Monday, January 14, 2008

Number 18

18 Cambridge Place
Colombo 7
Tel: 94-11-2694000

Number 18 is that hip sort of restaurant that does not use more then three colors for its decor, and refuses to capitalize anything on its menu. The tables are wide and the seats comfortable at this spacious, haute cuisine creation of Taru Fonseka, which offers a variety of popular cuisines, including Thai, Sri Lankan, Japanese, and Italian, with some dishes incorporating a fusion touch. While most of the menu offers delicious creations of harmoniously blending flavors, beautifully presented with a careful eye to detail, not every item is guaranteed to be so.

The Tuna Tataki appetizer seared with sesame is of excellent quality, served with a delicious dollop of guacamole on the side. The Grilled Peaches with goat cheese and Parma ham strike a unique blending of diverse flavors and textures: the mix of firm, moist peaches with dry, salted ham and savory cheese is a treat. As for soups, the Chicken Mulligitawny is a delectable chicken-based soup flavored with Sri Lankan spices and coconut milk. And the Seafood Laksa is a spicy noodle-soup flavored from Singapore with coriander and lemongrass, whose hearty potion makes it sufficient for a light meal.

Among the main items, the Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli with mascarpone and herbed brown butter is a good choice, as is the Sri Lankan fish curry with accompaniments, and the Duck Breast with wasabi mash and black cherry purée, which offers a succulent duck breast that blends well with the purée (although the overdose of wasabi in the rather dry mash has the potential to spoil the overall pleasure of the meal) However, not all items match this same quality, such as the Gnocchi with basil and sun dried tomato, which contains an overdose of salt and lacks sufficient flavor, as does the Linguine tossed with shrimp tomato basil and chili flakes.

The dessert menu offers a less enticing array, but does contain some winners (and interestingly, all tending to incorporate passion fruit), such as the Panacotta with passion fruit coulis, the Crème Brulée topped with passion fruit, and the Passion fruit sorbet with grilled mango cheek. The ice creams, on the other hand, lack a necessary sweetness, and much of the rest of the desert menu does not offer a lot to rave about.

The waiters are courteous and attentive, opening doors for you with gentle smiles and polite nods, reducing the gusting air-conditioning when you so request, or lowering the level of the music.

If you are not able to make it to Number 18 for a meal, at least stop by to enjoy the fantastic lychee martini (or a sweet lassi, for a non-alcoholic option) on the outdoor patio.

Indoor dining area

Outdoor patio


Sri Lankan fish curry

Tandoori chicken wrap

Beef burger

Seafood Laksa

Panna cotta

Creme Brulee


Garlic bread 125
Focaccia 150
Cheese toast 125

Potato wedges/fries 250
Potato mash 250
Garden salad 350
Sautéed oyster mushrooms 250
Sautéed green beans 250
Steamed rice 100

Thai style pumpkin soup 400
Roasted tomato and bell pepper soup with garlic croutons 400
Seafood laksa 650
Caesars salad 550
Chicken Caesar salad 600
Rocket, walnut and pear salad with shaved parmesan 450
Roasted beetroot, orange and watercress salad with fetta cheese 450

Leek, potato and mushroom pie 600
Chicken, cashew nut and sweet corn pie 650
Fettuccine with sliced pork and plum sauce 700
Spaghetti with chili chicken and veggies 700

Sri Lankan fish curry served with steamed jasmine rice, brinjole,
cucumber salad, coconut sambol, dhal curry and papadam 700
Sri Lankan chicken curry served with steamed jasmine rice,
brinjole, cucumber salad, coconut sambol, dhal curry and papadam 700
Combination of calamari, fish and shrimp rice 750
Combination of chicken, pork, beef, and bacon rice 750
Vegetable stir fry with peanut sauce over rice 650
Ginger beef and watercress stir fry over steamed rice 700
Black belly pork curry with steamed rice, tomato salad, lentils,
coconut sambol and chutney 750
Thai green chicken curry with tomato salad and steamed rice 700
Thai red prawn curry with coconut flavoured steamed rice and
green mango salad 950

Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with french fries 550
Tandoori chicken wrap with cucumber, onions, and yogurt 550
Steak sandwich with salad and potato wedges 700
Smoked salmon, cream cheese, onion rings, and capers on toasted bagel 650
Number 18 hot dog (pork/chicken bokwurst, caramelized onions,
mustard, ketchup, jalapenõs and gerkins) 450
Beef burger with the full works 600
Club sandwich with potato wedges 600
Fish cakes with cucumber relish 550
Honey roasted pumpkin ravioli with mascarpone and herbed brown butter 650
Linguine tossed with shrimp tomato basil and chili flakes
Fish and chips with tartar sauce 650
Cajun spiced seared tuna with green beans, tomato and coriander salad 700
Spinach quiche with garden salad 550

Hot chocolate and ginger pudding 350
Vanilla ice bomb with blueberry compote 350
New York cheesecake with lemon curd 350
Number 18 cassata 350
Crème brulée topped with passion fruit 350
Chocolate decadence 400
Poached pear with vanilla ice cream 400
Mixed berry crumble with warm custard 400
Strawberries and fresh cream 450
Jaggery sundae 350
Chocolate meringue in hazelnut praline 400
Pavlova 400
Café affogato (espresso with sambucca and ice cream) 700
Cookies and cream cheesecake with crème angalise 350
Tiramisu 350
Passion fruit sorbet with grilled mango cheek 350
After-dinner chocolate and mint mousse 400
Panna cotta with passion fruit coulis 350
Choice of homemade ice cream (2 scoops):
espresso 300
hazelnut and honey 350
lemon curd 350

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