“Spiced to perfection” – though not a phrase minted themselves, it describes the culinary aims of Chez Amano restauranteurs, and aptly so.
“Local connoisseurs come here when they want fresh lobster and good wine,” the mai tre d’hotel ( a connoisseur himself) states frankly. “Or to relax, listen to some classical music and enjoy authentic Sri Lankan food.” On all these accounts, it’s a deserving favorite, serving a variety of Continental, Chinese and Sri Lankan dishes in an attractive, comfortable setting.
Stepping through a garden lush with tropical plants and flowering trees, you’ll enter the colonial fashioned house lined in soft wood with bamboo decor. Overhead fans gently stir ocean breezes as the sounds of birds flutter through open windows. A courteous staff greets the guest with a bamboos heathed menu and are quick to return with refreshing juices or one of the special cocktails featuring local or imported liquors. For an appetizer, try fresh crab cocktail or fried prawns with tangy sauce – daily harvested fruits der mer.
A selection of seafood plates -grilled lobster, fish prawns, shark steak, to name a few – plus over a dozen curries and still more Chinese dishes make ordering here and ordeal. The chefs are pleased to concoct a variation on request and to suit the curry spiciness to your palate. Though not listed on the menu, we sampled a delicious crab curry. “Very spicy please” came just rightspiced to perfection, with enough chili to bring out the handkerchief but not so much as to dispel the curries’ other flavors. A mild, creamy vegetable curry, plenty of steamed rice to soak up the precious sauces, and a bottle of dry white wine left nothing wanting. But should you want more, there is a fine selection of desserts to choose from-fresh tropical fruits, ice cream sundaes, and an impressive pineapple surprise (for two) that comes wheeled in on a cart, mounded with white meringue and dancing with blue flames as it’s presented to the surprised guests. Chez Amano -for an enjoyable lunch or dinner at prices to suit any pocket book. Entrees range from Rs 40 to 300. Chez Amano is located at 106 Galle Road, Colombo 3 (tel. 29918). And soon to open is a beachfrontChinese restaurant, with open air seating, a full menu of Cantonese and other regional cooking, and the same dedication to fine food that’s made Chez Amano a time and again favorite.
Photo courtesy: Thilak Seneviratne