by Anuki Premachandra
What’s not to love about a game of cricket?
Open 7.30 a.m. – 11.00 p.m.
Your dad’s/uncle’s/grandpa’s ultimate dinner time and all around the year topic of interest was 1996, the epitome of Sri Lankan cricket. Though 1996 seems like quite a few years ago, we’ve somehow found a way to keep its light in existence. This was also when two Aussie lads decided to open up a cricket themed restaurant down Queen’s road. Because, why not right?
A few months ago, they relocated down to Flower Road, and man, the place looks even better. You’d love it even if you’re a typical stereotype that doesn’t appreciate cricket (yes, they do exist). We gave their food a try, it’s as promising as it used to be. Actually, it’s gotten a ton better.
Cricket Club Café somehow makes you feel at home. They’ve continued their very very cricket themed décor and brought it to their new establishment. I legit went all ga-ga over their walls and the signed tee’s and the food.
It’s very casual dining. A great place to hang out with a group of friends or even a Sunday dinner out with your family; this is typically the kind of crowd we found there as well. They’ve got a few different seating options. By this I mean, there’s the bar area that has a tavern-ish interior and seating and then there’s the outdoor seating area, the indoor cozy seating etc. You may choose as you wish.
They really did hit a 6 with their service (see what I did there). It’s improved insanely. Their waiters are very cordial and are sure to check up on you time to time.
Food and Drinks
Drinks: Chocnana Smoothie – Rs. 345 and Tropical Freeze – Rs.455
For drinks, we decided to bat and bowl without alcohol – and we weren’t let down!
We were glad we chose the Chocnana Smoothie. It was a mix of a few favourite ingredients – melted chocolate, chopped banana, milk and vanilla ice cream. It was a chocolate-banana smoothie hence the name Chocnana! Although it was supposed to taste like a chocolate smoothie and a banana had a kid, it tasted more like it was banana’s kid and chocolate was the step mom. Do you see where I’m going with this?
The Tropical Freeze, according to the menu was ‘supposed’ to promise a refreshing treat. It wasn’t refreshing on the first take because the drink was room temperature, and on a hot day, a room temp drink tastes yuck. We had to send it back twice until the next time the waiter brought the drink to us, he got us an ice container as well. Anyway, once the drink was cold enough, it did taste pretty refreshing and tropical. It’s a mix of melon, orange, papaya, apple, pineapple, banana and crushed ice. But it tasted more pineapple than the rest, and this did give it the punch of the tropics. For me, I pictured myself sipping a Tropical Freeze while basking in the pink-orange hues of a beautiful sunset in down south Mirissa.
Appetizers: Chappell’s Caesar (chicken) – Rs. 795
Disclaimer: THE FOOD NAMES ARE CRICKET INSPIRED TOO!
Just like the exceptional all round cricket player Chappel was, the Caesar salad named after him gave you a run for your money. Beautiful lettuce tossed in egg and chicken bacon, cheese, anchovies and a good homemade dressing. You can either opt for a chicken, prawn or avocado Caesar Salad if the plain old one bores you. The portion was pretty big for an entrée. It comes in a big bowl and is worth every bite. You can actually get it a portion larger, as your main course.
Mains: The David Shepherd – Rs 1075, Mc Cullum’s Mexican Wrap – Rs 685 and Kapil Char Grilled Chicken – Rs 985
Let’s get down to David’s Shepherd’s pie, a well-made traditional Shepherd’s pie with minced Australian lamb. The minced lamb was a little short of flavor and we felt like the mutton was slightly bland and would have tasted better if the stock and sauce infused itself into the meat a little longer. You can opt for a Shepherd’s pie with either mashed potatoes or homemade puff pastry. We picked puff pastry that sat like a beret over the shepherd’s pie, but it was quite a handful though. We wished we trusted our instincts and went with mashed potato instead.The massive pie was accompanied with some chunky fries as well.
McCullum’s Mexican Wrap was a great catch! It was our favourite out of all 3 choices. Accompanied by a large portion of fries in a mesh basket, and a pile of coleslaw, the wraps were pretty much an all-around dish. The wrap was ideally like a shawarma cut into two. It was loaded with chunky pieces of meat that were pretty well marinated and I think it was grilled because it carried a char taste with it. The wrap also had tomato salsa, avocado and sour cream and the flavors really came through. Would deffa go back for it.
Kapil’s Char Grilled Chicken was two beautiful chicken fillets that were char grilled topped with BBQ sauce and served with two baked potatoes. We also opted for a garden salad with the chicken. It took a little longer to arrive that the other two. But when it was served, we were impressed. One thing about the Cricket Club Café is how loaded their plates are. It wasn’t about Michelin Star like presentation, but more of an appetite pleasing meal, and we were very happy with that. You know that the dishes are big enough and worthy enough. The chicken was amazing; the meat was super tender and the char taste had scrawled its way right down to the bone and when accompanied with the BBQ sauce, was flavourgasmic. The two baked potatoes were topped with sour cream. It was the first time I had it, and I absolutely loved it.
Have you tried The Cricket Club Cafe yet? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below! Is there anything we’ve missed?
Tip: Portions are actually more than enough per person. Do not underestimate them!