What we had
Mediterranean cuisine at Mövenpick Hotel, Colombo!
Authentic Mediterranean cuisine is hard to find in Colombo. Enter Santina Colombo, a restaurant which has paid close attention to the finer details and especially lighting rendering it a rustic and chic appearance.
As we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by their staff who were prompt in bringing us menus. It was a little tough to decide on what to order since the menu was so extensive! We loved that they had a variety of tapas and pastas, and how unique their dishes were in comparison to other restaurants.
A bread basket was placed on our table 5 minutes into our arrival, but no side plates; which we later learned was because they adhere to true Mediterranean ways connoting how authentic they are! However, not to worry: side plates are available on request.
El Classico (Virgintail) – LKR 690
This drink contained elements of passion fruit, strawberry and ginger. We were glad the ginger didn’t overpower the entire drink and it was very revitalizing. The cocktail however, contains Cachaça, a distilled spirit made from sugarcane, so be sure to try that if you are into experimenting cocktails.
Green Lantern – LKR 1090
Intrigued by the name we ordered the Green Lantern consisting of rum, green apple, lemongrass and green grapes. The lemongrass seemed to diminish the rest of the ingredients and this was quite a let-down. This drink is definitely not for every palate.
Winking Pinky – LKR 990
Our winning cocktail, the Winking Pinky contained vodka, pink guava, strawberry liqueur and lime juice. Reminiscent of a Cosmo, this cocktail was delicious and there was a great balance in terms of flavour! They were also generous with the alcohol and it tasted rather fruity. We were happy with our choice with this one!
Empanada – LKR 495
We were promised a chicken and olive filling, and while they did deliver on that front, the chicken lacked flavour. The dough was rather powdery and although the dish was served warm with fresh olives and salad on the side, it could not be saved. However, the portion was worth the price.
Mozzarella and Mushroom Arancini – LKR 585
Our next tapas was the Mozzarella and Mushroom Arancini which looked small but was quite filling. These risotto, mozzarella and mushroom filled balls came in a miniscule saucepan and were deep fried till crisp and golden. Complimented by a spicy tomato salsa, this dish had more flavour than the empanadas.
Parmigiana – LKR 565
For a vegetarian option, this dish was absolutely delicious! Easily my favourite dish out of the tapas we ordered, the Parmigiana consisted of layered eggplant and tomato puree, topped off with cheese. I devoured this flavoursome appetizer and cannot wait to go back for more! Highly recommend this!
Croquetas – LKR 495
Feel good food in the form of Mediterranean cuisine. The Croquetas contained a cheese, potato and ham filling, and were fried to perfection. The dish was warm and made the ideal tapas for a light main because it can be quite filling.
Paella ‘Valenciana’ (2 pax) – LKR 4100
Probably the largest dish you can find on their menu, this main was meant for 2 pax, but can easily fill up to 3 people. Full of rich ingredients like chorizo, chicken thighs, squid, prawns, rosemary and olives the Paella ‘Valenciana’ did not disappoint! The saffron infused rice was thick in consistency and the chicken broth along with the veggies embedded in this main amalgamated to form a flavoursome and satisfying dish. It is totally worth the price and looks super Instagram-worthy too!
Crispy Spinach Gnocchi – LKR 1200
The portion may look small but do not let that deceive you! The Crispy Spinach Gnocchi was super filling and the soft dough dumplings, along with the crispy bits of bacon contrasted in texture. The spinach and sage added an earthy flavour to the dish. We would have liked more chardonnay cream sauce added though because the dish was quite dry but the extra parmesan made up for it! The accompaniment of the garlic bread was a nice touch.
Linguine – LKR 1400
In comparison to the Gnocchi, the Linguine was the dish we preferred more. The strands of linguine were bathed in porcini mushrooms and truffle infused cream making this a decadent dish. Topped off with dollops of baby mozzarella, Santina really upped this Italian delicacy! Again, the portion was well worth the price!
Beef Saltimbocca – LKR 2400
Every single component of this dish was mastered skilfully! Medium rare, the beef steak was tender and air-dried so as to carry more flavour. The white wine sauce was evident, yet its drizzle did not compromise the beef of its flavour. The potatoes mixed with fine parsley were the perfect accessory to the beef and were quite flavoursome. The winner of the dish however, was the thin layer of prosciutto resting on top of the steak. All the elements of the dish combined to form a delicious main!
Coq au Vin – LKR 1850
This classic dish arrived aromatic and rich. The chicken was immersed in a red wine sauce, complimented by gravy inclusive of thyme, onions and mushrooms topped off with carrots. The carrots were quite under-cooked, but added a crunch to the succulent chicken. You can opt for either mash potatoes or pasta as a side. We went with mash potatoes and were not disappointed! The mash was made with olive oil and was devoid of lumps.
Italian Baked Apple Gateau – LKR 580
Presentation was on point! With a crusty exterior and soft interior, Santina aced the gateau texture. The filling was truly Mediterranean embedding apple, raisin and cinnamon components and would be perfect with a light main considering how heavy it is. The side of vanilla flavoured whipped cream is a necessary touch and acts as a great palate cleanser!
Panna Cotta – LKR 580
What was promised to be a creamy pudding was actually quite sturdy. I prefer my Panna Cotta soft and I expected it to be as such but it was quite hard and cold. However, it was infused with vanilla extract so barring its texture, the dessert was delectable! The dark chocolate shavings worked well with the pudding.
Leche Frita – LKR 580
Translating to fried milk, the Leche Frita, while it looked like a hard Indian Bombay sweet, was super soft and very light on the stomach. Stemming from Northern Spain, this crumbed custard rolled in cinnamon sugar served with a side of orange preservatives tasted amazing! We highly recommend this because considering their portion sizes for mains; this would be your best bet for a light dessert.
All in all, we loved our experience at Santina Colombo and had a fulfilling meal. We highly suggest that all the vegetarians out there dine here because they really get their veg dishes right! They have a wide selection of authentic Mediterranean cuisine, and although they have some fine-tuning to do, they are definitely worth a visit.
Their staff are super friendly, well versed with the menu and make prompt recommendations so let them guide you and your ordering process will be a cakewalk. They also have ample seating with varying lighting so you can take your pick!
Have you been to Santina Colombo yet? Let us know in the comments.
Tip – Try their Winking Pinky, Parmigiana, Beef Saltimbocca and Leche Frita for a wholesome meal!