The Gallery Café
May 11, 2018
Owned by the same flamboyant designer who brought Colombo the Paradise Road interior’s stores, Gallery Café is an exquisite open-air restaurant-bar with adjoining art gallery that is quite simply the finest restaurant on the island. The former offices of legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa (his old work bench is now a table in the bar) it has all Bawa’s air-and-space design touches. A black-tiled pond bubbling with black catfish marks the gallery entrance, a low terracotta tiled roof and wood pillars leading onto the exhibition space. The bar is beyond this, done up with low-slung cow hide chairs, tiled floors and a stone counter behind which a Neru-collared barman mashes up delicious caiparinhas and daiquiris. Take a pre-dinner drink and gaze at the diners: an upper class mix of diplomats, tourists and local artists and architects. Flamboyant trees and palms rise up from the open courtyard dining section, while bamboo trunks and clay vats line the walls of the covered section. Order the lemon butter lobster under the stars and try to work out why you didn’t move to Sri Lanka years ago.