What we had
A lunch buffet which won’t break the bank!
Mandarina Colombo offers a lunch buffet at their rooftop restaurant with a splendid view. What is great about the buffet is that, at LKR 1500 nett, the spread is totally worth your buck.
Considering the fact that they offer an array of salads, desserts and also switch up the items of the buffet daily, the spread is extensive with something for everyone. However, majority of the dishes are Sri Lankan and Indian oriented because their customer base is mainly tourists who want to try Asian cuisine.
Their staff were quite good at multitasking and were also accommodating and friendly.
They have a choice of fresh juices to go with your buffet.
Super refreshing with the correct consistency, the Watermelon Cooler was sugarless and came with a paper straw! Pulse approves.
Warm, aromatic and thick in texture, this soup did wonders in terms of flavour and the taste of tomato with a hint of coriander was very evident.
Bread Roll Selection
There were about 4 to 5 different varieties of bread to choose from so we were not too happy with the assortment. Accompanying the bread was salted and unsalted butter but there were no other jams, marmalades or spreads on offer. However, the bread rolls were warm and soft while the baguette was crispy and light.
There was a great selection of pickled and raw veggies, an array of salads and croutons, and not to mention a variety of salad dressings as well.
On plate: Pasta with Chicken Sausages with Pesto Sauce, Pickled Carrots, Pickled Radish, Pickled Cauliflower, Croutons, Mixed Vegetable Salad, Coleslaw, Ambarella Achcharu
On plate: Potato Salad, Egg Salad, Raw Cabbage and Beetroot with Thousand Island Dressing, Pineapple Achcharu
On plate: Vegetable Fried Rice, Sri Lankan Devilled Chicken, Crumb Fried Fish with Tartar Sauce, Mango Chutney, Lime Pickle
Vegetable Fried Rice
The grains of basmati could have been softer but it was a fitting staple for majority of the curries.
Sri Lankan Devilled Chicken
The chicken was made well till soft, with a fair amount of seasoning and spice. Definitely a must-try!
Crumb Fried Fish with Tartar Sauce
While the Tartar Sauce was on point, the fish could have been more crispy on the outside, but on the inside the fish was made to perfection.
Flavoursome and aromatic, who doesn’t love mango chutney?
Strong in flavour, the lime pickle was an absolute rice puller albeit not for everyone.
On plate: Steamed Red Rice, Egg Fried Noodles, Dhal Tadka, Kerala Fish Curry, Tempered Kang Kung, Beetroot Curry, Mukunuwenna Mallum, Pol Sambol
Steamed Red Rice
Not my go-to staple but a rather filling one ideal to accompany the Sri Lankan curries Mandarina had to offer.
Egg Fried Noodles
We loved how unlike other places, the noodles were not too oily. This was definitely our favourite staple dish out of the lot.
Unfortunately, justice was not done to this Indian favourite. It was quite dry and lacked spices.
Kerala Fish Curry
Bathed in a delicious curry, the fish was soft and flavoursome complemented by the coriander added and also the numerous spices.
Tempered Kang Kung
This was just too spicy! There was so much chillie added into this tempered dish that we could barely taste the kang kung. Unfortunately, this was the disappointment of our meal.
This curry was very flavoursome with a hint of Sri Lankan spices, adding colour to any combination of curries.
Again, this dish was also too dry. If the coconut was wetter and combined the leaves together this could have been much better.
This could have been better. The coconut was very dry but the spices and condiments used gave this Sri Lankan favourite its usual taste. Had the sambol been less dry, this dish would have gotten a better rating.
On plate: Bread Pudding, Coconut Panna Cotta, Crème Brulee
This dessert tasted amazing! It was both warm and soft and the creamy custard sauce was the perfect accompaniment to this delicacy! Definitely serve the bread pudding with the sauce, rather than without.
Coconut Panna Cotta
For those of you who love a good coconut and honey mixture, this dessert is for you! The moulded dessert was creamy yet sturdy and the coconut and honey flavours heightened this experience.
This tasted like a creamier version of the panna cotta, minus the coconut. The hardened caramelized sugar was more bitter than we would have liked, but the base was on point!
On plate: Fresh Fruit Salad, Jelly, Black Forest Cake, Chocolate Brownie
Fresh Fruit Salad
Mandarina had used a variety of fruits like star fruit, kiwi, strawberries and grapes which rendered this dessert both colourful and healthy!
We assume the flavour of the jelly changes daily but on the day we went it was orange. It looked delectable with fresh fruits aligned atop. It was tangy and cooling!
Unlike the next dessert we tried, this completely fell apart and lacked in terms of flavour as well. Before we could take two bites of it, the dessert crumbled into a mess making it barely edible.
Black Forest Cake
This was better than we expected! The cake was soft and not dry with a prominent chocolate flavour that we loved.
Considering the overall buffet, we were very impressed with their selection of salads and desserts. They do have room for improvement with regard to their mains, and we hope Mandarina will upgrade in the near future.
Tip – Call ahead and make a reservation as it tends to get crowded during lunch time.