Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gallery Cafe

2 Alfred House Road
Off Alfred House Gardens
Colombo 3.
Tel: 94-11-2582162, 94-11-2556563
Fax: 94-11-2556564

Set in an open air and terra cotta tiled one-story building is the unique and trendy restaurant, Gallery Café. Although the former office space of Sri Lanka’s most prominent architect, Geoffrey Bawa, the restaurant’s ambiance will swiftly take your mind away from your work. The entry’s short passageway leads you to a Sri Lankan Lotus pond, flanked on both sides by an elegant arcade. View the art exhibition, featuring paintings of local artists, before making your way to the dining space.

Suitable for business lunches, romantic dinners, or afternoon tea, this refined eatery incorporates a decor that is stark, yet sophisticated, and displays some of Colombo’s finest culinary and aesthetic talent.

The menu, which has not changed a great deal since the restaurant’s opening, indulges in several cuisines: French, Italian, Spanish, Thai and Sri Lankan. Portions are satisfactory, but often look dainty in comparison to their expansive plates. To start off your meal, try the innovative Sri Lankan Fish Head Soup, or the creamy Baked Crab cooked with a mustard and white wine. Move on to the Roast Leg of Lamb cooked in a thyme sauce, laid on top of a walnut and blue cheese risotto, or the Butter Prawns with Basmati Rice; or, to satisfy a craving for local spices, have the Black Pork Curry. For equally delectable vegetarian options, go for the Spinach Crepes, filled with mushrooms and cheese, or the Pumpkin Gnocchi. But above all, make sure you leave room for some of the best dessert that Colombo has to offer. The Chocolate Nemesis, Chocolate Fondant, and one of the newest items on the desert menu – Chocolate and Caramel duet - are unequivocal musts for chocolate-lovers, sublime slivers of heaven, as are the Traditional Bread Pudding, Trifle, and the homemade Jaggery Ice Cream with sugar floss. And to end your meal, instead of the espresso that you will already be thinking of ordering, try a cup of Chai – an Indian tea infused with spices.

Service is often painfully long and the hip music too loud, so take that into consideration when your intention is to have a “quick bite”. Just be sure to prod your friendly waiter along once in a while so you don’t end up having a 4-hour long meal (and you have your water glass regularly re-filled).

And on your way out, take a glimpse into the Paradise Road shop, to take home a decorative souvenir.

Dining area


Seating area

Tamarind martini

Strawberry margarita

Baked crab

Spinach crepes

Black pork curry

Butter prawns

Chocolate nemesis



Sweet pumpkin soup with pesto and pumpkin crisps 365
Chilled zucchini soup with parmesan and basil 365
Gazpacho - chilled tomato and celery soup with croutons 365
Pink seafood soup 495
Sri Lankan fish head soup 365

Mixed salad 335

Chili-salt crumbled tofu with stir-fried broccoli and mushrooms 595
Spaghetti with black olives and feta 835
Spaghetti pesto 645
Pumpkin gnocchi 535
Vegetable lasagna 485
Spinach crepes with mushroom filling on creamy cheese sauce 565
Champagne risotto with broccoli and mushrooms 585
Feta and black olive ravioli with pesto cream sauce and
sun dried tomato concassé 695
Carrot gnocchi with cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms on
herb cream sauce 535

