Asylum Restaurant & Lounge Bar

Located at: Arcade Independence Square, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka

Visited on: 27 July, 2022

Asylum Restaurant & Lounge Bar welcomes its patrons with a rather comprehensive and colourful menu that covers a variety of European, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, African, Asian and Far Eastern dishes.

We started our lunch off with their Bacon-wrapped Grilled Prawns – honey glazed tiger prawns wrapped in streaky bacon, served with homemade spicy mango chutney (LKR 4,050). This was delicious, and well-presented. An excellent appetiser with slightly caramelised strips of bacon generously wrapped around sizeable, crunchy prawns. The chutney sauce was a perfect match with its barbeque-like flavour. The indulgent dish came with a healthy touch of lettuce, baby radish, black olive and sun-dried tomatoes on the side. Refreshing.

Bacon-wrapped Grilled Prawns

One of the mains we ordered was the Sous-vide Barramundi – served with bullhorn capsicum, chickpea and tahini purée, elderflower and jalapeño sauce, and micro greens (LKR 4,650). Chickpea purée was unavailable on the day and they offered to replace this with mashed potato. The barramundi came in the form of a considerably large chunk that was well-prepared, and was accompanied by the mash, elderflower sauce, and an assortment of lightly sautéed vegetables. A little different from the menu description, but complementary to the fish (and excusable, given the challenges currently faced in sourcing most ingredients). A tasty and healthy dish, as a whole.

Sous-vide Barramundi

The second main dish we picked was their Char-grilled Pork Chop – loin chops with blue cheese spaetzli (egg pasta), cabbage sauerkraut and a mustard jus (LKR 5,050). Again, the pork chops were rather chunky. And they were well-seasoned. The spaetzli was a good accompaniment to the chops – cheesy, but not too cheesy, and good with the mustard jus, too. The sauerkraut was mildly pickled, and gave the dish an extra dimension of flavour. There also was a serving of cut bacon, somewhat concealed under the chops – an interesting surprise to an already wholesome and tasty dish.

Char-grilled Pork Chop

Finally, we tried their Spanish Paella Mixta – with seafood, pork chorizo, chicken, peppers and rice in a saffron broth (LKR 4,150 for a single portion, LKR 7,150 for a double). While the taste differed a bit from the traditional paella (definitely a little spicier!), the preparation itself was well-done and made for an enjoyable dish. There was a pretty decent serving of seafood – regular and jumbo prawns, cuttlefish and mussels tucked into the rice along with cut chicken pieces and strips of green, yellow and red bell peppers. The chorizo, however, seemed to have been replaced by regular sausages (perhaps owing to the unavailability of ingredients, again). While this was a tad bit disappointing – and not the most enticing alternative, one feels obliged to excuse such differences under the circumstances.

Spanish Paella Mixta

The beverages that we ordered were refreshingly good and looked great. Mine was a Strawberry Virgin Mojito (LKR 850; LKR 1,750 for the cocktail) – which I quite enjoyed. Also seen in the picture below is a Pasión cocktail – with gin, Tia Maria, passion fruit cordial and fresh passion fruit (LKR 2,600), which – I am told – was also pretty good.

Pasión flanked by by Strawberry Mojitos (one cocktail, one mocktail)

On a side note, I quite enjoyed that afternoon’s playlist which comprised of a lively mix of old and contemporary hits, dotted with a few classics. The staff were friendly and attentive, too.

Yummy Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

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