Columnists,Ninuri Asalya,Main Slider,Top Story,TRAVEL & CUISINE l by Ninuri Asalya l 12 Feb 2020     - 2552

Top 2 Most Romantic Restaurants in Colombo

Botanik Rooftop Bistro & Bar

Botanik, owned by Cantaloupe & Co., is proudly perched on the rooftop of the Fairway hotel, eagerly overlooking the bustle of Colombo. Its entirety is adorned with delightful botanical elements from the gorgeous ambience to the delectable dishes. This soothing theme was conceptualized with the purpose of providing a warm environment with just the right elements of contemporary and rustic Chic.

Its open rooftop scopes the beautiful Colombo skyline while the indoor setting stimulates a romantic, intimate experience. Thus, the Botanik comprises three main areas. The Contemporary Bistro, which is the indoor Dining area that peers into the kitchen; The Veranda, which is the breezy mosaic tiled corridor with sofa and bar seating that’s perfect for alfresco dining; and The Rooftop Terrace which bathes in the stunning beauty of Colombo’s ever changing skyline.

Botanik has made an extraordinary effort in regards to the decor. From the high ceilings and the signature light grid to the exposed brick walls and the various tiles, the intricate details of the design portrays a very unique and charming architecture. The custom drawn art that lingers about the indoor setting weaves a heartwarming story of the tropical plants, flowers and birds indigenous to Sri Lanka. The four sided island bar that embraces Colombo’s nightlife is pieced together with handmade Moroccan style Mosaic tiles while the cozy furniture, including some Java Teak pieces and contemporary design, were especially sourced from Bali. All these features tie in together to produce a comforting veil of romance.

As for Botanik’s selection of contemporary bistro style dishes, they are just as exquisite. It primarily consists of slow cooked meats, fresh seafood and handmade bread and pasta. As such, small plates and snacks are carefully curated to suit an alfresco dining.

The Lunch and Dinner Menu

● Spicy Sambal Stingray

A delicious dish, inspired by a certain Singaporean street food delicacy, that’s marinated in Sambal and garnished with lime for a more native twist.

● Rib Eye

An Australian based dish consisting of shallot and potato ragout that’s elegantly bathed in red wine sauce, and blissfully paired with potato frites sauces and fermented soy.

● Goat Cheese Ravioli

A dish of mouthwatering homemade pasta lathered with ricotta, fresh basil and tomato. A definite must-have for my vegetarian friends.

Country Home Style Rice and Curry

Inspired by regional Sri Lankan lunches islandwide and the Sri Lankan spirit of hospitality, this menu was created to provide the nostalgic comfort of a home-style rice and curry - but, of course, with a classy twist. To further authenticate the dishes, the produce is locally sourced and the recipes are formulated in-house. As a stuffy, delicious addition, each meal is served with a bowl of fluffy and aromatic Ghee Rice.

● Chicken Curry

This yummy dish is infused with Lemongrass and a selection of spices that cook up the most unraveling chicken curry.

● Blue Water

Prawns Fresh off the Western Coast of Negombo, the prawns are well-marinated and cooked in Botanik’s signature curry leaf pesto.

● Fried Beef

This tamarind and chili infused dish was inspired by the Bohra method of salted chili to produce a most flavourful dish.

● Pan fried Moda served with green chili and tomatoes.

Botanikal Beverages

Botanik’s specialty beverages are created with localized House Made Syrups, resulting in concoctions that are absolutely to-die-for.

● Pandan (Rampe)

This heavenly cocktail consists of Pandan Juice infused with Coconut Water, Kitul, Lemon and Ceylon Arrack or Old Arrack.

● Tamarind (Siyambala)

This ambrosial cocktail cocktail consists of Tamarind juice infused with Coconut Cream, Passion fruit and Ceylon Arrack or Old Arrack. This drink is most ideal for this weather for its refreshing and cooling characteristics.

● Pineapple (Annasi)

This sweet cocktail consists of pineapple juice infused with succulent Mango, Raspberry, Togarashi and Bacardi Carta Blanca. Each eager sip leaves a lasting impression of fruity bliss.

Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day swiftly approaching, Botanik has embraced its inner romantic. Enjoy a 3-course meal with your significant other - your beau, your partner in crime. Welcome the intimacy that Botanik so willfully offers and dig into their delicious goodness while you gracefully sip on wine. Fine dining is just what you and your loved one deserves.

Utter euphoria awaits you at the Botanik Rooftop Bistro & Bar. Make your reservations now and anticipate a mesmerizing and memorable day out with the love of your life.

Flamingo House

Flamingo House, located at the heart of Colombo, is an eclectic restaurant famed for its romantic setting and its beautiful origin story. Of course, the truth behind the story is up for grabs, but there’s a certain beauty in realizing that the story isn’t entirely fictional. The story goes as such.

