Reviewed by Dinul Hettiarachchi | 6 months ago
In a city where it's hard to find a good pub to 'crack open a cold one with the boys' or a girls night out without having to scream over loud music, RE.PUB.LK stands out with you having the ability to choose from either a quiet terrace eclipsed by the Colombo WTC or a more vivacious counter-top area. Nestled just behind Dutch Hospital, the location is easy to access without dreading much about parking.
From intriguing cocktails to a good variety of mains and starters, REPUBLK has you covered for an unforgettable night out, while offering surprisingly-stylish interiors.
Onion Rings | Rs.450
Tender flavourful onion inside with a salty, unattractive outer layer(almost like me). The rings definitely didn’t attack my taste buds at first but the crumb fried layer had a very strong underlying taste of salt and street spices which is cringe-worthy. The dish was assembled as a ring-toss game with a spicy Sriracha mayo dip! Would I go back for more? Yes, provided they fix the issue of the batter used to fry some of their other dishes too.
Soft Shelled Tacos | Rs.650
We definitely need to 'taco' - bout the soft taco pocket filled to the brim with succulent beef strips. The flavour of the jalapeños infused with the dry texture of the spicy beef to make the dish of a perfect consistency. Along with a drizzle of spicy mayo and a gentle filling of corn, onions and peppers, the dish is a true reflection of authentic Mexican cuisine. Olé!
The Mac and Cheese Corn Dog | Rs.750
Get ready to put your taste buds in a daze with the hot, gooey, melted cheese that lies within a crispy layer of batter. The batter outside was more inclined towards being too salty although the edginess of the salt was subdued by the thickness of the cheese inside. The jalapeño cheese fondue which accompanied the skewered Mac and Cheese was definitely praise-worthy because of the eclectic blend of cheese with spicy jalapeños which added some zest to the corn dogs: all in all, I don't mean to sound too cheesy but this dish was all about cheesy goodness.
Curried Chicken Momos | Rs.450
The presentation of the dish serves looks to its Tibetan roots and from the first touch it is clear that the momos are of a hard, stretchy consistency; almost like biting into a ball of raw dough. The texture is restored to an edible level once the moisture of the inner filling oozes out, however steaming the momos longer should easily resolve the issue of the outer layer. The dip that comes along is a thick, red one which is loaded with spicy goodness (not too salty too, so bravo for that)!
The Republk Beef Frizzle | Rs.650
Looking for that good bite while 'cracking open a cold one with the boys'? Well the perfect side-dish for chilling with friends is this; served in the most Sri Lankan way I know in a mix of the best of Sri Lankan spices. Squeeze the lime but do not over do it since the dish is already too salty (for sensitive tastebuds)! The beef was well cooked leaving no room for hard chewing which I loved, and it all had a perfect balance of spiciness as well as a sweetness which was added by the onions.
Classic Mac and Cheese (Chicken) | Rs.750
Cleverly served with a side of garlic bread and salad: smart move Re.pub.lk, you really got me thinking about my poor eating habits.
From the first dive with your fork, through the cheesy hard layer on top, the melted cheese creates a spectacle of dripping cheese which adds to the experience of a classic M&C. The Cheese witching was creamy and thick, which moistened the macaroni to a perfect softness while infusing a light saltiness to it. However, the chicken cubes inside tasted bland; I would've liked if the flavour of the garlic was infused with the chicken instead of the bread outside, since the chicken is one of the major elements of the dish.
P.S. a boomerang worthy moment for you Instagram fanatics
The garlic bread really was a clever side dish in the sense that it added that edge to the cheesy dish and gave the dish a certain twist; zest of garlic did not over power the cheesiness which was great!
Classic Tiramisu | Rs.950
An experienced mixologist at the venue makes the chocolate puree and from the first sip it is evident that the silky smooth, sweet taste of the chocolate steals the spotlight from the rich taste of the Kahlúa. In spite of the strong under taste of the vodka, the chocolate cream mixes well with the liquor to provide a soothing after-taste (almost like that after you’ve just had hot chocolate). We can all agree that anyone can definitely use one as a starter as well as a dessert: no one is going to judge your decision.
Passion Bowl | Rs.850
Tastes like the typical mojito I’d make myself on a hot sunny day; Fruity, with a strong punch of the blend of vodka and rum. It is refreshing to the extent where the cold tanginess actually settles at the bridge of your nose. The crushed ice together with the passion puree made it more of an intense mojito, which I loved, and the zest of the passion seeds definitely added a further kick to the drink! Without a doubt, this drink will have you feeling those summer vibes so I guess you’d say, “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day” even if your girl is not treating you right.
Republk Arrack Sour | Rs.700
Personally for me, an arrack infused drink needs to have that punch of the arrack which I missed in this drink. The arrack flavour was very subtle so I craved the taste of arrack more and more with every sip but the sweet taste of orange juice squeezed its way through (fruit juice pun). I also felt that the drink was a bit dilute although the balance to drive out the sting of the arrack after taste was definitely present because of the orange juice; maybe its time we kicked it up a notch with the volume of arrack in the cocktail!
Safety first though folks, stay classy about it and don’t over drink because that will leave bitter (not so sweet) memories for your hangover the day after.
Nutella Bread Roll Churros | Rs.650
Re.pub.lk easily monopolises the churros market in Sri Lanka due to the lack of close substitutes to the high standards they've set: in terms of rich Nutella filled churros, coated with a gentle sprinkle of sugar. From the perfectly crispy and thin outer layer(which had a soothing hint of cinnamon) to the airy light core of Nutella; everything was nailed to perfection!
Definitely the best churros in town and it's worth your time, money and effort to make your way to the venue just to try them out(at least)!
Whilst the drinks are served in the typical bar-like way, they've added a rustic element to the presentation of most of their dishes with the use of wooden boards.
Although some of the dishes were also served on porcelain which sets an upscale tone to the place, I believe the wooden boards complimented the dark ambience and the rusty interiors more. Each dish was served in their own unique way; with the onion rings standing out the most almost like a ring toss game with a wooden pole. REPUBLK cleverly uses a minimalistic approach which consequently creates culinary masterpieces that are a delight to look at (while also being Instagram worthy because who wouldn't want to boast about a Friday night with your best mates?)
From the lively atmosphere the bartender creates to the ecstatic energy of the waiters, they make you a turn a blind eye to your drinking habits and ensures you have a good time. If you have any queries about their drinks or dishes, they'd be more than happy to take you through the process of how they are even prepared (maybe with a small anecdote too!).
Interior & Ambience
Bricks, metal and wood congeal to create the rusty interiors of REPUBLK like a upper-east side fancy bar in Manhattan; seriously felt like a plush urban outfitters themed setting. From plush seating to a terrace lined with warm yellow lights overlooking the WTC, it is relaxing to spend time there; with the gentle breeze and the soft sound of the city fading away. The outdoor terrace is easily my favourite spot there due to the unparalleled view of the WTC but the place in general has a dark touch to it with a hint of yellow light, to create this secluded atmosphere perfect to kick off your shoes and groove to some Billy Joel or Dire Straits hits.
May have referred to a few memes here and there, but there truly is no better place to crack open a cold one with the boys than at REPUBLK! The experienced mixologist and bartenders will have you craving for more of their cocktails (and shooters to say goodbye to your woes), while you relax in their urban-chic interior or the relaxing terrace as you enjoy a drink and some bites under the stars (and warm yellow light bulbs). The night is an adventure and it may take you anywhere, but start it off right at Re.pub.lk!