Nestled within the confines of the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, Ikoi Tei is a quaint Japanese restaurant by Hilton Colombo that remains the best-kept secret in town!
Words Udeshi Amarasinghe.
Photographs Menaka Aravinda and Anuradha Perera.
The calm and relaxing ambiance of the Dutch Hospital pervades through Ikoi Tei as you walk in. Its simple yet elegant furnishing representing the minimalist approach of Japanese culture blends perfectly with the unique Dutch architecture. Subtle earthen hues, large doors, and windows create a spacious and laid-back space. Interestingly, Japan too had a historical relationship with the Dutch, where their fort and trading post were established during the Edo period in Dejima, Nagasaki. This legacy is depicted on paintings around the long dining hall of the restaurant.
The dining area is arranged so that there is comfortable seating with comfy cushions for a splash of colors, and ample space for diners to enjoy their meals. On one end of the restaurant, there is the Teppan grill, which if required, can seat eight individuals and on the other end, the bar and private dining room that can accommodate up to 12 individuals for special gatherings.
Chef Hikaru Takahashi heads the team at Ikoi Tei and has been curating the menu to serve Japanese cuisine that is authentic in taste and preparation, yet, modern in presentation. Having been with the restaurant for over four years, he is well attuned to the flavors, spices, and dishes that are appreciated by the guests. There are two separate menus for lunch and dinner with a variety to select from. The lunch menu has set options as generally, guests do not spend too much time on this meal. Therefore, innovative Bento boxes with two main courses, sashimi, tempura, side dish, steamed egg, rice, and miso soup, have been created, as it is a more compact and an easy way to have a wholesome lunch. Sushi, Sashimi, Donburi, Teppanyaki, and various other combinations have been brought together in the menu to offer guests a selection to choose from. The dinner menu differs in that it offers courses where guests can decide the dish they like and also how it should be prepared. Once a guest has started their meal with an appetizer and ends with a dessert, they would have engaged on a Japanese culinary journey and their experience would be of complete fulfillment.
Chef Takahashi embarked on this career path as his father too was a chef. With preliminary training in traditional Japanese cuisine, Chef Takahashi worked in Sri Lanka 15 years ago with the Japanese Embassy and was also in Geneva, Switzerland. Having garnered his experience in restaurants and hotels in Japan as well, it was with great pleasure that he returned to
Sri Lanka to be a member of the Hilton Colombo team. He was able to translate his numerous experiences to provide cuisine that is authentic and flavor-some using Sri Lankan fresh produce, meat and seafood with seasoning and other specific ingredients from Japan.
The bar is an ideal place to relax after work with friends. Traditional and sparkling sake, unique cocktail concoctions, spirits, mocktails, wines, and fresh juices are served to cater to the guests’ desire. The beverages complement the cuisine served at Ikoi Tei and enhances the flavors of each dish.
Whether it is with family, friends or even for a work gathering, Ikoi Tei provides a unique space that is welcoming and private, together with excellent food and true Hilton hospitality.
Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct
(+94 11) 244 1275
Opening hours; 11am to 3pm and
6pm to 11pm, daily
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