Colombo, the commercial capital and largest city in Sri Lanka is known for its modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. We spent a day in the city and ticked out some of the must-dos from our check list which included our visit to The Gallery Café at Paradise Road.
The Gallery Café was established in 1998 and was formerly an office space of the Sri Lankan architect the late Geoffrey Bawa, we were told. It was then converted into a gallery and restaurant by the Paradise Road Chairman and designer, Udayshanth Fernando. The restaurant is today internationally acclaimed and has become a must-visit for anyone who is in Colombo.
We were delighted as we stepped into this beautiful, artsy, space on a bright Monday afternoon for lunch. A pond with catfish, surrounded by wood pillars lead us inside the colonial bungalow which houses the Gallery Cafe. One side of the restaurant is an open space with trees and the other side is sheltered with a bamboo and clay roof. Absolutely loved the rustic feel. For a Monday, the place was quite busy and why wouldn’t it be!
The menu is vast and features both local and international cuisines. The dessert menu is particularly interesting and comprises of over 30 tempting choices that are sure to confuse you.
We started our meal with the Sweet Pumpkin soup with pesto and pumpkin crisps. We loved the combination of pesto and pumpkin and the velvetty texture of the soup left us craving for more. Next on our table was the Ginger and Lemongrass Chicken on a bed of herbed mash, flavourful, well cooked and the mash was simply delicious. The portion sizes are perfect for one so if you’re sharing, you should call for one dish each.
For desserts, we took a good 15 minutes to pick one. And well, a few seconds to gobble it up. We ordered the Jamison Irish Whiskey Chocolate Mousse with bailey’s cream and praline. Yes, it tasted as good as it sounds. How could anything with Chocolate and Whiskey go wrong anyway?
All in all, The Gallery Cafe is a unique combination of art and gastronomy. When in Colombo, make sure you visit this and you won’t regret it.
Venue: The Gallery Cafe
Alfred House Road, Off Duplication Road, Colombo
Phone: +94 11 2 582162
Food: ★★★★ Service: ★★★★ Ambience: ★★★★★
Value for Money: ★★★★
Getting To The Gallery Cafe: You can take a tuk-tuk from anywhere in the city and ask them to take you to Duplication Road. Uber cabs are also easily available in Colombo.