Reviewed by Haleema Nazar | 9 months ago
For someone that's been born and bred in Sri-Lanka, it's not every day that you stumble upon an all American 'white picket fence' that is generally, laboriously placed right in front of a house, let alone being the exterior front of a restaurant on our sunny little Island!
Given that it still holds an enormous aesthetic value as a symbol of American hope, not that it has any significant relevance over us but considering that we're always in favor of restaurants trying to be innovative and opting to be boldly distinctive from the rest, I would be lying if I said that we weren't anxiously awaiting to see if the food inside would make as much of an impact as it's outer appearance successfully prevailed to do so.
Located down Fife Road, Belissimo opened its doors to the public roughly about a month ago and have since created a massive amount of awareness and gained a substantial group of ardent fans in the process. Being the inquisitive people that we are and since patience is not necessarily our strongest suit, we wasted no time and eagerly walked in those doors.
Butterfried Calamari With Sweet And Sour Sauce | Rs.350/-
Given that calamari is considered a luxury in Colombo and is bound to take a beating on your wallet, we were slightly taken aback that it wasn't as pricey as it generally is in most restaurants here. My fellow foodie, Yasali even went on to the extent of cracking a few wise-ass jokes about obtaining a dish that would either consist of off-the-shelf low quality meat or possibly providing us with a close substitute to calamari.
But boy, oh boy, oh boy! I can wholeheartedly say that the risk was worth taking as we were shamefully and I repeat, SHAMEFULLY proved wrong!
The dish consisted of five fairly large calamari rings, that were all consistently fried to absolute perfection. It's crunchy exterior was the icing on the cake as the batter was light and crisp, and not too soggy due to excess oil. The calamari inside was comfortingly soft and delicate with a tinge of spice that left us wanting more.
This dish hit the ball right out of the park and without a moment of hesitation, we decided to order another portion of it, and if that doesn't convince you about how ridiculously banging it was, then I don't know what will!
Wild Mushroom Soup | Rs.550
Unfortunately this soup narrowly missed the mark as the soup was slightly more diluted than I would have like it to be, moving along the lines of a mushroom broth as opposed to a lovely thick creamy texture. Despite containing a fair hit of mushroom, I would be lying if i said that I wasn't bummed out about the fact that I didn't stumble upon little pieces of mushroom, better known as little treats that can be found sitting calmly at the bottom, which was an utter shame.
The soup was accompanied by two slices of soft buttery bread, one of those classic accompanying condiments that would have paired well with the soup if the latter had been nailed properly.
Cheese Chicken Flautas | Rs.650/-
For those not too familiar with the term, a flauta is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla that is rolled around a filling of cheese and meat and then fried.
The flauta that we received possessed uncanny resembling characteristics to a shawarma as it was not fried, just your average looking pitta bread, as Joey from FRIENDS would screech 'WHY GOD, WHY?!!'
In saying that, it was nothing the delectable filling inside couldn't fix as the chicken remained tender and succulent and made a beautiful marriage with the crisp salad leaves, caramelized pickles and a thick lip-smacking peppery garlic and red chilli tomato sauce, that was hastily splattered on top. Dollops of mayonnaise and melted cheese effortlessly oozed out with every bite and victoriously enhanced the dish, and the plate was shamelessly wiped clean in a mere amount of minutes.
Roast Beef Loin Sandwich | Rs.450/-
Two bites into it and well you know, it's not anything particularly groundbreaking.
The roast beef proved to be tough and took more time than what was necessary to chew on with absolutely no hit of smokiness. Considering that the flavour of the beef was fairly subdued, it indirectly allowed all of the flavours surrounding it to speak a little louder, and by flavours, I'm referring to the tomato sauce and mayonnaise combo. Sometimes, the bass section needs to let the piccolos be heard for the whole orchestra to work, you feel me?
The occasional crunch from the pickles and lettuce, along with the freshly cut onion and tomato slices didn't contribute much as they failed to do justice to the beef.
The 'oregano' homemade bread was comfortingly soft and fluffy with a pleasant hint of oregano that had been incorporated into it.
