Reviewed by Duhan Veera | 10 months ago
Lemongrass is a restaurant chain in Colombo well-known for their Indian and Thai dishes. The newest branch opened in Malabe Junction, an ideal location surrounded by shopping centers and offices. The owner, Ms. Avanthi Wijethilaka explained how Lemongrass values quality and quantity for the consumers; and prides itself on satisfying customers through taste and quality of their food. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! We were very hungry by the time we got there, and waited two more hours till we were invited to indulge on the spread that was put forward for us.
Food & Drinks
Special Passion, Pine, Apple and Orange Mocktail
This drink was a special for the night. The mocktail was sugar free and fruity diluted with mmore water and hint of sangria in it. This was more of an adult drink, and it was an interesting after taste to it
Starter Ulundu Vadai | Rs. 50 (per vadai)
The vadai was steaming hot, crispy and fluffy - served with three varieties of coconut chutney was equally flavorful.
Starter Vegetable Samosa | Rs. 60 (per samosa)
The samosa filling comprised of diced potatoes, green peas and sliced lemongrass. Even though the dough was thick, you can taste the potatoes and peas inside the samosa. We vote for the filling!
Deep Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls | Rs. 590 (6 nos)
Spring Rolls were pretty average. The filling was peppered cabbage which had no flavor whatsoever. The chili garlic sauce had to come to its rescue.
Prawn Tempure (Batter Prawns) | Rs. 790
This dish was a disappointment. The prawns just snapped when you touch them, the texture on the prawns seemed old and looked as if it was frozen for a long time. The batter on the prawns didn’t do any justice either.
Thai Fried Rice | Rs. 580 (S) 740 (L)
The rice was nothing special; jasmine rice cooked with chopped leeks and carrots. This once again turned out to be pretty decent and smooth but we honestly expected more from a place specializing in Thai.
Battered Cuttlefish | Rs. 890
Most restaurants have a way to add extra volume and hide the cuttlefish, but Lemongrass apparently serves more cuttlefish and keeps the carrots and spring onions to a minimum. From what we tasted, the cuttlefish was chewy like rubber and the batter was grainy and tasteless. We missed the spiciness of other battered cuttlefish we’ve tasted.
Vegetable Chopsuey | Rs. 620
Chopsuey is usually served with a sticky broth, but this dish was more like a stir fry with vegetable juices on it. The dish was uninspired and we were surprised by the bakchoy and shiitake mushrooms in the chopseuy.
Thai Yellow Curry | Rs. 890
The Yellow Curry was a little redemption of the otherwise failed dish. The richness in the coconut milk and the infusion of the spices was great but the protein in the dish (we weren’t sure whether it was fish or chicken) was overcooked and just melted away in our tongues.
Hyderabadi Biriyani | Rs. 450
The biriyani was amazing. It would give all Indian restaurants a run for its money. The highlight of the entire experience. We know how much effort is put into making this dish since it's not an average biriyani, plus we loved the spice and how the rice wasn't over cooked and stayed true to all the rumors that it's possibly one of the best in town.
Tandoori Chicken | Rs. 700
The Tandoori Chicken looked brilliantly bright in its tandoori hues, and despite it being packed with flavor, we found it to be a little on the dry side. Juicy tandoori meat is what we live for!
Chicken Curry | Rs. 590
The chicken curry was flavorful with the garam masala and other spices coming out with every bite you take. We found that there was a generous amount of meat in the dish too for the price. Pair it with any Indian bread and you're good to go!
Plain Naan | Rs. 130
The Naan was doughy and more of a chapatti in the shape of a naan. Most of the naan were burnt and unappetizing. Regardless of how it looked, it was soft and delicious and we'd definitely opt for a cheese or garlic naan.
Raita | Rs. 250
Raita is a Yoghurt salad, with lots of chopped onions, green chili and cucumber. On the other hand the one we were offered was quite watery and had an overdose of onions, which made it more or less like an onion salad.
We were served on white plates. The food presentation was colorful and made us drool to try them out. But presentation isn’t everything when it comes to food.
The service was appalling. We were waiting for two hours for service. Amidst, the aunties’ gossip sesh and the uncles drinking their way through, we just were involved in our conversations. The staff were clueless and most of the time chatting amongst themselves. This however cannot be taken into consideration as official service, since it was the restaurant opening - little did we realize that it was an opening with a family party, which explained why food was served quite late!
Interior & Ambience
The family seating up-to 8pax on the ground floor was rather crowded but the tables on the upper floor were rather relaxing. We loved the wallpaper on the walls, the green and gold elevated the feel of the dining area.
Lemongrass maybe well known for their varieties of Indian and Thai rices and curries, but this experience was just below our expectations. There were many hits and misses, consistency really got the better of the night. Nevertheless, there were moments where we enjoyed the food from the biriyani to the tandoori meat and we hope to check this place out again, when it's not exactly a party!
Note : This was the official opening of Lemongrass Malabe.