combination. 

The Parmentier potatoes tasted like a hybrid between tempered potatoes and potato wedges, and who wouldn't love that! Having a buttery feel to it, and along with the buttered veggies on the plate, boiled to the point where it was not all soggy and not as crispy either, it was the perfect accompaniment. 

We also tried out the Chapatis that had an array of curries, amongst which we decided to go with the Machchi Masala, which was basically thalapath fish curry, and it turned out to be the perfect pair. The fish, meaty and supple, was perfect. What made it even better was the tempered potatoes from the Sri Lankan section! A match made in heaven, combined with the dry chapatis and the lusty chunks of potatoes that had a healthy amount of spice, simply fantastic. The red rice,paired with moju, cashew curry that was perhaps one of the best curries amongst them all, beans, tempered potatoes and papadam, assembled to make one of the best traditional Sri Lankan meals we had in a long time. The beans too were well prepared, and there were a lot more curries belonging to this section, but we had to lay off of it, and prepare ourselves for the aftermath of the battle. 

The Aftermath

The Boss Battle might be done and dusted with, but it's far from over. In fact, we've arrived at one of the best parts. The desserts. 

Already quite full, we did not know what to go for. Compelling our stomachs to go super saiyan to increase capacity, our first round was a handful of marshmallows and jujubes (don't ask why, it just felt... right), and a few slices of fruits. And of course, they had a chocolate fountain, so we had to try it out. Chocolate slathered over marshmallows, jujubes and fruits; pretty self-explanatory. 

The texture of all three mousse were perfect: airy and light. If we were asked to pick the best out of the three though, it will easily be chocolate. The mango mousse was sickly sweet (although it did perfectly encapsulate the mango flavour) and the strawberry mousse did not have all that much of a strawberry tinge to it. 

They also had a giant tub of Elephant House Vanilla flavoured Ice-Cream, but that was it with the ice-creams.

The Drinks

The drinks don't come as part of the buffet, and we opted to go with the Mango Juice (Rs. 900) and the Pineapple Juice (Rs. 850).

Both of them were extremely good, perhaps one of the best renditions of the juices that we've had. The mango juice, thick and chilled out, and emanating the flavour just right, and the pineapple juice, frothy, light, and slightly thick, also consisting of the proper flavour, they were quite refreshing.

Service and Ambience

We weren't able to take many pictures of the ambience as the staff politely informed us that we were not supposed to due to security reasons, and hence, in order to avoid any ill will between any of the parties, we refrained from doing so. The place has a very cosy vibe to it, and there is also an outdoor section that has a breathtaking view of the sea. 

The staff too were quite friendly and accomodating, and was willing to help us in all of our side quests, providing us with a very pleasant experience. 

The End

There is only one way our quest could come to an end, and that is after the objective could be completed, and in this case, it was. We had been hit with the perfect food high, and we could also feel the sleepiness that comes with having a full stomach creeping its way, making our eyelids go quite heavy.

The buffet has a variety of interesting dishes, and you can trust Tides Restaurant to do it well. 


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