Reviewed by Zainab Faizal | 11 months ago
Pelawatte is a growing commercial area with lots to offer in terms of schools and housing along with a limited number of restaurants and cafes (decent ones at least).
If you've ever been around Kotte or Pelawatte it would have been impossible to miss the neon green sign for ‘Lemongrass’, a conveniently located restaurant with ample parking space.
Lemongrass is one of the few Indian restaurants you'd find in the area with a little bit of Chinese and Thai incorporated into the menu. Let's just say everyone down Pelawatte is truly blessed with this gem of a restaurant - we could really do with one down in Colombo!
Here's what we tried:
Chicken Masala Dosa | Rs.320
This South Indian favourite also has a non-veg option and if anything I'm more inclined to admit that this tastes better than the original vegetarian option.
The usual crispy dosa is folded with a huge portion of masala chicken filling. The chicken is well seasoned with Indian spices, and the caramelised onions and chilli add a zing to the whole experience. Surprisingly, the chicken tasted more like a Turkish filling, exactly like one I tried in a Turkish restaurant back in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the filling complimented the dosa and it’s bound to be a favourite!
Egg Fried Rice | Rs.350
This vegetable fried rice is made with steaming Basmati rice tossed in carrots, leeks and eggs. The rice wasn't dry, rather it was really juicy where you could have the rice dish simply on its own without any curry or meat.
Chilli Prawns (Dry) | Rs.790
This was ordered as a starter. It was medium sized prawns marinated in a spicy masala coating that might be a little too overpowering for some - I couldn't exactly place a finger in terms of the actual flavour except that it had chilli incorporated. The prawns were juicy on the inside and the masala coating had a slight crunch.
Parata | Rs.150
The parata bread was larger than the ones you usually get elsewhere and was dripping with clarified butter. It was soft, easy to tear up AND it had many layers more than your average parata!
Mushroom Butter Masala | Rs.500
This is butter chicken masala - with mushrooms instead. The famous Punjabi dish incorporates a tangy tomato purée with garam masala, cumin and of course, lots of butter! The masala was thick, tangy and creamy along with the sliced button mushrooms which didn't have much of a ‘wow’ factor.
Mutton Roganjosh | Rs.750
This mutton dish is from the Kashmiri region due to its Persian origin. The braised lamb was cooked in an onion based gravy with curd and aromatic spices. The contrasting red colours come from the Kashmiri chilli, which has a flavour similar to that of paprika.
Orange Juice | Rs.250
This was a freshly squeezed orange juice topped with ice and the right amount of sugar giving it a lovely sweet taste that was refreshing.
Mixed Fruit Juice | Rs.250
The mixed fruit juice was another success. It had fresh papaya, pineapple and orange juice and once again had the right amount of sweetness incorporated.
Milk Barfi | Rs.70
This is made with milk, sugar and enhanced with a cardamom flavour. The ones at Lemongrass were fresh and were not too hard to bite into. You get a delicious milky flavour along with the strong essence of the cardamom and of course - it's sweet!
Laddu | Rs.70
If you claim you can’t find good laddu in Sri Lanka, then you haven't tried the ones at Lemongrass. The laddus here are medium sized yellow lentil balls rolled in with crispy cashew nuts. While laddu may be made by grinding the lentils with sugar to make the ball, once you taste it, you realise that this is possibly a healthy alternative to those chocolate truffles you love - It's sweet, healthy and delicious!
Gengra | Rs.70
The gengra is similar to the average jelabi you'd find at the Bombay Sweet House outlets around the country, however this is thicker, much sweeter and orange in colour.
The restaurant did its best to bring out an authentic feel - from the curries being served in aluminium bowls to the cane baskets used for the breads.
Interior and Ambience
Unfortunately the interior of the restaurant gives off a fine dining/bistro vibe instead of something that may be expected from an Indian restaurant. The seating was black and silver with the walls decorated in similar designs, including a wall dedicated to displaying plates of different shapes and colours.
The waiters are very attentive, responsive and they've got some great recommendations up their sleeves!
Lemongrass will continue to be one of my favourite Indian spots whenever I'm down in Pelawatte. The wonderfully executed dishes, the decent prices and convenient location gets this restaurant into our good books!