Artwork for U Pay Oct 2018

3/5

VOC Cafe (Dutch Burgher Union)

114 Reid Avenue Colombo 4


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.



We love the Dutch Burgher Union. A beautiful clubhouse, an excellent bar and though there are consistency issues on its day their lamprais is the best in the city.

So when we heard that our favorite ethnicity based drinking/sporting union had opened a restaurant (open to non members) on its premises we were excited. The DBU it seems is finally making an effort to monetize their premises, they appear to need the money as the club house itself suffers from a real dearth of patrons.

The idea of a restaurant in the DBU which benefits from the clubs competent kitchen seemed very promising. However, we were disappointed to find a boxy space with focus on fast-food. No Burgher sweets or curry classics (actually there are some on the menu but they were unavailable). It's basically a hamburger and hot dog joint.  Now this is fine in terms of the impulse to monetize, and well, Colombo could always use more decent burger joints, the problem though is that the fast-food premise doesn't really take advantage of the DBU's location and heritage - you can put a box selling burgers anywhere! Also the burgers when sampled were OK and by no means excellent. Not the giant juicy patties and lip smacking sauce you dream of (remember Garfields on Reid Avenue?). This is more your standard fast-food meat in a bun. For the price 300-500 though they aren't bad at all, probably better than Mc Donalds' similarly priced offerings. Decent patties, a fair sauce though. There's an absence of lettuce, tomatoes and other trimmings...

The price point is definitely a plus and as it benefits from ample parking. If you're driving by the Thumulla this is a good place to try for quick meat-based sustenance, perhaps it'll take off. But Im still not convinced that Burgers were the way forward for the DBU though of course it does make for a good pun!

Lunch

The VOC does an excellent selection of yellow rice lunch packets. For Rs. 340 you get either chicken or pork accompanied by frikkadels, brinaj, chutneys, potatoes, gravy and egg. There's a light crossover of lamprais elements with the frikkadels and deep fried boiled egg. This is one of the city's best buth lunch options. Not cheap at over Rs. 300, but it's a tasty meal and its become one of our new favourites alongside Millenium Restaurant.

The VOC Cafe produces some excellent food. A second taste of the burger had us pretty impressed - the beef patty was flavourful, topped with a messy pile of caramelised onions and nicely smushed with cheese. Want a good lunch? This is where you should go.

TIP

Head there early before 1 PM
All Reviews

A lovely colonial building in the heart of Colombo, serving up good Dutch Burgher fare.

VOC at the Dutch Burgher Union is one of the best places in the city for a delicious packet of lamprais, and we've heard their burgers are good too.

We love the DBU. A beautiful clubhouse, an excellent bar and though there are consistency issues on its day their lamprais is the best in the city. So when we heard that our favorite ethnicity based drinking/sporting union had opened a restaurant open to all (ie non members) on its premises we were excited.

සිංහල ඉතින් මම අද ඔයාලට කියන්න යන්නෙ ඕලන්ද රාජ්‍ය කාලෙන් පස්සෙ ඒ කියන්නෙ 1906 දි විතර ඕලන්ද ජාතික (බර්ගර්) එකමුතුවෙ කට්ටිය හදපු ගොඩනැගිල්ලක තියෙන ඕලන්ද කෑම වර්ග ගොඩක් රස බලන්න පුළුවන් ලාංකික අවන්හලක් ගැන.

සිංහල ලන්දේසි බර්ගර් සමාජය අපි කැමති තැනක්. එය ලස්සන සමාජශාලාවක් තිබෙනවා. හැමදාම එකවගේ නොවුණත්, ඔවුන්ගේ ලෑම්ප්රයිස් තමයි නගරයේ හොඳම ඒවා. ඉතින් මේ ජනවාර්ගික සමාජශාලාවේ සාමාජිකයන්ට පමණක් නොවෙයි කාටත් විවෘත අවන්හලක් ආරම්භ කර ඇතිබව ඇසූවිට අපි ගොඩක් සතුටුවුණා.

Address

114 Reid Avenue Colombo 4

Directions

The DBU is right at the Thunmulla junction, a little ways from the DBU's big black gate.

Contacts

Website E-Mail

Report Inaccuracy

Open 11 AM to 11 PM everyday

Cuisine

Sri Lankan Burgher

Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000

Dish Types

Lamprais Rice And Curry Burgers Hoppers

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
3
Quality Rating
3
Service Rating
3
Ambience Rating
3
Similar Places

User Reviews
S
1

1/5

0

Soni2012

Went therefor lunch today and found the service to be terrible. The waiter took 20 minutes to get to us, the drinks took another 20 minutes, by which time the lamprais had run out and so had the beef curry lunch meal. The food took forever to get to us and they never even bothered to get us cutlery. Really awful service and mediocre food. Such a waste of my time.

S
1

1/5

0

Soni2012

Went therefor lunch today and found the service to be terrible. The waiter took 20 minutes to get to us, the drinks took another 20 minutes, by which time the lamprais had run out and so had the beef curry lunch meal. The food took forever to get to us and they never even bothered to get us cutlery. Really awful service and mediocre food. Such a waste of my time.

G
8

4/5

0

GayanP

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.

S
1

1/5

0

Soni2012

Went therefor lunch today and found the service to be terrible. The waiter took 20 minutes to get to us, the drinks took another 20 minutes, by which time the lamprais had run out and so had the beef curry lunch meal. The food took forever to get to us and they never even bothered to get us cutlery. Really awful service and mediocre food. Such a waste of my time.

S
1

1/5

0

Soni2012

Went therefor lunch today and found the service to be terrible. The waiter took 20 minutes to get to us, the drinks took another 20 minutes, by which time the lamprais had run out and so had the beef curry lunch meal. The food took forever to get to us and they never even bothered to get us cutlery. Really awful service and mediocre food. Such a waste of my time.

G
8

4/5

0

GayanP

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.

Avatar for Kinita
22

2/5

0

Kinita

DBU's service has YET AGAIN thwarted me. I keep trying to go here in the mornings for a yum breakfast pastry, but they never have anything ready on time, nor do they open on time. This has happened thrice now. It just seems like they don't care, and honestly, their quality has dropped so much I don't care either.

Avatar for indi
22

4/5

0

indi YAMU STAFF

Update: I had a non-awful service experience here today. Just stopped in for a ghee rice and managed to get out within half an hour, and the rice was good. Lady cut in front of me but that's not the management's fault.

I generally like the lamprais here. Number is wrong though, should be (011) 258 4511

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