*Apologies in advance for the horrendous pictures.
The Barnhouse is located 5km to the countryside from Panadura town. That may sound like a bit tiresome journey to some, but trust me, the world resides behind that gate makes up for it.
As you walk in, you'll be greeted with a tract of rubber trees, rustling sounds of their brittly branches, and the breeze gently swaying around while the rays of mellow sunlight seeping through the canopy of leaves.
Amidst all that lies the beautifully furnished, wooden establishments. On to your right, you'll find The Eatery by the Barn led with a stone walkway.
The restaurant has three dining areas, which includes a spot to grab drinks if you're going solo. With a roof thatched with coconut canopies, these dining areas are open from one side, while the other side has a massive stack of wood, neatly arranged as a wall.
Plenty of natural light and breeze filter through these wooden sheets, so it's more of a semi-outdoor setup. They have giant fans hanging around, which help to cool down the premises even more. The atmosphere is ideal for a romantic dinner out but caters to family/friends dining too.
At Rs. 750 per head, the High Tea platter at The Barnhouse has a very Lankan zing to it. Placed on a wooden platter that perfectly fits Barnhouse's unique charm, it's comprised of 6 varieties and comes accompanied with a drink of your pick – tea, coffee, or fruit juice (watermelon/lime/passion fruit etc.).
The above platter is for two. Each person gets a club sandwich, a roti sandwich, a spicy cookie/tartlet(?), a piece of chocolate brownie cake two fruit tartlets, two polos cutlets, and a serving of tomato sauce.
Let me start with the sweet side of things – the chocolate brownie cake, and fruit tartlets. Both of them were very well executed.
- Very fudgy, moist and absolutely chocolaty, the Brownie Cake had bits of cashews wedged in. Drizzled with chocolate sauce which doubled its chocolaty factor, it tasted insanely good.
- Bursting with juicy fruits, the Fruit Tartlet had a rich pastry cream inside, riding alongside with chocolate chips. The crust of the tartlet wasn't too sweet, but rightly so, as the freshly cut fruits (apple, strawberry, pineapple, mango, watermelon and star fruit), pastry cream and chocolate chips make up for it.
With layers of veggies, butter and cheese, the Club Sandwich was decent. A layer of chicken/egg in the mix could have made it better.
Packed to the brim with lots and lots of polos bits, these Polos Cutlets were the showstopper of our meal. The dash of pepper in the filling gave a nice spicy kick, while the shell of the cutlet had a nice crisp to the bite. You may not be a vegetarian, but we're darn sure that you're not going to miss meats in this cutlet.
See that biscuit-like thingy topped off with a weird blob of frosting in the right corner of this platter? We're not sure what it's called, but it's one delicious snack. Biting into the base gives off a satisfactory crunch, while the frosting is very smooth in texture, and tastes incredibly curry-like.
Generously stuffed with seeni sambol, the Pol Roti Sandwich tasted really good too.
*Pictured above – Lime Juice (left) and Watermelon Juice (right)
Both of the drinks we got were good as they can get. Refreshing, not watered down, and with just the right amount of sugar, so the promised fruity flavours can emerge through very nicely.
The staff at the restaurant is well-versed, helpful and quick on their feet. They will leave you to your thoughts and conversations, and slide right away whenever it appears like we need something. We got our platter and drinks within around 10 minutes into ordering.
At just Rs. 750, this is a solid deal. The ambience here is one of a kind, and the food and drinks sure seem to satisfy. If you're around and planning to drop by, make sure to give a call at 070 298 3173 and make a reservation.