Sunday, July 27, 2008
Five Stars on the Cheap at Taprobane Coffee Shop Cinnamon Grand - Restaurant Review Colombo Sri Lanka
In my previous existence in New York City, we used to go to the most upscale restaurants and see how we could come out with the lowest bill. We used to call this game 'Being Broke.' Or 'Being Poor.'
Here in Sri Lanka, the way to do this is to go into a posh hotel and eat at the coffee shop of said hotel. Taprobane Coffee Shop at the Cinnamon Grand is such a place - I discovered it after a heavy night out (this was before I got married and started falling asleep at 10pm) The ambience is really nice - the view is better than most hotel coffee shops except for the Hilton - and the menu is extensive and cheap.
There is a beef burger there - dirt cheap, something like 400 rupees nett - and a biriyani which is similarly dirt cheap. So the wife agreed to order the burger while I ate the biriyani - for research, mind you.
I always use to like the biriyani at Taprobane which was always Malay style: yellow rice, chicken gravy and mint sambol. Now, the biriyani is more Indian: just spicy rice and chicken in a bowl with a poppadom. This is not an improvement: I mean, do we really need another bad (= Indian style) biriyani in this country? (I plan to write an angry letter to Mr Karr in this regard.)
The burger was good but, like all Sri Lankan burgers, slightly overdone despite me specifying the level of pinkness inside. I don't really mind the Dine Mor's of the world not doing as I ask but, at the Cinnamon Grand, I expect slightly more. (I will add this complaint to my letter to Mr Karr.)
Overall, not a bad meal and dirt cheap (800 nett for the food). You might do better than the Taprobane Coffee Shop for your meals but you also could do much, much worse (and, admit it, you usually do) so you might as well try it out. And avoid the biriyani.