In 1822, Sir Alfred Clarke of the Fernham Estate, Buckinghamshire, England landed on the golden shores of Sri Lanka and thus sealed the fate of his life and heart. During this period, he met Satyavati, the daughter of a local tradesman Murghan. It was at this point that Sir Clarke’s desires were roused and passion seeped into every crevice of his heart.

One dreary monsoon morning, Satyavati arrived on the estate, devastated and drenched. Upon inquiry, he found out that Murghan’s body had been found washed up on the banks of a river near their home.

In the years which followed, Satyavati carried out her father’s trade which proved to be immensely difficult. She was not only an unmarried young woman in a man's world, but also an only child with no other relatives for support.

Clarke, unable to hide his affection for her any longer, declares his love to Satyavati. For fear of any repercussions and shunning from her local community, she refuses to entertain any such thoughts.

During a secret liaison to his beachside cottage, Satyavati tells Clarke of a recurring dream she is having about her father on the banks of a river and a dark shadow that follows him. Yet the moment the shadow gets too close, a flock of pink flamingos would fly in and carry him away to safety.

Realising that a secret life was the only way he could love Satyavati, Clarke buys a property in the hills of Lindulla overlooking a river. An only child himself, all his belongings and family heirlooms are brought to Lindulla from the Fernham Estate in Buckinghamshire to replicate his lifestyle in England. He then proceeds to recreate the lake in Satyavati's dream on this property. A flock of flamingos are brought from India along with twenty workers who do not speak the local language.

This would become their hideaway for the next 22 years. In 1843, during a trip to England with Satyavati, she becomes violently ill and passes away in his Buckinghamshire home. Sir Clarke returns to Ceylon with a broken heart and spends the next seventeen years in his Lindulla home, in complete isolation.

On the fourth of April 1844, Sir Clarke had a dream. He dreams of Satyavati at the lake with her father surrounded by thousands of Flamingos. He runs to her and when he gets close to her, she turns and stretches her arms out to him. He holds her tight and says he will never let her go again. Ever. She looks into his eyes, kisses his head and says “We will meet again. Never forget what I told you.”

The very next day, Clarke orders for the name on the gates of the Lindulla estate to change from Fernham Estate to ‘Flamingo House’. Sir Clarke passed away in 1861, on that very same night, the flock of flamingos left the lake never to return again.

While the backstory is in itself incredibly heartwarming, the vintage ambience of the restaurant from the soothing music to the gorgeous decor adds to the romantic mood. The art pieces and antiquities that have been picked up from all around the world stunningly adorns the intimate theme of the restaurant.


Flamingo House specializes in Eurasian dishes that’s consistent with local and European elements while merging together the very best of Western and Asian cuisine.

● Charred broccoli salad

This salad is a flavourful combination of charred broccoli, pickled pumpkin, red chilli, mint, and buffalo curd. As someone who strongly dislikes salad, the fact that I genuinely enjoyed this dish [possibly a little too much] came as a pleasant surprise.

● Seared Spice Crusted Tuna

This starter consists of a delicious soy-mirin glazed tuna served with fresh asian slaw and pickled cucumber. Your taste buds can’t thank you enough.

● Village spice crab

If you’re a crab-lover, then this is the dish for you. This meal comprises a divine rustic crab curry, served with the most perfect toasted bread and an elegant coconut sambol.

● Slow Roasted Pork

Pork is a delicious dish as long as it’s made right. As for Flamingo House, well, they cook it the best. This slow roasted pork is decorated with potato puree, mushrooms, spinach and wholly bathed with a yummy house mustard.

● Lamprais Lamprais has very much become a part of local cuisine and, in fact, holds a special place in every Sri Lankan’s heart. Flamingo House offers a lamprais that hits just the spot and overwhelms you with a wave of flavours. A must-have for sure.

● Strawberries and cream

Strawberries and ice cream are very dear to the majority, so to see them placed together is simply blissful. This cold goodness consists of vanilla bean ice cream sprinkled with orange, balsamic vinegar and mint.

● Poached pear

This stunning dessert consists of a tender poached pear and delectable coconut rice pudding [we, Sri Lankans, sure do love coconut] flavoured with ginger and saffron. It’s absolutely delightful.

Valentine’s Day

Just last year, Flamingo House was nominated the 14th Most Romantic Restaurant in Asia. So why not spend Valentine’s Day with your beloved at Flamingo House, where they really know how to kick up the romance!

Romantic tunes lulling your ears, an ambrosial 3 course meal embracing your taste buds and the sight of the love of your life smiling at you through the dimmed lights - what more could you ask for! What’s more - right after you two love birds enjoy the lovely dinner, dazzling cocktails await you at the Love Bar.

Make your reservations now and prepare for the most intimate experience you could wish for.


Ninuri Asalya

Marketeer by day and animal welfare activist by night, Ninuri would juggle her two passions on a routine basis. While she writes articles that review companies, brands and persons as a means of marketing their unique characteristics and values, she also generates content that intends to educate Sri Lanka of its dire conditions.


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