What we had
History | Décor | Specialty
The Colombo Swimming Club is famous for their stunning atmosphere, the view overlooking the pool and just a little further; the sea, and has also been well reputed to have produced consistently excellent food to accompany the beautiful ambience.
Chocolate Milkshake – Rs. 180
The chocolate milkshake was served in a tall glass, looking like the typical internet-craze generating milkshake; with whipped cream lathered on top and chocolate dripping on the sides. For someone with an average appetite, this milkshake itself could have sufficed for a satisfactory meal. In terms of taste, it wasn’t very chocolatey at all. The sweetness of the drink overwhelmed the other flavours so through a different view, this may have been the perfect drink for someone with a rather sweet tooth.
Lemon Iced Tea – Rs. 100
The iced tea too came in a tall glass, a drink tasting like the perfect combination of sweet and sour. This hit the brief exactly, because it wasn’t mouth-twistingly sour but the presence of the lemon was still evident. Along with the drink, we were given a cup of sugar syrup if we needed to sweeten the drink but it was absolutely perfect the way it was.
Virgin Mojito – Rs. 650
A classic virgin mojito is the perfect balance between lime, mint and ice, with no ingredient overpowering the other. This was a classic virgin mojito, full to the brim with ice. The presence of sugar syrup eliminated the possible bitterness the mint could give, with the lime balancing out the two. The amount of ice was convenient as the drink only became watery towards the very end, as it is meant to do.
French Onion Soup – Rs. 350
The soup was based on meat stock and onions, with a predominantly tangy flavor. It was served with croutons and strings of onions, along with a cheesy bread doused in the soup to possibly soak up some of that sourness. On the whole, I think a soup like this works with specific, more refined palettes. It was filling but whether or not it was delicious wholly depends on the individual. I enjoyed it but found that I could only consume a certain amount before the taste became too overpowering for me.
Grilled Lamb Chops – Rs. 970
The Grilled Lamb Chops at the Colombo Swimming Club were heaven on a plate. We got two huge rack of lamb chops, with a side of tasteful mashed potatoes and buttered vegetables. The lamb was tender, well-flavoured and easy to cut into. It had just the right ratio of meat to fat, with every bite tasting as good as the last. The marination of the meat was evident throughout the meal, with a red sauce accompanying it, too.
Chicken Cordon Bleu – Rs. 830
This cordon bleu was pan fried and coated with breadcrumbs, with a generous accumulation of cheddar and mozzarella oozing from within. The chicken was well-cooked, albeit a little bland with only a minimum of salt and pepper as the seasoning. For a Lankan palette, this might have just been a no-go but alas, the chicken was covered in a thick meaty gravy, dripping all the way down to the yummy mashed potatoes at the bottom of the chicken. The little bits of mushroom in the gravy added a different, more interesting flavor to the whole dish, make it rather delicious.
Beef Burger with Cheese – Rs. 690
Of course, we had to get a classic. This was a hefty burger, with a juicy, slightly burnt beef patty covered with a slice of cheese and tomatoes. Had the cheese been melted, it may have elevated the deliciousness but it was already more than satisfactory. The fries that were served alongside the burger were well-salted and chunky, way superior to the fries doled out by mainstream fast-food joints in Colombo.
Hot Butter Cuttlefish – Rs. 615
If you ever visit the Colombo Swimming Club, do look around. Almost every table would most certainly have a plate of this crunchy, rich goodness as their first pick. The hot butter cuttlefish at the swimming club is delicious, sprinkled with onions and red chilli flakes. The cuttlefish is soft, melts in your mouth but is still crunchy on the outside so a real winner in the HBC scene in Colombo!
Hot Butter Chicken – Rs. 395
Interestingly enough, for half the price of hot butter cuttlefish, the hot butter chicken is doubled in quantity at the Swimming Club. For the uncultured, it might even be difficult to tell the difference between the two dishes. However, this is very literally made in the exact same manner as the cuttlefish except with chicken. I would say it’s quite a steal considering the quantity and the quality of the chicken. Then again, it isn’t cuttlefish.
The Colombo Swimming Club goes back to 1936, a colonial entity that has become a popular yet exclusive recreational club, offering many facilities ranging from sports to dining to a high-quality gym. The club has been known for their exclusivity with regards to membership and more recently, the controversy with the Road Development Association.
Most of the waiters are well-versed in English and know the menu well. Additionally, they don’t smother you in recommendations unless you specifically ask which I prefer anyway. The club is almost always buzzing with quite the crowd therefore the usual time for the food to arrive ranges between 15-25 minutes which could be considered reasonable seeing the quality of the food as well as the amount of people there. It’s a very chilled out place, bustling with friends and family all wanting to enjoy the stunning view the club has boasted for the past 75 or so years. It’s quite a social atmosphere, a good place to make contacts whilst enjoying some really delicious food!
Tip: Order the hot butter cuttlefish!