A taste of Sri Lanka comes to Ecclesall Road with new Sheffield restaurant
Colombo by Ayubowan is a Sri Lankan restaurant on the lower end of Ecclesall Road - and the first of its kind in Sheffield.
It replaced the former Bocelli 1831 site a few months ago and has sister restaurants, including in Matlock.
The restaurant is named after the capital of Sri Lanka and holds to it s long history as a port on ancient east-west trade routes.
Interestingly, the Sri Lankan Millsri masks on the wall of Colombo are imported directly from the country .
The hostess said they were used in lots of kinds of Sri Lankan occasions like weddings, and can come in all kinds of different that mean different things, like healing and wealth. They are most commonly known for being worn in dancing rituals 'Kolam', which tell stories of traditional Sri Lankan colonial life.
Sri Lankan food seems to similar to Indian cuisine in that they have some of the same dishes we are familiar with but with slightly different flavours and spices.
The menu was easy to follow as the dishes most people may not be familiar with had brief descriptions under the titles, although staff serving were more than happy to explain.
The menu was in my opinion, extensive and spoiled us for choice. The prices were good and the portion sizes generous.
We started with ordering drinks from a Colombo p each mojito which was a peach liqueur with dark rum, sugar syrup and lemon juice and I had the Havana rasp berry - raspberry liqueur with white rum mixed with lemonade – both were just right for the food we ordered.
The three appetisers we chose were lamb patties, calamari rings and the Kanda bhaji.
I went with two friends of mi ne - on e is a vegetarian and was able to give me another perspective to the menu.
The lamb patties were lovely, full of seasoning and a definite favourite but the bhajis that held the familiar flavours and crispness on the outside let us down with an unusual texture we weren’t used to on the inside.
We kept it safe for mains by ordering curries and I got the medium spiced “chicken D evil.”
The heat was not as bad as the name sounds, while it definitely had a kick the food didn’t scorch my mouth. It was full of flavour and the chicken in the dish was chunky and tender - delicious.
The whole meal was full of flavour which is why we felt a bit let down when we tried the vegetarian jackfruit devil version - the jackfruit could have used some marinating or some sort of seasoning as it didn’t hold as much flavour. As it was a main course , I felt that it didn’t hold up to the other good dishes .
The menu is very accommodating to vegetarians and vegans as well as meat eaters. There were plenty of side dishes to choose from too.
Aside from the food, the decor and the colours of the restaurant were definitely modern and warm lighting made us feel welcome.
Overall it was a lovely evening, the atmosphere was pleasant and so were the staff, being helpful, friendly and laughing with the guests.
There was room for improvement here and there but as an introdu ction to Sri Lankan food I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to try something new.
It's also a boost having another independent restaurant on the road.
Colombo, 359-361 Ecclesall Road
Tel: : 0114 266 3826