Taste Of Sri Lanka – Food Festival.

There was a time that Colombo had multiple food festivals every month, under different themes – EAT Street CMB, Fairway Colombo Street Food Festival, and Foodiez On Street to name a few. For people who had to stick around their homes in Colombo during weekends, they were a great opportunity. Because, it's not just good food, but good vibes too – from eating competitions to dancing and music.
 
As for food vendors, these events gave the chance to showcase their products, gain some exposure, make some extra money and to get feedback from people about their food. 
 
Unfortunately, due to the prevailing situation in the country, this trend backed down a little bit during the past couple of months. But now, it seems to be getting back on track, and the first step of that would be Taste Of Sri Lanka – a food festival organised by Y-Entertainment. 

What Is It?

If you have already heard about Y-Entertainment, it's probably because of Foodiez On Street. However, unlike Foodiez On Street, this food festival is happening at the premises of Arcade Independence Square, and not down Green Path. According to their Facebook event feed, this is a reoccurring event that takes place every month's end – all throughout the weekend. 

Food

We checked out the second rendition of Taste of Lanka. Like we said in the beginning, they're in the process of getting back to normal, which is why we didn't spot a massive collection of vendors – like we did at their previous food festivals. But, they had covered almost all the bases – from a variety of food – greased up, fried, pickled, sweets and drinks – juices, shakes, fizzy ones and also a few non-food vendors like clothing and mehendi. Not all of them were home-based food vendors – we noticed a couple of restaurants as well. 

Most of the dishes were priced under Rs. 500, which is cool as it allows you to pig out to your heart's content. Plus, given that FriMi was hanging around with 40% cashback made it even more interesting. 

Taste Food presented a spread of everything fried – isso wade, kunisso wade, batter-fried isso on a skewer, and fried chicken whatnot. Beautifully golden fried with a well-seasoned batter, the Fried Crab (Rs. 200) had an extra layer of crisp, which we really enjoyed. Served hot-hot, there was an okay amount of flesh in this one, while the spicy blob of sauce on top elevating its flavours. 
This tiny bowl of Creamy Chicken Pasta is from Pastamania. At the restaurant, this would cost you over Rs. 1000, but here it was only Rs. 400. Sure, the portion is tiny but it featured a good amount of chicken soaked in White sauce along with the adequately cooked Fusilli. To kick it up a notch, they had slipped in a sprinkle of pepper in this. Some grated cheese would have made it a lot better, but then again, what more can you expect for just Rs. 400?

Don's Pizza does pizza which they freshly baked at the food festival itself. This slice of Chicken Pizza (Rs. 120) had a good layer of mozzarella, and a few pieces of seasoned chicken, onions and bell pepper, while the crust gave a nice crunch. We grabbed this portion of Pani Puri (around Rs. 250) from Pani Puri Lovers. Five well-stuffed, crispy puri and a cup of flavoured water arrived in this one. The stuffing contained a mixture of tomato, onions, potato, and chickpeas, making for a tangy treat. Garnished with sev, you can make it even tangier with the flavoured water. 

We were over the moon when we realised that Cimply Yummy is making an appearance at this food festival. The stall was done by noon, and the crowd just went crazy for their food. 

Cimply Yummy did a budget version of their Bacon & Cheese Kottu (Rs. 350), which was still heavily ladened with bits of bacon and some cheese here and there. Every single bite was loaded with bacon. The godamba was tossed in bacon grease, which enhanced the flavour even more. It's basically a salty, meaty, greasy party in your mouth. 

Our dessert was a scoop of Strawberry Ice Cream (around Rs. 180) from Carmello. It's the generic, pink coloured, standard strawberry ice cream you'd find in Sri Lanka. Nothing fancy. 

Drinks

Reminiscing the flavours of a faluda, we liked the Rose Bubble Tea (Rs. 280) at Mabroc stall. The milky and sweet elements were well-balanced here, and the pieces of jelly swimming about is a part of its faluda vibe. 
We also got a Passion Fruit Mojito (Rs. 300) from one of the food vendors which we were too busy gulping down to remember the name. Minty, limey and hella refreshing with hints of Monin Passion Fruit syrup seeping through, it was good as it can get. 

If you want a fizzy spin on your usual fruit juice, you can go with Haus Boom as well. Priced at Rs. 300 a bottle, their Lemonade and Lychee ones were excellent. 

Conclusion

Y-Entertainment's attempt to bring back Colombo to its usual state is quite admirable. The space here at Arcade Independence Square is a bit cramped in comparison to Green Path, which could be another reason for the limited number of stalls they had featured. Anyway, given they still had a lot to offer, we quite enjoyed our experience.  

The only downer was the lack of seating space. You can use the seating setup at Arcade Independence Square, which is out there in the open without any cover, but with the ridiculous Colombo heat, it's almost intolerable. There's indoor seating as well, but having to run back and forth every time you buy your food isn't practical too. Setting up a couple of huts alongside the existing chairs/tables should solve this problem. 

That being said, the next rendition of Taste of Lanka kicks off this month's end – 30th and 31st of August from 11.00 AM. If you happen to be someone who's stuck in Colombo that weekend, and yet on the lookout for a good time with some delicious food in your belly, drop by Arcade Independence Square. 

*Photographs courtesy of: @raveen.re
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