Monday, January 14, 2008

The Lagoon seafood restaurant - Cinnamon Grand Hotel

77 Galle Road
Colombo 3.
Tel: 94-11-2437437


You’re at the fish market: you choose your fish, the fishmonger weighs and wraps it up for you, you put it in your shopping cart and take it home. But what if you could also get it cooked and served to you right there without the usual fish market stink?

That is what Cinnamon Grand Hotel’s sophisticated seafood restaurant, The Lagoon, has tried to capture at its classy, yet casual, restaurant, located at the hotel’s garden level next to the water pond. Take a visual tour of the table of ice, stacked with fish and shellfish and, with the help of your waiter (whose service will undoubtedly be both friendly and efficient), pick your catch for the evening.

While sitting inside the restaurant gives you the chance to view the chefs at work in the open-style kitchen, you may choose to sit outside by the water pond, where seats are more limited, and enjoy a more romantic ambiance.

The seafood, ranging in variety from local seer fish to imported mussels, is prepared for you according to your personal tastes for sauces and ethnic flavors, including Indian, Thai and Italian, and will be prepared in a variety of ways, including spiced, steamed, grilled and fried. If you feel like you may not be the best judge, your waiter will be happy to help you make an informed decision about what choice of sauce goes best with what type of seafood. The sauces, including Italian salsa verde, sweet chili, lemon butter, and tamarind, are simple, yet flavorful, yielding a dish that is perfectly balanced in texture and taste. The Tempura style Prawns are an appetizing start to a meal. The famous Thai Red Curry Sauce makes a delicious base for a Seer Fish Curry, as does the Tamarind Sauce for the Cuttlefish. The Chili Crab sadly does not contain sufficient meat to call it ‘crab’, although the sweet chili sauce adds a welcomed spicy kick. And for something to soak up all that gravy, order the tasty Crab Rice.

The wine list is vast and the fresh fruit juices are wonderfully refreshing. There is not a lot of excitement in the dessert menu, although the Sago pudding certainly stands out in a class of its own and provides a delicious coda for your meal.

Going to your local fish market will never be the same again.

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