By Hashini Pathirana
From Magrebh, to the Fertile Crescent, to the Arabian Peninsula, the centuries old Arabic Cuisine demonstrates the rich culture and tradition of Arabians all over the world. Down the years, this amazing Arabic Cuisine has been brought down to Sri Lanka by the invaders, the tourists and people interested in the culture and cuisine.
Various regions of Arabia may have similarities as well as their unique traditions when it comes to the Arabic Cuisine and these similarities and differences have been shared down the generations and are now available in Sri Lanka for all the enthusiasts of Arabic Food.
Here are five most popular restaurants serving authentic and fusion Arabic food in Sri Lanka.
1. Arabian Knights
Hunting down Galle Road in Colpetty, Arabian Knights take their pride in being Colombo’s most popular Arabian and Middle Eastern restaurant.
The fusion menu at Arabian Knights Damascus, includes both Cold Starters such as varieties of Hummus and Hot Starters such as Damascus Fries, Falafel and even Samosas, fluffy Syrian Bread, authentic Shawarmas varying from Syrian Style to Dubai Style and even in Mexican Style, and even both veg and non-veg Rice and Couscous portions.
Meaty Kebabs and Mixed Grilled Platters along with their authentic Arabian Desserts such as Muhalabia on the menu are definitely some specialties only available at Arabian Knights Damascus.
Price range per person : Rs. 2000/= – Rs. 3500/= for a 3-course meal
Check out their full menu now here.
Visit them on Instagram at @arabianknights_lk and on Facebook at @arabianknightslk
Location : 37, Galle Road, Kollupitiya, Colombo 03 (Opposite Amana Bank)
Contact Details : +94 11 2301031/32
Opening Hours :
Monday – Thursday : 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Friday : 1.30 pm to 11:00 pm
2. Chambers at Park Street Mews
Known for its prime location at Park Street Mews, this is the fanciest Arabian restaurant we have come across in Colombo, serving not just traditional Arabic food, but a few creative fusion dishes to please all your senses when dining here.
For the hunters of glamorous interior designing, Chambers at Park Street Mews falls into prey because of its exquisite Moroccan Glassworks and Turkish inspired lighting.
The colorful menu at Chambers include Mezzes, their variety of appetizers and Tagines, the classic and flavorful style of cooking, brings out the speciality of most dishes served at Chambers to its customers.
Price range : Rs. 3500/= – Rs. 5000/= for Two
Visit them on Instagram at @chamberscolombo and on Facebook at @Chambers at Park Street Mews
Location : 48 D, Park Street, Colombo 02
Contact Details : +94 77 210 0009
Opening Hours :
Daily Lunch – 12:00 pm – 16:30 pm
Daily Dinner – 18:00 pm – 22:30 pm
3. Doner & Durum
Fusion name, Fusion food, Fusion cuisine and Fusion restaurant; Doner & Durum (Simply the names of two main Arabic dishes), ever since its launch in 2018, has constantly been a busy restaurant with its unique base of customers, visiting it regularly.
Doner; A dish of grilled meat and salad served in pitta bread with chili sauce
Durum; A Turkish wrap filled typically with a kebab and the wrap is made from Lavash or Yufka flatbreads
This funky fast food cafe serves not-so-traditional fusion dishes of meats and wheats with the touch of Turkish Cuisine, and attracts a contemporary and modernized crowd of customers mainly around Thimbirigasyaya and suburbs. If you are too lazy to pull up your pants and visit them, you can without a doubt get your favorite dish delivered via Uber Eats and Pick Me Food, to your doorstep. They are also available for Takeaway, making life easy.
Menu at Doner & Durum has a big variety of options including and not limited to:
Doner, Durums, Burger, Rice, Snack Packs, Hummus Packs, Iskendar, Grill Specials, and also Sides.
Their newly added Pulled Beef Iskendar is a must try on their menu.
Price Range – Rs. 2000/= to Rs. 3500/=
Visit them on Instagram at @whatisdoner and on Facebook at @Doner & Durum
Location : 128, Thimbirigasyaya Road, Colombo 05
Contact Details :
Tel : +94 77 997 7993
Opening Hours : Daily from 12.00 pm – 10.30 pm
4. Falafel King
Looking for a less crowded, cute and small, Arabic food spot around Kollupitiya? We got you covered with the Perfect Arabic food joint to treat yourself on your way home after a tired day at work.
Falafel King is a fast food restaurant, specializing in Falafel inspired dishes which is a deep fried patty or fritter originating mainly from the Israeli and Egyptian cuisines, which is made from Chickpeas and Beans.
To describe Falafel a bit more to you, it is also referred to a Pita wrapped sandwich made out of Falafel balls, topped with salads, hot sauces and mainly Tahini based sauces. If you are a fan of Pickled Vegetables, it could be a good combination to go with it too.Falafel is a very common street food in Middle Eastern countries, and without a doubt, Falafel King has made it infamous around Colombo too.
The appetizers at Falafel King are quite significant and has a variety to it as they take pride in their vegetarian options; Traditional Hummus based Salads, Tahini based Salads, Arabic Salads, Pickles Salad, and many more . The mains at Falafel King are quite limited to Falafel, Sabich and Shakshuka. You can always order sides such as Pita Bread portions and French Fries on to your meal from their Sides Menu. The Iced Tea and Slushies out of their Beverages Menu are well blended and well rated.
Price Range – Rs. 1000/= to Rs. 1500/=
Visit them on Instagram at @falafelkingsl and on Facebook at @Falafel King
Location : 241A, Duplication Road, Colombo 03
Contact Details : +94 75 177 0770
Email : falafelkingSL@gmail.com
Opening Hours :
Monday – Thursday : 10.00 am to 10.00 pm
Friday : 09.00 am to 04.00 pm
Saturday : Closed
Sunday : 09.00 am to 10.00 pm
5. Arabian Grill
Heavily inspired by Mediterranean Cuisine, and a Cozy spot for a feast of Shawarmas, Arabian Grill is home to few of the best Shawarmas in town and the selection is plenty;
Arabian Shawarma, Dubai Shawarma and Mexican Shawarma are their mains.
Price Range – Rs. 600/= to Rs. 1000/=
Visit them on Instagram at @arabian_grilll and on Facebook at @Royal Arabian Grill
Location : 05, Sudarshi Mawatha, Kalubowila,, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia
Contact Details : +94 075 332 1888
Opening Hours : Daily – 12.00 pm to 11.00 pm
The five restaurants above are indeed worth the price you pay for and are among the top notch Arabic Restaurants in Colombo. Here is our take at Arabian Cuisines and restaurants around Colombo, and do share your reviews with us if you visit to satisfy your Arabic Food cravings.