Scroll down past the first bit to the list if you won’t want to read my rambling! ⬇⬇
Ah, a food post. Pretty much everyone knows about my dislike of ‘food bloggers’ and ‘food reviewers’. This mostly stems from the fact that I don’t think anyone has any business reviewing food on their Instagrams without having done a degree in culinary arts, but to each their own. I’ll never forget a certain vegetarian ‘food reviewer’ who reviewed the sauces in a meat dish because they couldn’t eat the chicken in it. Or that group of people who started their own little ‘food reviewing club’ and went to restaurants in sets of 20 and expected to be given free food for that many people so they could each share it to their 600 followers.
I also think that no one should be messaging restaurants and cafes asking for ‘free food’ at their establishment because let’s be honest, a review is not going to be genuine if you are given the food for free. In my opinion, you have to be extremely entitled to do this, especially in a country like Sri Lanka that is still considered a developing country.
Anyway, the point of ~my~ post is not to promote certain places and certainly not to review the food/dishes/desserts at these places. I do, however, eat out quite a bit and have a large repertoire of fave places in and around Colombo that I’m happy to tell my friends about when they ask. These are my personal opinions and these lists will consist of my go-to’s when I’m craving something. Also they are in no particular order!
All these places have been tried and tested on my recommendation by my friend Sudaraka, who is very excited to be getting a line about himself in this post.
Top 5 places to go on a date that won’t break the bank!
Colombo is actually a very expensive city to live in! Depending on your standard of living, your monthly costs can be very high if you rent an apartment and eat out 1-2 times a week, if you have an UberEats addiction and if you frequent bars and pubs. So I’ve compiled this list of 5 of my favourite places to eat out or go on a cute date that costs less than 5000lkr for two people (P.S ladies, I know it’s a date but I’m 100% for paying your fair share of the meal, or letting your partner pay but taking them out at your expense too!).
- Cafe Kumbuk + Plus Nine Four
I’m including Cafe Kumbuk and Plus Nine Four together because they are sister cafes run by the same family and I honestly can’t pick between the two. I’m a big fan of their creative dishes.
At both cafes you can eat for an average of 4500lkr for 2 people – this is for 2 dishes, 2 drinks AND 2 desserts!
- Noodles – Cinnamon Grand
Noodles is my go-to for a ~fancy~ date night. They have an extensive menu of all types of noodle/ramen dishes from around Asia. Their dishes are super authentic, in my opinion! All noodle dishes are under 1000lkr and you can comfortably share an appetiser, 2 dishes and dessert for under 5000lkr. The portion sizes are quite big as well!
Update 28th August: I recently visited Noodles again and discovered that they have increased their prices. All noodle dishes are not under 1000lkr anymore. However, our bill for two people was 3800lkr. So I can confirm that two people can still comfortably eat for under 5000lkr. I highly recommend their Beef Udon Noodle dish!
Tip: this is also a nice place to go to if you need to impress the in-laws with a fancy hotel and your knowledge of Asian food dishes 😉
So I was super excited when I found bowl’d at a Sunday market at Arienti once a few years ago, before they had a physical location. I fell in love with poke bowls during my year in Malaysia and was super happy to find an authentic poke bowl place opening in Colombo. They’ve done really well for themselves since they’ve opened and I order from them often. Also a special shout out to them for driving all the way to my house personally to deliver some poke bowls during curfew because I was not in the UberEats delivery range!
You can have an appetiser, two bowls, dessert and two drinks here for less than 5000lkr! Also super happy to recommend places that bring new concepts to Sri Lanka.
- M’eat Us
Instagram: M’eat Us
Okay, sooooooo. Sam and I love M’eat Us. It’s probably our favourite restaurant in Colombo and the only place we will REVIEW, because honestly, they deserve it and their ribs are out of this world plus the consistency in the quality and taste of their food is excellent. We have never been disappointed after going there and have affectionately coined the term ‘meat coma’ to describe how we feel on the drive home.
Fair warning though, eating here is MESSY and if you’ve just started dating this may not be the best place if you still want to look cute in front of your partner. However, I do advise to jump right in with the messy eating in front of your boo, it’ll do wonders for your relationship.
We usually get the medium sized rib rack + 2 bbq chicken thighs and usually pay about 3500-4000lkr for 2.
It’s not halal as the ribs they serve are pork. Their bbq chicken and other dishes are still very good as well btw.
- Culture Colombo
Instagram: Culture Colombo
Culture Colombo is a recent addition to my extensive food list, and it definitely belongs in the top 5. They serve very affordable Sri Lankan cuisine that tastes delish. We’ve actually never been on a date here and have always gone with a group of friends, but the bill last time for 7 people came to around 6500lkr. This is with two crab dishes, biriyani, hoppers, indi appa and all sorts of other hodis and condiments. Two people could comfortably eat here for less than 5000lkr! They’ve always been really full though, so I recommend making a reservation before going.