Opened in 1998 in the former offices of world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, The Gallery Café offers a unique combination of art and gastronomy within its atmospheric dining room. As part of the Paradise Road complex, visitors can peruse an art gallery which hosts a rotating selection of local artists and designers before sitting down to dine. In the dining room they will be served the best in authentic Sri Lankan fare, using only the freshest local ingredients. The lemon grass and ginger chicken, black pork curry and prawn curry with sautéed kankun all come highly recommended, as do the Café’s many cocktails.
Offering a master class in south Indian cuisine, Chutneys is one of the best places to experience the rich variety of this culinary culture. It includes dishes from all of the four primary states of southern India, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and also features vegetarian dishes from every state. The incredible diversity of food culture in each of these states is explored through an extensive menu, particular highlights of which include the many types of Dosai on offer, and dishes such as Prawn Masala and Cashew Nut and Onion Raga.
Chutneys, 77, Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka, +94 11 249 7372
Known as one of Colombo’s most exclusive restaurants, Curry Leaf raises Sri Lankan cuisine to new gastronomic heights and is the best place to experience the culinary potential of the tradition fare of this island nation. Dishes such as String Hoppers, Hoppers, Pittu and Kottu Rotti are transformed into refined pieces of classical gastronomy, whilst the relaxed open-air ambience lets visitors observe the cooking techniques for themselves.
Sri Lanka’s seafood is one of the most prized elements of its culinary scene, with Sri Lankan restaurateurs taking advantage of the riches of the Indian Ocean to offer the freshest ingredients every day. This is exemplified in Seafood Cove, which is located in a rustic setting right on the beach front, and which lets the daily catch determine its ever-changing menu. The chefs are able to tailor the wide range of fish and shellfish to patron’s specifications, whilst a live Calypso band brings a touch of the tropical to proceedings.
Seafood Cove, 100 Hotel Rd, Mt Lavinia, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 011 271 52217
Created by Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Dharshan Munidase (of Nihonbashi) as a celebration of Sri Lanka’s seafood, Ministry of Crab specializes in offering every possible variation on the humble crab, transforming it into the height of gourmet excellence in the process. The culinary credentials of the three owner/chefs are first rate and this is translated in their innovative and refined take on the rustic crab, which they sell in vast quantities every day. Diners can enjoy simple but hugely flavorful dishes such as Garlic Crab, Ginger Steamed Crab, Pepper Crab or Butter Crab, whilst also choosing the size of their crab dinner, from a petite 1/2 Kilo Crab to Crabzilla, which comes in at an astounding 2kg and upwards! Located in the Old Dutch Hospital, the historic colonial façade is the perfect location for this festival of crab.
Ministry of Crab, Old Dutch Hospital, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 11 234 2722
If it is a colonial atmosphere you are after, then The Cricket Club Café is the ideal place to start. Built in a small colonial villa by an Australian couple, James & Gabrielle Whight, The Cricket Club Café celebrates everything that is great about Sri Lanka’s favourite sport whilst also offering first rate dining. The walls are lined with autographed bats and pictures of famous cricket stars from Sri Lanka and Australia, whilst the regular congregation of cricket fans mean that this is also the best places to watch matches.
Cricket Club Café, 34 Queens Rd, Kollupitiya, Colombo, Sri Lanka +94 11 250 1384