What we had
A Taste of Mughal Empire
Upon entering Alhambra – the North Indian restaurant at the opulent hotel Ramada, its elegant and intimate ambience captivates you. What is to come is a gastronomical experience unlike any other and hospitality at its best – we experienced the best of both worlds.
One of the pioneering Indian restaurants in Colombo unveiled in 1974, the menu at Alhambra contains years of curation. This is prominent in the extensive menu they offer, which features a diverse range of mouthwatering dishes, carefully picked to offer you the most authentic North Indian experience around town. Carefully made starters to wholesome mains and lip-smacking desserts, each dish at the restaurant is prepared by an in-house Indian chef. We were served by Chef Singh – a culinary guru who has served in many parts of the Bharat. As such, the food at Alhambra was truly and authentically nothing short of delicious!
Mango Lassi – LKR 400
Served in a tall glass, the mango lassi is a rich beverage that is thick in texture. The milkiness of the churned yoghurt paired with the sweetness of mango creates a wholesome drink. What’s noteworthy about it is the tangy aftertaste of mango, which balances the flavours of the beverage and evens its sweetness.
Murgh Tikka – LKR 975
Prepared in a traditional tandoor oven, the chicken tikka was served with a smooth and tangy raita. The chicken was marinated with yoghurt and cooked all the way through and came apart effortlessly, making it easy to chew on. While the chicken was seasoned to perfection, the taste of the dish was further enhanced by its charcoal flavour.
Hara Bhara Kebab – LKR 750
A personal favourite, the Hara Bhara Kebab is a vegetarian starter packed with flavour. A patty made of green peas, cashew and raisin is an absolute delight to bite into. Adding to the element of crunch is the garlic and cashew garnish. Moreover, it’s served with a mint chutney as a condiment. The whole dish screams flavour.
Pattiwala Samosa – LKR 400
Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, you could say the samosa was intricately tented to. The thin, glossy pastry breaks apart as you bite into the soft and fluffy inside made of potato. Served with sweet chutney, indulging in this is not only a gustatory delight but one of auditory and olfactory pleasure.
Naan & Parata – LKR 220
We were served with an assortment of naans ranging from plain to garlic to savoury. All of them shared common characteristics such as a crisp exterior and soft middle. Prepared in a clay oven, a distinctive charred flavour enhanced the flavour further.
Each naan contained unique characteristics of their own. While the plain naan was chewy with a charred flavour, the garlic naan – with small shreds of garlic exuded a mouthwatering aroma. The savoury naan, as the name implies was packed with spices and the chilli parata was pleasantly picante but the dough balanced its flavour.
Chicken Biriyani – LKR 950
A wholesome experience on its own – the Chicken Biriyani at Alhambra is one of the best we’ve ever had! Jampacked with flavour, the aroma of the biriyani speaks for itself. The rice is cooked to perfection holding its moisture, and paired together with the chicken is a gastronomic delight to indulge in. Bits of raisins and cashew enhances the texture and makes it a well-rounded dish.
Savans are served with chutney, raita, a pea and cashew nut condiment as well as a whole watalappam. If you’re looking to entertain your guests with something unforgettable we recommend the Alhambra biriyani a hundred per cent!
Thaali – LKR 1300
This kaleidoscopic dish comprised of many condiments. Including dhaal tadka, mutton, rasam, sabzi jalfresi, buffalo curd, green salad, a veggie samosa and biriyani, you can even have the thaali with naan. The taste of each condiment was unique, however, when eaten together makes for an explosion of flavour that is well appreciated by the Sri Lankan palate.
Dhaal Tadka – LKR 650
Yellow-brown in colour, the curry was an amalgamation of various spices, coconut milk, ghee and dhaal. Although the colour of the dish screams spice it’s a mild dish that pairs extremely well with rice and naan.
Paneer Makhani – LKR 850
Served in a thick red gravy, the paneer together with the curry was a match made in heaven. The tastes of garlic, onion, masala and every other ingredient shone through, making the paneer one of the most palatable dishes in the restaurant.
Gosht Kali Mirch (Mutton) – LKR 1,100
Perfectly marinated so as not to overpower it with spice or underwhelm the spice-loving diner, the mutton was as tender as it could be. The texture of the curry which wasn’t as thick as the paneer paired extremely well with the soft meat and matched well with the selection of naan.
Mango Rabri – LKR 450
Made for those with a knack for sweets, the mango rabri was milky and sweet. The oomph of lemon flavour and the flavour of mango counters the sweetness of the milk. The added nuts and raisins make it an entertaining dessert to savour the taste of.
Rice Kheer – LKR 400
One of the most popular desserts in India, if not the world – the rice pudding was milky and exuded an almond flavour. Topped off with almond flakes, the different textures of the pudding, the rice and the flakes make the kheer a dish we’d definitely go back for.
To say that our visit to Alhambra was satisfactory is an understatement. From the top-class security protocols they carry out to ensure visitors are safe, sound and comfortable at all times, to the delicious food they offer and the incomparable hospitality Ramada is synonymous for, we were well pleased. Their attention to detail, be it the Mughal-styled interior, the folding of the napkins or the garnish on the dish is worthy of all praise.
Alhambra hosts a dinner buffet every Friday featuring a range of North Indian dishes. With seating for approximately 72 people, dine to your heart’s content with your friends and family at Alhambra!
Tip: Try the chicken biriyani and the dinner buffet on Fridays.