A vacation is never successful if you have not binged on the local cuisine like a hungry bear. Apart from rich culture and interesting history, South Asian countries are famous for their exotic cuisine. Our menu for today comes from the tropical land of Sri Lanka. From spicy curries to coconut desserts, food explodes like a balloon of flavours leaving you with a desire for more. We have our top 10 restaurants hailing from the kitchens of Colombo waiting to lull you into a sweet food coma.
1) Seafood Cove
Lobster with a killer view of beautiful Mount Lavinia beach is every seafood lover’s dream. Seafood Cove at Mount Lavinia hotel is the leading stop for starving tourists. From grilled fish to sautéed prawns, their diverse menu makes everything sound delicious. Indian Ocean, live music, fancy cocktails and shimmering lantern lights accompany your food while you enjoy the cool breeze and wriggle your toes in soft sand of the beach. Fresh seafood, right from the shallows of Indian Ocean is grilled, poached, sautéed, fried or any way you want. It’s the perfect paradise on the beach with a little heaven on your plate.
Address: Mount Lavinia, +94 112 711 711
Timings: 7pm- 11pm
2) Ministry of Crab
Dharshan Munidasa’s precious gem is rated as the 29th best restaurant in Asia. Ministry of Crab operates from the 400 year old Dutch hospital in Colombo. Cricketing legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara collaborated with Dharshan to launch the crab resort of Colombo. Just like the name, restaurant flocks with signature lagoon crab dishes like, chilli crab, pepper crab, garlic and Sri Lankan crab curry. Ambience of the well-preserved ancient hospital synchronises with the shades of orange on your plate for a delicious gobble fest.
Address: Old Dutch Hospital, +94 112 342 722
Timings: 11:30am- 3:30pm, 5pm- 11pm
3) Curry Leaf
Curry Leaf is known for its authentic Sri Lankan flavours infused with fresh seafood, prepared right in front of you. It is one of the most cherished restaurants in Colombo. Head over to Curry Leaf for authentic local String Hoppers, Hoppers, Pittu and Kottu Roti and devour it with their signature grilled fish. The seafood buffet is another popular choice. Its perfect place for your taste buds, if they’re looking for the native Sri Lankan zing.
Address: 2 Sir Chittampalam Gardiner Mawatha, Lotus Road, +94 11 2 492 492
Timings: 7pm- 11pm
4) Beach Wadiya
Passion and love for food drove Olwyn Weerasekera into the food industry, where he started Beach Wadiya and turned into a global giant. Located off the coast of a virgin beach along Galle Face, they have hosted seafood fans from Royal families of Britain, Nepal and their own. Delicious seafood from the town of Indian Ocean is served with exotic Sri Lankan flavours that pop in your mouth. Devour grilled lobster, fish, jumbo prawns, devilled crab or crab curry with an appetising crab or prawn cocktail, while overlooking the endless horizon of the Indian Ocean.
Address: 2 Station Avenue, Wellawatta, +94 11 2 585 568
Also Read: Top Things To Do In Colombo
Another sensation from the genius mind of Chef Dharshan Munidasa is Nihonbashi. He explored his roots to curate a Japanese cuisine inspired by Sri Lankan flavours. Traditional Japanese culinary tricks and distinctive bamboo walls tranquilize your mind while you relish Aburi Sushi. Enjoy authentic yakitori in their signature Yakitori Garden or experience best of Japan in one of a kind private dining room. From Olive Oil Kake Tai Cha to Crab Meat Cream Croquets, this fusion palace enjoys the much deserved place in Asia’s top 50 restaurants.
Address: Galle Face Terrace, +94 11 2 323 847
Timings: 12pm- 2:30pm, 6pm- 10:30pm
6) The Gallery Café
The former office of famous Sri Lankan architect, late Geoffery Bawa lights up every night with art lovers and food enthusiasts from across the globe. Set up in 1998, he approved the conversion of his office to an art gallery and café under the guidance Udayshanth Fernando, chairman-designer of Paradise road. The Gallery Café is one of the most celebrated restaurant in Colombo. Their curated menu features local and international cuisine prepared by talented chefs. The art gallery uproots local talent every week and showcases their work to guests. The dessert menu rules the café with over 30 delectable dishes inspired by chocolate. Visit the Gallery Cafe for art inspired food and soothing ambience.
Address: 2 Alfred House Road, +94 11 2 582 162
Timings: 10am- 12am
7) Upali’s by Nawaloka
A true Sri Lankan cuisine inspired by modern techniques allures your taste buds into devilish food coma. From spicy chicken curry and rice to Jaffna crab curry, the trademark Lanka flavours flood your mouth with every bite. Located in close proximity to Nelum Pokuna theatre and iconic Town Hall, Upali’s by Nawaloka sedates visitors with appetizing dishes and stunning views of Viharamaha Devi Park. Elegent interiors and paintings by local artists compliment the garden ambience. Savour the flavour of Sri Lanka in the heart of Colombo, overlooking the lush greens of Viharamaha Devi. They have an outlet in Melbourne, Australia as well.
Address: C.W.W. Kannangara Mawatha, +94 11 2 695 812
Timings: 11:30am- 11pm
Also Read: The Ultimate Sri Lanka Travel Guide
8) The Sizzle
The concept of a plate overflowing with food appeals to every food lover. The Sizzle in Colombo offers a delectable combination of meat, seafood and vegetables dripped in flavoursome sauces and curries. Food comes out piping hot, ready to sizzle your mouth with best of Sri Lankan herbs. Their quirky menu features Holyfield’s Buster, Armstrong’s Blow, Mohammed Ali’s Choice and Bruno’s Chop as popular options. From fuming Mocktails to sizzling desserts, this is the perfect spot for hungry souls.
Address: Walukarama Road, +94 71 6 888 777
Timings: 11am- 12am
9) The Lagoon
The palette of a seafood market infused with 5 star ambience gives you the exotic style of the Lagoon. Its diverse cuisine with chaotic yet amazing display of food wraps your soul into a warm blanket of tantalizing aroma. Talented chefs prepare seafood in over 150 baffling ways. Apart from seafood medley, The Lagoon serves Indian, Continental, Chinese and Thai cuisine, catering their multi-ethnic audience. If you’re a die-hard seafood fan, visit the Lagoon on Sunday for their signature Maalu- Maalu buffet.
Address: 77 A2, Colombo, +94 11 2 497 371
Timings: 12pm- 2:30pm, 7pm- 11pm
10) Rare at Residence
The last fusion restaurant on our list is the innovative Rare at Residence in Colombo. They revolutionized the dining experience with inventive techniques and creative dishes. Their belief in nature reflects in the dishes which bloom like the summer garden. Organic ingredients from the farms in East Coast and Cultural Triangle, blends with Sri Lankan herbs and flavours to redefine the dining experience. With contemporary interiors complementing the experimental cuisine, Rare at Residence serves as the best example of modern Sri Lanka.
Address: Park Street, Colombo, +94 11 5 673 000
Timings: 7am- 11pm