What we had
Located on Alfred House Avenue, The Avenue is a brand new fusion restaurant with a fine dining air to it, started up by experienced food and beverage professionals who made their careers in New York who have brought some of that fusion fine-dining fare here to Colombo. With delectable food, new flavour combinations, and a wide variety of dishes catering to all dietary needs, this place will surely make its name as the go-to location for any and all special occasions. They offer dishes ranging from casual dining such as burgers to visual marvels like their tomahawk steak, and whether you opt for just a simple meal or go full out and order their signature steaks, you won’t leave The Avenue without making plans to come here again.
Passion Fruit Mule – LKR 1100
Tasting almost like a fruitier Singapore sling, this cocktail had vodka, passion fruit and grenadine and it was smooth, sweet and delicious, quite tropical tasting this works well as an accompaniment to any of their starters.
Bang Bang Shrimp – LKR 1400
Served to us in a tall glass set atop some popcorn, the shrimp were massive and incredibly flavourful. Served in their shells for that wow factor, don’t be afraid to get messy as the staff will give you a fingerbowl. The shrimp was succulent and smoky, with hints of spice (from the charred jalapeno) and saltiness (from the fish sauce used in the marinade), the popcorn at the bottom soaked up all the good smoky, shrimp juices and was a really fun savoury playful addition to the dish. The only concern would be that this shrimp wasn’t deveined and while some may be seasoned veterans with shrimp those who aren’t might struggle a little.
Caesar Salad – LKR 1200
In typical steakhouse style, this salad is finished off tableside. Quite simple, the Caesar came with no chicken in it, a crispy bread shard which acted as the crouton, a soft boiled egg and a house-made Caesar dressing that was light and didn’t taste heavily of mayonnaise. As far as salads go this is pretty much up there with the best of them. A pretty good way to start the meal this will whet your appetite and leave you enough room for more.
Tuna Tarter – LKR 1790
Made from delicate bite-sized pieces of raw tuna that were set atop a bed of avocado and surrounded by a miso dashi – this starter was light, fresh and zingy. The miso dashi balanced saltiness, umami and citrus impeccably which paired amazingly with the super fresh fish and creamy avocado. On top of the tuna was some shaved beetroot and radish to provide an element of crunch and bitterness which added a textural component to the dish.
Grilled Octopus – LKR 1400
The grilled octopus was soft with a slight chew to it and had the perfect amount of char on the outside, served with a sauce vierge, a cashew romesco, and a cherry tomato confit, this was texturally quite marvellous. The sauce vierge was citrusy from the orange added to it and it provided a much-needed sharpness to the cashew romesco and the sweet soft tomato. This was by far the favourite starter texture-wise and flavour wise, its exotic appeal and unique combination made it irresistible.
Chilli Lobster Jr. (Scampi) – LKR 2400
The Chilli Lobster Jr. was a fascinating fusion dish that paired Asian flavours with western style cooking and serving methods. Though not de-shelled it was pretty easily removed from its shell. Very well cooked, it wasn’t rubbery or tough, the delicate fresh meat worked fantastically with the chilli sauce which was reminiscent of a Singaporean chilli crab. Mildly spicy and tangy, the sauce had a decent amount of salinity to it- we were informed that the heads of the scampi were used to make the sauce. The dish was tied together with large chunks of freshly toasted bread (made in house) to soak up all the delicious sauce at the bottom of the bowl.
MF Chicken – LKR 2200
Served on a cast iron hot plate the chicken was perfectly browned and the potatoes it was served with were crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The ¼ chicken was cooked on the hotplate under a brick with lemon and butter and the resulting flavour profile was undeniably simple yet exquisite. The chicken was unctuous drenched in butter and its own fat yet it wasn’t an unpleasant oiliness. The hints of citrusy lemon gave the dish some lift and moments of surprising sharpness.
Hungry Man’s Burger – LKR 1600
Gargantuan in size, this burger truly is for a very hungry individual – but it wasn’t all about size, this burger was genuinely delicious, beefy, slightly spicy and bursting with flavours and textures. With this burger, you get a large Australian ground topside thick beef patty grilled to a perfect medium. On top of this we got some cheese and charred jalapenos, a perfectly fried bulls-eye egg, some bacon and fried onions. The fries that accompanied this dish were thick-cut, well-salted and crisp, and according to the chef, their buttery flavour comes from the fact that they were brushed in mop fat ( cow fat).
Panna Cotta – LKR 880
The panna cotta was not your regular run of the mill gelatin set panna cotta. This was poached and served in a ramekin alongside a thick raspberry coulis, and let me tell you this is the BEST panna cotta we have ever had, it was like eating a delicious cloud. Soft and sweet, it felt silken on your tongue and melted into a sweet nothingness. The raspberry coulis added an element of fruitiness and sharpness to this sweet delicate delight. We recommend that you don’t miss out on this, even if you’re full share it with someone, it’s a can’t miss.
Crème Brulée – LKR 880
There’s something just so satisfying about shattering the thin layer of glassy sugar on the top of a Crème brûlée, watching it splinter as your spoon delves into the soft yellow custard below. This Crème brûlée was rich, sticky and silken, and though seemingly served in a decent sized dessert ramekin this rich treat is quite heavy and thus perfect for sharing.
The Avenue is a beautifully converted home, with a modern New York steakhouse vibe, with warm lighting and a simple colour palette this restaurant screams elegant, modern and chic. The artwork around the establishment was simple yet eye-catching with gorgeous line drawings simply framed. The setting makes it perfect for special occasions like dates, anniversaries, and the availability of private dining rooms allows you to bring in large groups for family gatherings or even business meetings.
The staff at The Avenue are incredibly well trained, knowing their menu back to front, they are also super polite and accommodating making your dining experience easy and effortless. The waiting time for the food to be brought to your table is minimal and the owners – Executive Chef Mr Jayasena (Sham) and Director Mr Jayasundara are in house as well to attend to your needs, coming around to check on you and your experience, with years under their belt having worked in top New York establishments, this duo is dynamic and offers Sri Lanka a whole new kind of fine dining experience.
Tip –If you’re looking for a savoury fix the burger will leave you more than satisfied, but a must-try has to be the poached panna cotta which is otherworldly, you’ll fall in love, trust me.