What makes a great restaurant? For us it’s amazing, thought-provoking food, an atmosphere that relaxes you, and decor that inspires you. All that, and an incredible loo (always judge a restaurant by the quality of their toilet facilities!)… We all have our unique requirements which determine why we would say we love them. Here are our thoughts and if you are wondering, the best loo prize goes to… Monsoon.

1. Monsoon Colombo

50/2 Park Street Mews, Colombo 02 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 10.30pm (Open till 11pm on Friday & Saturday nights) | 0112 302 449
Located at the end of the buzzing and very popular Park Street Mews this restaurant is such a welcome addition to the Colombo food scene. Like all their enterprises, Teardrop Hotels have done this restaurant with effortless style; you will want to own all the furniture! They have a fantastic bar, with original cocktails and a mouth-watering Southeast Asian inspired sharing menu of small and big plates. We love them all but particularly love the rice and chicken and the prawn sarong. They do take out too, and of course it comes in chic packaging. For locals and tourists alike, this is a restaurant that you will always want to come back to. Also, check out their happy hour, and on the weekends: the bao bun station- we love how this place rock n rolls from start to finish.

2. Ginza Hohsen

Galadari Hotel, 64 Lotus Rd, Colombo 01 | Opening Hours: 11am-11pm | 0112 441 588
This Japanese Restaurant was located at Water’s Edge for a while, but their very popular Colombo fan base has drawn them back into the capital. Sonia Sushi is a trademark dish for them.  We absolutely love the Chicken Katsu Don and the Ebi Fried Maki is addictive.

3. Nihonbashi

11 Galle Face Terrace, Colombo 03 | Opening Hours: 12pm-2.30pm & 6pm-10.30pm | 0112 323 847
The brain behind Nihonbashi, Chef Dharshan Munidasa, is of mixed Japanese and Sri Lankan heritage. Nihonbashi is a Japanese restaurant that has been voted one of the top 50 places to eat in Asia. We must admit, it hasn’t got the warmest of atmospheres, but the food is knockout. Great selection of Sake and we love the Tensabi Temaki, the olive oil Kake Tai Cha, the miso aubergine, it’s all incredible, the list really goes on and on.

4. Baillie Street Merchants

15 Mudalige Mawatha, Colombo 01 | Opening Hours: 6pm-1am (Open till 2am on Friday and Saturday, Closed on Sundays) | 0112 331 302
From the creators of Sugar, this team has got their finger on the pulse and have created a very atmospheric bar and restaurant. No windows but funnily enough, you don’t need them, it has a speakeasy vibe that isn’t gimmicky. The food is big and bold with enough sophistication to make you feel you have been treated to something very special. The menu is often changing which we love, as you can constantly go back and be inspired. They also do amazing cocktails, with an extensive and exciting list. The stylishly dressed barmen pride themselves on being up to whip up your favourite cocktail even if it isn’t on the list. They have a focus on Sri Lankan aromatic flavours including cinnamon, tamarind, nutmeg etc. Price-wise it is on the higher end of Colombo’s price range, but it is worth it. It ticks all the boxes: awesome atmosphere, delicious and innovative food, and quaffable drinks.

5. Palmyrah

Hotel Renuka, 328 Galle Road, Colombo 03 | Opening Hours: 6.30am-10am, 12pm-2.30pm, 7pm-10.30pm | 0112 573 598
Some of the best Sri Lankan food in Colombo, we love the hoppers there.

6. Navratna

Taj Samudra Hotel( 25 Galle Face Center Road, Colombo 01) | Opening Hours: 12pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm | 011 2 446622
We think this is the best North Indian food in Colombo, we love the dahi ke kebabs, which are divine spiced hung yoghurt patties, fried. We also love the Dal Navratna which is black lentils cooked in tomatoes and spices, finished with butter and cream- decadent and sensational.

7. Capital Bar & Grill

The Shangri La Hotel, 1 Galle Face, Colombo 02 | Opening Hours: 12pm-11pm | 011 788 8288
The Capital Bar & Grill is just a really fabulous place.  I have included it  in the bar section but as a stand alone restaurant it is excellent too. They have different zones, some smarter for more formal dinning and then at the back booths for a casual dinner. Right at the back they have a private dinning area.  We recently booked it for a few families so we could close doors and not worry about our kids screaming around the place. Excellent. Delicious steak, yummy salads and divine French onion soup.

They have started a Sunday Brunch concept too, which we recently tasted and it was suburb. If you are looking to get away from the traditional  buffet and have some really good quality, interesting dishes including the best roast in Colombo with Yorkshire puddings, then head there this Sunday.

8. August by Mama Aida’s

61 Dudley Senanayake Mawatha, Colombo 08 | Opening Hours: 12pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays) | 0777 005 808
The setting for this Lebanese restaurant is magical; you could easily be in the Mediterranean here. The food is exquisite, we love the Kebeh and the pulled chicken, also don’t miss out on their desserts; they are epic.

9. The Lagoon

Cinnamon Grand, 77 A2, Colombo 03 | Opening Hours: 12pm-2.30pm, 7pm-12am(Sunday Asian Seafood Buffet:11.30am-3.00pm) | 0112 497 371
Based in the Cinnamon Grand, it is deemed as the best seafood restaurant in Colombo. It’s quite smart, albeit with a slightly soulless atmosphere. Don’t rule it out though; it’s a great place to take clients to.

10. Shang Palace

The Shangri La Hotel, 1 Galle Face, Colombo 02 | Opening Hours: 12.00pm-3.00pm(Sat-Sun), 6.30pm-11.00pm(Mon-Sun)| 011 788 8288
Our favourite Chinese; the food is delicious: some home comforts and more authentic Chinese dishes. The service, as you would expect from the Shangri la, is exceptional. Their main attraction must be the Peking Duck served 4 ways, the wok tossed Snapper with black bean sauce is also sublime .  This is by far the best place to go for dim sum at lunch time.

11. Ministry of Crab

Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, 04 Hospital Street, Colombo 01 | Opening Hours: 12pm-3.30pm, 6pm-10pm | 0112 342 722
Brilliant for taking guests, this is the brainchild of chef Dharshan and a group of Colombo cricketers. They have really captured people’s imagination and it is super popular with locals and tourists alike. It has also been awarded the title of ‘one of the top 50 places to eat in Asia’. Obviously, crab is the star of the show here, but they also have prawns, chicken, fish. We love their garlic rice, kade bread and butter garlic crab, oh and the Ebi Shioyaki black tiger prawns… they are ridiculously delicious.

12. Fire and Ice

9A Glen Aber Place, Colombo 04 | Opening Hours: 12pm-10.30pm (closed on  Tuesday) | 077 114 6748
This Italian place has its roots in Kathmandu and has been an instant success. They do delicious pizza, pasta and salads, but why we love it so much is the friendly staff, and that they have thought about the gluten free and vegan market! Thank you!!

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