114 Reid Avenue Colombo 4
Open 11 AM to 11 PM everyday
The VOC is a one of the best places in the city to get lamprais, and we've heard their burgers are pretty good too.
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Yummy old favourites
This is probably the only place now in Colombo to get old favourites. Some of the very special unique items are: Homemade Ginger Beer, Mixed meat Lumprais, Ghee rice with Chicken, pork or Beef curry, Beef Smore sandwiches made with old fashioned bread and of course the good old Bacon & Egg pastries with real bacon. All of these are now very hard to get anywhere else in Colombo; particularly the pork delicacies, as there is a underground cold war by religious extremists to get pork removed from Sri Lankan menus.
The Café is airconditioned but it has very few seats. So, unless you go early you have to either sit in the garden or on the verandah of the old building. Both can get very hot during the day. The café doesn’t have alcohol but the main building, which is the Club house, serves alcohol.
The Beef Smore sandwich is to die for. For 400 bucks you get 2 plump sandwiches, with a liberal layer of slow cooked and shredded, high quality beef. The bread is the good old-fashioned type and its spread with just the right amount of mustard and butter. Their Bacon and Egg pastry with real bacon is another hit. The pastry is nice and flaky and crispy. In most other places the pastry is either hard, thick or soggy. Although a tad too salty for me, their Bacon and Egg pastry at Rs 200 is a winner. It is large and generously filled with real pork bacon and a half of a boiled egg. They also have Chicken pies, rolls and vegetable Chinese Rolls (Rs 130). But all these sell out very fast and unless you pick them up in the morning, you may not get any.
Another specialty here is the Lumprais. Other than from places that take private orders this is the only place in Colombo where you can now get a mixed meat lumprais which is the original lumprais. Of course they also have the “chicken only” aberration that’s sold everywhere. VOC cafes lumprais however doesn’t go well with me. At Rs 595/- its far more expensive than at most places, is much smaller and not as tasty as the Lumprais at the Green Cabin or the Fab. Except for a roasted cumin flavour there is no other flavour in the rice and the curries aren’t merged with the rice as happens when the entire Banana leaf packet is cooked and baked in an oven. Both the brinjal fry and the Seeni sambal are over fried and far too sweet and there is no other taste or flavour in them except the sweetness. The Blachan was authentic and lovely. Instead of meat Frikkadels they had two small crumbed and fried vegetable balls (called cutlets in Sri Lanka)
A set menu rice and curry lunch is under Rs 600/- but the portion is rather measly. They have a lovely breakfast: choice of meat curry, dhal curry and coconut sambal with pol roti or old fashioned bread. That’s a real yummy breakfast.
They also sell Love cake , by the slab or per piece, Jaggery cake, ginger and date pudding, Christmas cake and some other sweets.
Unlike many other places that add 30% onto the menu prices as tax and Service charge, the VOC café only adds 10% as taxes, and they don’t levy a Service charge from the customers. There is shady parking under trees if you go early.
The DBU is right at the Thunmulla junction, a little ways from the DBU's big black gate.
Open 11 AM to 11 PM everyday
Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000
Rice And Curry
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