Located at: 58A Horton Place, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 27 Dec, 2017
One thing that’s bound to catch your eye as you walk into Flamingo House is the interior of the place. Previously a more modest extension to Gerard Mendis Chocolatier, the restaurant part has changed hands over the years with the chocolatier/patisserie still functional up-front. Creative in a quirky way and almost on the verge of garish, it emancipates a sort of burlesque-ness that you won’t forget in a hurry – velvety drapery, massive murals of flamingos (read the story behind the flamingo inspiration on their placement mats), mismatched chairs and the likes. To go with the look is the unmistakable playlist of Postmodern Jukebox tracks that will inevitably be playing (and occasionally blaring) through the speakers. I guess the whole set-up is not something for everyone’s palate, but – personally – it’s interestingly bearable as long as they put as much thought and care into their food too. What else is creative here is their menu – some staples and some not, presented to delight visually. They also have a comprehensive and impressive, page-long selection of vegetarian options – great news for vegetarian patrons.
I went with something that I’ve ordered on a previous occasion – Spicy Shrimp Burger (LKR 1,200). And it was just as good as the last time I had it. The menu description of a “plump succulent shrimp patty” is spot on. It was plump, it was succulent, and it was delicious with the tartar sauce added inside. The cheese might have been better off being a bit creamier, in my opinion; it looked and tasted more like melted mozzarella that had hardened on the patty. Complementing the tasty patty was the turmeric bread holding it all together. Warm, soft but crisp at the edges and having a beautifully tender savoury flavour. Lovely. Such a great choice of bread for their burgers. The accompanying pickled veg was alright – I’m not much of a gherkin and onion person, but I did have the carrots. The wedges were great though, done just right. Nice and mash-y inside and perfectly crispy on the outside. With a touch of ketchup on and off, it made a great accompaniment for the burger.
The Mushroom Stack Burger (LKR 1,200) was more or less like a vegetarian version of the shrimp burger. Similar in appearance and presentation, varying only in the patty. I had a bite of the patty. Again, really good. Nice and chewy, with a strong but pleasant flavour of shitake coming through. Something that could be enjoyed by just about anyone – vegetarians included.
The third dish at the table was a Gourmet Seafood Kottu (LKR 1,500). True to its description, there was a substantial mix of scallops, mussels, calamari, crab and prawn. And the kottu was mouth-wateringly good too, savoury without being overly spicy. The gravy on the side (which also came with a prawn) would do the trick for anyone looking for a bit of extra spice or curry flavour. I was pleased to see that what was referred to as “with a Flamingo touch” on the menu turned out to be nothing too radical. It was in fact a rather tasty, gourmet-ed up version of the immensely popular street food with its kottu essence still intact – a far cry from the massively disappointing kottu The Commons dished out during our last visit (https://theeatlog.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/the-commons/).
In terms of beverages, we ordered a couple of Lime & Mint juices (LKR 350 each) and a Mint & Passion fruit juice (LKR 400). The latter was fine, a slight tanginess of the passion coming through but not overwhelming. However, the lime and mint, although refreshing, was way too sweet. You’re left reeling with a strong pang of sweet aftertaste following a brief burst of freshness. And a strong thirst to quench a short while after consuming – due to the high sugar content. Probably one of the few things that Flamingo House could work on improving.
I’ve also dug up a few old (and not so great) pictures of a couple of other attractively presented items on their menu for your perusal. The first is their Passiflora – tiered passion fruit mousse with crumbled chocolate and passion fruit compote topped with a light pavlova dome (LKR 750). A mouthful to read, and a mouthful to have – but delightfully so. Even for someone who goes for chocolate desserts by default, I remember thinking that it was pretty delicious for a non-chocolate dessert. Perhaps they’d won me over with the fancy visuals to begin with. Either way, it’s definitely something that I recall they’d done pretty well.
The second item is what I believe might have been a Mirtilo Mojito (LKR 900), and which I am including here solely for the cute, wiry tricycle on which the glass is presented (I haven’t tried this myself). So simple, but such a wonderful treat to have placed in front of you. Definitely something to tease the eye and leave a lasting impression.
Yummy Rating: 4.0 / 5.0