Galle Face Urban Forest Park: A Sneak Peek!.

Built with the hopes of providing relaxation to the general public, while adding a touch of greenery to the Colombo city infrastructure, the Galle Face Urban Forest Park was recently declared open, along with the Dining Capsule. A collaborative effort of the Urban Development Authority and Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation, this project was completed within just 6 months.
 
It's an attempt to transform the city of Colombo into one of the fastest-growing cities in the South Asian region, while embedding an eco-friendly landscape into it, as well as to add economic value. All these, are available for the experience and amusement of the urban population.
 
Here's what we gathered from our most recent visit to Colombo's two new hotspots. 

First Impressions

First of all, we chose the worst time possible to visit the park – 10.30 in the morning because we didn't want to risk the bad weather in the evening. It was so damn sunny and hot, and there aren't any giant trees to seek shade.

So if you're planning to visit, we highly recommend that you pick a time in the evening or early in the morning before the sunrise. In fact, the evenings are better – this whole area comes alive as the sun sets. 

Spread throughout 2 acres, it's a very open area, with a lot of greenery in sight. The biggest attraction seems to be this red-coloured arc in the middle, with pools of water on both sides. From what we gathered, there is a water show every night, where anyone can enjoy for free of charge.

This the open gym section, along with a few cement chairs and tables to sit and relax. The entire park also works as a fine jogging option.

It's a high-security area, so you're not allowed to take pictures from a camera without permission, but there are no restrictions if you're using a phone. 

We're sure that this entire area looks way better (and cooler) in the evening with the path lights down every lane.

The Dining Capsule

The Dining Capsule, or the Beira Lake Open Restaurant and Galle Face Urban Park Forest are located 750 meters away from each other. 

Serving up some Sri Lankan and Continental treats, the Dining Capsule has 8 open-air restaurants. This restaurant collection includes Dunhinda, Roots, Grand Monarch, Street Wok, Lavinia, Spice Junction and Giovanni's. Aside from that, there's Box Bar, a beer and wine store. 

A massive seating space is arranged for you to sit down for a meal, or simply to relax and have a chat. During our visit, we did both. Most of the restaurants open in the afternoon, but we decided to grab a bite from the 3 spots that were open while we were there. 

These short eats from the Grand Monarch had room for improvement. The Chicken Tikka Sandwich (Rs. 290) had too much mayonnaise in it which drowned out the tikka seasoning, while the mustard cream-slathered Beef Bun (Rs. 240) was quite dry for our liking.

Their Mutton Roll (Rs. 180) however, was packed with a flavoursome filling of chewy, robust mutton, potato and onions, was seasoned to perfection, and had a crispy shell. 

The juices we got from the good old Roots were not bad. All three juices (Mandarin, Lime and Passion fruit – priced at Rs, 250, Rs. 180 and Rs. 200, respectively) had the fresh, natural flavours of the promised fruits, and were refreshing treats on a hot day. 

Dunhinda does some good Thalabola (Rs. 40). With just the right amount of sweetness, they were fresh and quite big in size too.

The Muscat (Rs. 40) had a synthetic syrup-y sweetness, which we weren't a fan of, and the Chocolate Milk (Rs. 130) followed suit. It was watery and had little to no chocolate flavour.  

This is just a sneak peek at two new hangout spots in Colombo. Our full review will be out soon, with more details, more pictures and definitely, more food. Stay tuned!

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