What we had
A delectable seafood experience!
Isso has been a consistently impressive place to grab some great seafood and they have finally expanded, opening up a new branch in Colpetty. This store is nothing like the one in Jawatta, boasting a massive space, great ambience and even ceramic crockery and metal cutlery as opposed to the plastic containers they usually use. The new space is bright and airy with multiple seating options and great lighting for pictures, and they have exciting new additions to their menu like oyster, lobster and wild mushroom.
Apart from serving their signature thambili, Isso Colpetty is the only distributor of The Berry Company in Sri Lanka which includes a very refreshing range of fresh juices and iced green teas. Ordering a bottled water will get you an OLU glass bottle (LKR 190 for a small), which is in tune with the eco-friendly nature of the outlet.
The Berry Company – Goji Berry – LKR 390
The Berry Company products highlight that they include no artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives, making them an all-natural alternative to regular fizzy drinks. We tried the Goji berry (because it sounds cool) and were pleasantly surprised. Goji Berry tastes a lot like cranberry but has a much lighter flavour, minus the “kahata” of a regular cranberry juice. The juice itself wasn’t loaded with sugars and made for a guilt-free and refreshing experience.
The Berry Company – Black Tea and Blueberry – LKR 390
The Berry Company packaging is pretty cute with bright colours and interesting names making them stand out on the shelves at Isso. The Black Tea and Blueberry is an iced tea with a subtle hint of blueberry. The flavours are light and balanced and again make for a great refresher on a warm day.
Punch Ceylon Naarang and Ginger Beer – LKR 390
Isso now sells Punch instead of Cherine’s Quench in the same flavours, Naarang and Ginger Beer. The ginger beer is homemade, organic and pretty classic with strong flavours of ginger pulling through. The naarang however, was a little on the watery side. It was also a little heavy on the salt and lacked that sweet-sour fresh fruit punch. Nevertheless, both juices were served cold and were quite refreshing on a hot day – especially cause they were all natural.
One thing we noticed was that the plating at Isso has significantly improved. Our starters came in cute cone-shaped servings, each with its own dipping sauce, looking great for the ‘gram.
Tempura Isso 2 PCS – LKR 490
LKR 490 may sound like a steep price to pay for two pieces of prawns, but the serving comes with a few onion rings and a wasabi dipping sauce as well; so the pricing is debatable. In terms of preparation, the prawn tastes more batter fried rather than tempura but the flavours were great. The prawn itself was well marinated and succulent and the batter was crisp, with the wasabi sauce giving it a much needed punch of spice.
Sweet Potato Fries – LKR 290
Sweet potato fries are an all-time Isso favourite. From its inception days, their fries have been on the top of everyone’s go-to snack list. They are well flavoured, fried till golden and quite delicious, with the only let down being that it’s served with ketchup now instead of the favoured sweet chilli sauce. But all-in-all, a great side dish or sharable starter.
Hummus with Pita Bread – LKR 390
Isso’s signature vegetarian starter was presented beautifully! The dish came topped with olive oil, mint leaves and fresh pomegranate which brings a nice burst of flavour when eaten with the pita. The consistency of the hummus, however, was a little watery and we would have liked a little more Tahini in there. The pita bread that was served with the hummus was of the whole-wheat variety and whilst making for a very healthy alternative, it had the consistency of pol roti. There were also too few pita breads to finish the entire serving of hummus so we were a little sad. Regardless, the dish makes for a pretty, healthy and delicious starter.
Isso Toast 4 PCS – LKR 490
We got 4 pieces of diced prawns piled high on piping hot, crunchy bread, deep fried to perfection topped with sesame seeds and parsley. The prawns were slightly under flavoured but worked well with the sweet chilli sauce that accompanied the dish. It was quite a filling portion and for the amount of prawn on the toast, we thought this was the most value for money.
Introducing vegetarian options as well as pricier seafood options like oyster and lobster, Isso is faring well in terms of expanding their menu and catering to new markets. They also have their traditional 3-step order technique where you choose the size of your seafood (Regular, XL, Jumbo etc.), the preparation and the accompaniment (ranging from corn to sweet potato fries to rice).
Wild Mushroom Risotto – LKR 1,490
The Wild Mushroom Risotto is a new addition to their menu and is served with asparagus and truffle oil (posh). The risotto itself was cooked to perfection and the dish is smooth and soft. There is a distinct taste of truffle oil and little pieces of asparagus and wild mushrooms incorporated into the risotto. It’s actually quite a filling portion though it looks small but a while into the dish, it tends to get a little bland so you end up stealing a prawn from your dining partner to add some flavour.
Eastern Spice Regular – LKR 1,590
The Eastern Spice with steamed rice is a classic at Isso and has remained delicious up to date. They now serve their prawn with stir fried beans instead of the usual salad, but we appreciated the nice char grilled flavour, especially since we opted for rice as our carb. The prawns were deep fried, perfectly flavoured and coated in a beautiful sweet and sour sauce. The steamed rice also made a great accompaniment.
Lobster Biryani – LKR 2,490
Accompanied by raita, achchar and mint sambol, this dish had all the fixings of a great biryani . The rice was topped with an egg, cashew, fried onions, coriander and meaty pieces of lobster that were doused in a curry. The lobster on top was a little small and a little too tough to be relished because it was overcooked, so naming this a “Lobster Biryani” may be a little inadequate but rather a biryani with a side of lobster. That being said, the flavour profiles great.
The mint sambol was fresh and delicious and the biryani so authentic that it had apricots in the cooking as well, making it quite flavourful. The portion was also massive and enough for two hungry people.
Lobster Mac and Cheese – LKR 2,990
Again, the Mac and Cheese didn’t have lobster in the dish itself, only a couple pieces on top which wasn’t what we expected. Leaving that aside, the Mac and Cheese had a nice bread crumb on top that provided a perfect crunch. Underneath was silky, cheese-loaded pasta doused in flavour. The little bit of grilled lobster on top made for a delicious pairing and again, the portion was quite large and enough for two.
Apart from their old Haagen-Dasz and Kiri Toffee desserts, Isso has also introduced a new deep fried ice cream to their menu.
Deep Fried Ice Cream – LKR 590
The Deep fried ice cream comes coated in cornflakes, and topped with sprinkles and chocolate sauce. It’s quite a treat for your sweet tooth and the meeting point between hot and cold creates a pleasantly weird experience for your taste buds. Make sure you get this one to share though ‘cause it’s pretty darn sweet and after the hefty mains, it would be quite difficult to finish.
Isso has been around for the longest time and seeing them bring about such great changes to their new outlet makes us very happy. The staff is still friendly as ever and very efficient and the well-lit and spacious nature of the outlet makes us wanna stay there forever. Don’t forget to visit their bathroom too because it’s super cute and feels like a zen-place rather than a washroom.
Tip: don’t be afraid to try the new options on their menu but always always order the sweet potato fries too!