Located at: 2, 1 Colombo, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 25 Sep, 2019
Capital Bar & Grill is located at the far end of Shangri-La Colombo’s ground floor and has an interesting set-up. Starting with a noisy and quirky bar area, through a well-lit short passage with a bit of seating, it opens up to a large dimly lit, semi-formal restaurant setting.
Their beverage menu offers a couple of signature mocktails and I picked the Colombo Lemonade – fresh orange, cranberry, ginger extract, honey water and lemonade (LKR 700). What I liked about it was that, as strong as some of the flavours sounded, they had been subtly combined into a thoroughly refreshing concoction. Great to sip slowly or swig down – depending on your mood.
Their bread basket was inviting – warm, soft assorted bread rolls and a few breadsticks as well. It came with a choice of salted and unsalted butter.
For starters, we ordered one of their signature dishes, Duet of Table-side Smoked Salmon and Fresh Tuna Tartare – with avocado, sour cream and caviar (LKR 1,950). This was an elegant looking dish that is more or less a single portion – but sharable between two light eaters. Taste-wise, it was nice enough. Minutely tangy and mildly creamy courtesy of the dressings. The sour cream certainly gave it a bit of pop, and the caviar a light crunch.
The second appetiser was their Garlic Prawns – with garlic, chilli, lemon butter and crusty bread (LKR 2,500). The bread was quite sweet, but worked for the dish. The prawns were nice and softly crunchy. The lemon butter flavour did come through more than the garlic though. Enjoyable as a dish.
We also had a round of Forest Mushroom Soup – with grilled king oyster, chives and white tartufo oil (LKR 950). This was, hands down, the dish of the night. The perfect viscosity and a beautiful earthy mushroom flavour in the liquid that was poured, at the table, over the king oyster and chives that sat at the bottom of the bowl was a winner. Lovely. Everyone reached the bottoms of their bowls in (happy) silence.
Forest Mushroom Soup
For the mains, we ordered a couple of portions of BBQ Pork Ribs – with smoked eggplant mash and fries (LKR 2,950). It was a sizeable portion of nine ribs. The meat came off the ribs quite cleanly and easily (with no need to get one’s hands messy!), almost like pulled pork. This was rather convenient. However, in terms of flavour, I didn’t feel like it gave off much of a BBQ taste. Not that it didn’t taste good, it was just a different flavour altogether – like a mildly roasted sauce that had been reduced to a paste. Not quite what we expected. The eggplant accompaniment was delicious though – a tomato-based flavour that gave it a bright feel. The fries were lightly salted and had a slight crisp to them too.
The second mains was their Char-grilled Lobster – with lemon butter sauce (LKR 6,000). This was decent, definitely helped by the lemon butter sauce. However, there was nothing mind-blowing about it in terms of size or flavour, making it a little low on value for money. It would have also helped if the meat had been cut or scooped off the sides of the shell so as to make it easier for the consumer to pick off. Perhaps a few seconds more on the grill might have given it a little extra crunch.
Finally, there was the Pan-seared Barramundi – a spice crusted fillet with sautéed asparagus and crushed lime potatoes (LKR 2,200). I’m not sure what sort of spices the attractive green crust was supposed to have, but it confusingly had more of a parmesan-like taste than spices. The crust also gave the dish a heavier feeling than I had anticipated it to be. Of course, one could consume the fish alone without the topping, but the fish had only a touch of seasoning and didn’t make for much if consumed by itself. The asparagus was ordinary and the potato definitely could have used more seasoning. Overall, an ordinary dish.
Since we were celebrating a birthday, the hotel offered a complimentary 250g celebratory cake at the end of the meal. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post (https://theeatlog.com/2019/09/07/sapphyr-lounge/), Sapphyr Lounge puts out some to-die-for pastries, and this enticing, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate mousse-y cake with a fine sponge base was nonetheless. Without a doubt, their café is one place that truly lives up to the international Shangri-La taste standards.
On a completely different note, I’ve been to countless four- and five-star hotels in Sri Lanka and abroad. Shangri-La Colombo is the first that I have come across to have recently introduced a valet service fee (LKR 500). Well then. Interesting.
Yummy Rating: 3.5 / 5.0