The Gallery Café – shopping and dining
The Gallery Café is one of the most famous restaurants in Sri Lanka and is located in a building that was the former office of locally famous architect Geoffrey Bawa who also designed it back in the early nineteen sixties. The restaurant truly has a unique and stylish design with pools, porches and courtyards and was founded 1998 together with a shop, a bar and a gallery situated under the same ceiling.
The Gallery Café and The Art Gallery are intermingled under the same ceilings, but the fusion works well and the genuine artistic style adds a good feeling to the restaurant. The entrance to the Gallery Café leads you through a room with tiled roofs, firm wooden pillars and a fish filled pond in the middle of the room, before you enter the realms of The Gallery Café. You are surrounded by art that is changed regularly and that works perfect for the ambience of the restaurant. You can dine at the outdoor seating, but we recommend the main dining room. It is a big restaurant, seating many, and the noise level and the sometimes claustrophobic feeling when you sit too close to other dining guests can be too much for the very sophisticated, but works for everyone prepared for a more casual evening.
The service is inconsistent and works okay sometimes and poorly other times. It can take an hour or so to get a dish if you are there on a bad night and the supposed to be warm food can sometimes be served cold and that is of course not acceptable. The international fusion menu with a lot of touches from Sri Lanka’s cuisine as well works good, but is not exceptional. The char grilled duck with teriyaki sauce and pasta is good and so is the shitake mushroom on puff pastry with parmesan, walnuts and salad as well, but the schnitzel and some chicken dishes have been pure disappointments.
The Gallery Café is certainly the place to be at when you are in Colombo, but compared to the finest restaurants in the world the restaurant does not stand a chance. It is a pleasant and casual evening well spent in stylish and rather unique surroundings, but do not expect any quality compared to any high international standard. Take it for what it is and enjoy your evening in Colombo.
The Gallery Café scored 31 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
The Gallery Café
2 Alfred House Road
Phone: +94 11 258 2162