Th dish was accompanied by french fries that was fairly second-rate and coleslaw, consisting of finely shredded cabbage leaves and carrots, nestled on a bed of crisp salad leaves with a drizzle of vinaigrette dressing, that proved to be refreshingly cooling.
Fusilli Pesto Chicken | Rs.650/-
Give or take any day, the combination of pesto and pasta is bound to be my first pick off any menu, and the sound of the addition of chicken along with it instantly made room for the little girl inside me to remain in a state of eager anticipation.
The pesto paste screamed of a strong pungent flavour, full of zest, almost to the extent that you don't even need an elaborate sauce. This dish was packed with heaps of aromatic basil, raw garlic, melted cheese and a good glug of olive oil to hold it all together.
The pasta was cooked perfectly, silky and smooth and the chicken remained delicately supple.
However, there was a lack in seasoning, and tossing in half a teaspoon of salt and pepper would have created a clear winner.
Oreo Cream Frappe | Rs.450/-
At first glance, it’s pretty clear that there are cookies blended throughout the drink along with chunks of biscuits tossed all over a blob of fluffy whipped cream on top. The coffee flavor is slightly mellowed, showing up as more of an aftertaste, albeit a pleasant one, although I would have personally preferred a hint more of the coffee flavour to balance the sweetness derived from the biscuits ( it's called a frappe for a reason guys! )
But for those who don't really fancy the taste of coffee, this drink is definitely up your alley as it is lusciously creamy and smooth, with a high note of chocolate flavour that isn't too overwhelming and a slight crunch from time to time due to the cookies.
However, it was somewhat questionable if the drink consisted purely of only Oreo biscuits or a mix of both Oreo and Kalo (Sri-Lankan version of Oreos) , so be sure to keep an eye out for this one.
Strawberry Mojito | Rs.450/-
The mojito appeared in a tall lean glass with slices of lime and mint leaves that floated coolly on top, along with a ripe cherry that was delicately placed along its rim.
From the sweetness of the mint leaves to the tartness from the strawberry and the lime, to the fizzy soda, I can safely admit with the utmost confidence that this was a match-made in heaven. As corny as that phrase sounds (oh yes, I'm well aware!) , I am unable to adequately put into words how truly revitalizing each sip was. It was tangy, fruity, sweet, sour and most importantly, it steered away from being too acidic.
Blended with an ample amount of crushed ice, it truly is the ideal drink for a hot summer day and given how atrocious the heat has been the last few months, these could come in handy.
The service was prompt and non intrusive, and our waiter remained courteous and professional at all times, with the occasional grin from time to time. Despite constantly making changes to our order (yes, we're indecisive so please pass your judgement elsewhere!) , our waiter remained calm and co-operated without an ounce of hesitation from his end. Preparation of food was fairly efficient, possibly appearing at your table in roughly about 20-30 minutes, leaving us immensely grateful for the avoidance of a long wait.
Interior and Ambiance
Despite the buildup that its outer appearance managed to create, it's interior was the complete opposite with subtle lighting that surprisingly paired well with the wooden floors and tables, setting a fairly gloomy and dull tone inside.
Paintings that were meant to be hung on the wall were placed on the ground, along with bunches of distasteful artificial flowers placed in little corners here and there.
Their playlist is fairly limited as during our two hour visit, the same songs were constantly played on repeat but considering that they are new to the block, we're going to let this one pass.
However, we were able to snag a table without a reservation with minimum fuss, but make sure to watch out for parking because it can prove to be a hassle due to cars busily hustling up and down.
Belissimo has created a steady love affair with its customers, repaying them with a deep commitment to quality food and and a welcoming atmosphere.
With the provision of an endless stream of new and daring dishes, Belissimo are making a more than decent fist of things by offering a diverse variety of cuisines and transforming them into a single eating experience, at reasonable rates.
Whether you're grabbing a quick coffee or bite to-go or looking for a new spot to dine in, you know where to head to as they whip up an array of all-day dishes designed to take your taste experience to new and delicious heights, all with a side of happy. Good value for money, indeed!