After weeks and weeks of hearing, reading and looking at pictures, I finally managed to go and check it out for myself. First impressions were like "wow, Colombo cleans up nice!" as I made Darling drive round and round the environs with me hanging out of the window in true Banda (Bandi?) Kolamba giya style.
The Dutch hospital was simply breathtaking, with the tall pillars and the massive wooden beams. With Bubs firmly strapped on to my chest, we proceeded to walk around, drinking in the colours (especially at Odel and Barefoot) and the smells (not such a fan of the cigarette smoke, though).
My second impression was an eerie flash back to the days spent in training at the Angoda mental hospital, now the National Institute of Mental Health. The same high vaulted ceilings, the same inner courtyard, the same massive walls and large windows, albeit with stout iron bars across them. I could just imagine how it was, centuries ago as pallid seamen and other patients lay on mats against the walls.
I loved the decor at the Hilton run restaurant ... and decided to order from their somewhat limited menu. All I can say was that I was really disappointed with the chicken schnitzel, the meat had been pounded so thin it resembled not so much a fillet than a slice of salami and the accompaniments were kinda meh. It compares very poorly with the one served at Urban Kitchen (Arpico, Hyde Park), which is not only nice and meaty, but comes with delicious hummus, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese. Dee has a review of other foods here.
We then went to check out the Heladiv tea club, which was charmingly decorated (a blue chandelier, I kid you not!) and smelled amazing. We decided to skip the tea and just take some dessert home as the Bumtrinket was going all kolavery di. The death by chocolate cake made a serious attempt to live up to its name. Although slathered in nice gooey icing, the cake itself was unbelievably thick and heavy (helloooo, baking powder?) and I swear I could feel it sitting like a rock in my stomach a good hour later. The chocolate eclair was slightly dry and an absolute rip off at Rs. 190/-., even though it had a fresh chocolate cream filling. Galle Face Hotel does a larger eclair with fresh chocolate cream for Rs. 50/- which is heavenly as long as it is fresh (choux pastry is nasty when stale). CJ sampled some other stuff on their menu, and his views can be found here.
On the way back we popped into Chocoluv, which had opened an outlet at Gregory's road. The ambiance was marvelous with shiny piles of frerro roche chocolate, fresh flowers, lots of mirrors and butterfly cutouts suspended from the ceiling. We had a frerro milkshake and a kinder milkshake, which were absolutely scrummy, and at Rs.250/- value for money.
Yup, that was a pretty good day! :D