The Sugar Bistro and Wine Bar combines a superb location, warm ambience and an eclectic menu to offer an addictive experience that will make it one of your favourite hangouts in town.
Words Ayesha Inoon Photographs Damith Wickramasinghe
Perhaps you would like to sit in the sun-dappled patio, caressed by the ocean breeze and, surrounded by the vibrant ambience of the bustling city. Afterwards you might slip inside to the cool, air-conditioned interior to indulge in a delectable meal and a sparkling glass of wine, relax with a friend while contemporary music plays in the background or catch up with work as you log in to the free WiFi.
“We wanted to create a modern bistro experience with an international feel,” says Dinesh Wijesinghe, Director of Sugar, who along with fellow Director, Gehan Fernando, launched the restaurant in September, 2012. Having identified the potential of this location in Crescat Boulevard, adjoining the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, with underground car parking and easy access to the road, not to speak of the vibrant atmosphere, they determined to create a space where guests could enjoy good food and service at reasonable prices.
Open from eight in the morning to midnight, Sugar offers a diverse and tempting menu that keeps the restaurant humming seamlessly from one meal to the other. Choices for breakfast include traditional French toast topped with sliced banana and honey or treacle, fresh waffles, poached eggs and muesli. The All Day Breakfast, a hearty English-style meal, is a perfect way to fuel up for a grueling day ahead.
Tasteful starters such as the Mozzarella Balls and Thai Beef Strips and a variety of salads and soups such as Roasted Pumpkin, Prawn Bisque and Cream of Mushroom are not just delicious entrees but could even be a light meal in themselves. The choice of sandwiches is tempting and varied: the Bacon Butty, Surf Roll with chilli tuna and teriyaki prawns, Crispy Chicken Baguette and the Smoked Salmon. The Classic Sugar Burger mimics the world-renowned favourite, and the Sugar Dog is reminiscent of a juicy hotdog right off the sidewalks of Manhattan.
The mains vary from Australian Sirloin Steak that is grilled to your liking to Salmon Fillet on Pearl Couscous and Grilled Pork Chops with Stewed Apple and Robert Sauce, all served with a choice of vegetables and baked, mashed or French fried potatoes. The Bistro is also well known for its selection of tapas, mouthwatering morsels such as Devilled Crab Wonton, Miniature Beef Cordon Bleu and Ginger Chicken Pops.
The menu at Sugar offers a diverse selection of dishes ranging from spicy to mild to quick or substantial meals. Furthermore, the flavoursome desserts are also popular, especially the unique homemade ice cream with flavours such as cinnamon and honey and rum and coffee.
With a children’s menu including favourites such as Mac and Cheese and Fish Fingers and Chips, and with almost all items priced between Rs 150 and 300, makes this a sought-after family restaurant. The interior is non-smoking, and they provide high chairs for their youngest customers.
As they complete six months of being in operation, they are looking at reengineering their menu, by introducing Sri Lankan Rice and Curry with a selection of meat and seafood at lunchtime as well as their own Lamprais.
One of the most alluring features of Sugar is its well-stocked Wine Bar. “Wine is becoming increasingly popular in the country,” says Dinesh, “and to cater to that we’ve got fine wines from all over the world.” Apart from international cocktails and their range of signature cocktails, Sugar also serves wine by the glass. There is no mark-up on this option, in keeping with Sugar’s philosophy of making quality food and drink available and affordable to many. The Wine and Cheese promotion that was begun in March this year is a fun way to sample these wares.
The beverage menu also offers a range of Fresh Juices and Smoothies, Teas and Coffees and a unique selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic Frappes. The Mexican Coffee Frappe comes with a dash of tequila and coffee liqueur and the Black Russian Frappe with vodka and coffee liqueur while non alcoholic choices include the Chocolate Chip Mocha Frappe and Vanilla Cappuccino Frappe.
Whether as a cosy nook to hang out with friends and family or as a sophisticated venue for cocktails before dinner, Sugar is a multidimensional setting that delights the heart as well as the palate. “I think we’ve achieved what we set out to do,” remarks Dinesh, “because we are now known for good food, reasonable prices and excellent service. In a town where everyone calls themselves fine dining, we are happy to say we are not fine dining, but you can certainly dine in fine style!”
Crescat Boulevard, Colombo 3
Tel:(+94 11) 244 6229