Indian butter chicken with raita and chapatti 735
Lemongrass and ginger chicken with spinach and potato mash 785
Chicken breast with bacon and cream cheese filling with potato mash
and salad 825
Spaghetti bolognaise 535
Steak sandwich with French fries, salad, onions and mushrooms 965
Grilled fillet steak with potato wedges or french fries, green salad
or vegetables, choice béarnaise, green pepper, hollandaise sauce, garlic
or anchovy butter 2650
Grilled sirloin steak with potato wedges or french fries, green salad
or vegetables, choice béarnaise, green pepper, hollandaise sauce, garlic
or anchovy butter 1865
Black pork curry with brinjal pahi, cucumber raita, gotukola sambol
and rice 735
Pan-fried pork chops with potato mash and paprika sauce 795
Grilled garlic jumbo prawns with potato wedges or french fries,
green salad or vegetables and garlic butter 1785
Butter prawns with basmati rice 825
Prawn curry with sautéed kankung, onion sambol and rice 895
Pan-friend butterfly prawns with tamarind relish,
green papaya-carrot salad and coconut risotto 1765
Phad thaithai fried noodles with chicken and prawns 675
Fish and chips with tartar sauce 685
Fettuccine with lobster and prawns with dash of chili 1495
Fettuccine with smoked salmon 965
Baked crab with mustard and white wine cream sauce on
potato mash with vegetables 645 (small); 825 (medium)
Grilled seer fish (Spanish mackerel) with coconut risotto,
curried apple sauce and ratatouille 835
Tuna stacks with salsa verde on aubergine, tomato, basil and mozzarella 665
Pan-fried sole with rösti on a bed of spinach 625
Grilled lamb cutlets with potato wedges, french fries of potato mash,
vegetables and mint sauce 1985
Roast leg of lamb on walnut and blue cheese risotto with garlic and
thyme jus 1875

French fries 265
Potato wedges 265
Crusty onion rings 235
Peppery garlic toast 165
Mixed salad 335
Crumb friend oyster mushrooms 265
Mashed potato 265

Paradise road chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream 365
Double chocolate cheese cake – baked dark and white chocolate
cake with vanilla custard 375
Chocolate walnut brownie with vanilla ice cream 350
Lemon meringue pie – tangy lemon cream in biscuit crust with
meringue topping 320
Pecan pie with vanilla ice cream 425
Chocolate nemesis – light baked chocolate mouse with
apricot coulis and whipped cream 410
Chocolate fondant with orange ice cream 425
Chocolate and caramel duet with fresh whipped cream 410
Mocha pot – rich and dark chocolate mousse 350
Tiramisu 385
Passion fruit mousse 365
Vanilla panna cotta with strawberry coulis 425
Crème brûlée 385
Paradise road banana split – scoops of jaggery and coconut ice cream
with banana, whipped cream, treacle, and nuts 375
Traditional bread pudding with brandied sultanas, toasted nuts,
topped with lyle’s golden syrup and cream 375
Jaggery icea cream – home-made palm sugar ice cream with sugar floss 365
Coffee ice cream 335
Yogurt ice cream 335
Strawberry sundae – strawberry red wine ice cream with mascarpone,
fresh strawberries, red wine and almond praline 510
Ginger ice cream with chocolate sauce and biscotti 375
Coconut ice cream with tropical fruit 375
Cinnamon ice cream 335
Tropical fruit platter with passion fruit and white wine dip 425
Fresh strawberries and cream 495
Curd with cinnamon infused tropical fruit or with treacle 325


Anonymous said...

I love this restaurant, having visited it during my honeymoon in Sri Lanka 5 years ago. I must say, Taste Bud, your review is spot on. The Chocolate Nemesis is my favorite dessert and the best chocolate dish I have ever tasted. Thank you for the review Taste Bud. You are both a talented writer and photographer!

Sam Wilson, WA (USA)

Anonymous said...

The reviewer has given a very accurate synopsis of the restaurant. I have been there a few times, and the ambiance and the dishes are well worth the wait. Apart from the great food, I find it a very relaxing and tranquil environment. Good review! said...

This restaurant will always hold a special place in my heart. The review was first class! This blog is an indispensable guide to eating out in Colombo. I eagerly await further installments.

Anonymous said...

Gallery Cafe is NOT what they portray to be. I went their once and tried their so-called famous "black pork curry" dish. It had huge piece of fat. I did not go there after that. The dishes are very very expensive and the quantity is very little. Drinks are also very expensive. Not worth the trouble.