Toby's Estate in Mount Lavinia is a very cosy hangout that serves okay-food that's a little on the pricey side - this international franchise is still best known in Colombo as a coffee stop rather than for its dine-in.
Service & Ambience
Toby's Estate gets full points for ambience and service. The interior is a lot of dark wood and clean greys and browns. There's a lounging sofa space up front where most people during the day hang out with a cup of latte, and a formal dining set-up in the other rooms. You get a lot of privacy further inside if you want a private dinner.
Worth mentioning are the cool photographs on the walls, of Sri Lankan street life from the 1900s. Our waiter was the nicest guy, super friendly and very attentive.
We got Toby's chicken pasta (Rs. 990), beef lasagna (Rs. 1,100), and a dish called Car-Lee-Chee (Rs. 960) which included basmati rice, veggies, papadam and seafood in coconut curry. None of the dishes packed a punch, but they made a filling dinner at the end of the day.
The beef lasagna came with plenty of thick, melted cheese and loads of meat, but since it's a 1000 buck main, we expected it to really hit the mark taste-wise, but it didn't.
One thing worth mentioning about our meals was the coconut curry with shrimp and squid. It was very tasty, mixed well with the basmati and provided some much needed spice to our dinner. For dessert, we got a flourless chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream (Rs. 500), not really expecting much - but the cake was incredibly soft, creamy and delicious and came with fresh slices of strawberry. Only catch was the piece was only the size of your index finger (Why do expensive restaurants tease us with tiny desserts? Oh the cruelty of it all.)
We like Toby's Estate for their good service and the relaxed but classy vibe of the place. It's a nice hangout for coffee with friends (480 bucks for a latte), but we don't think the food is amazeballs considering it's a formidable Rs. 3500 for two.
Toby's is now also at Arcade Independence Square.