What we had
Located behind Agra, The Manchester was opened around 6 years ago, the owner Mr Shanker Somasunderam wanted to start an establishment where people could come to have a drink, dress casually, and enjoy a relaxed fun vibe at a reasonable price. Along with incredibly fun lively nights such as their open mic nights every Tuesday and quiz nights every Wednesday, The Manchester offers a ton of bottle deals which are the best in town. Their bar menu offers an array of snacks and full meals, which are all fantastic, and if you’re in the mood for a little Indian food, you can also order from the Agra menu.
The Manchester has some of the best deals on alcohol in Colombo such as a Smirnoff bottle with 6 cans of redbull retailing at LKR 9,500 nett, a bottle of Gordons gin at LKR 9,500, a bottle of Jack Daniels (750ml) and 3 cokes at LKR 15,500, and wines from LKR 2,900 – LKR 3500 and many more.
With a beautiful and well stocked bar the cocktails coming out from the Manchester are some of my favourite.
Bullfrog – LKR 1400
Tasting strongly of vodka, tequila and cherry, this was by all means a very good bullfrog. It was strong and bright, and ice cold – with a mildly sour hint from some lemon to counteract the taste of alcohol. This is a great drink if you’re looking for something really strong to start your night out.
White Russian – LKR 900
This drink is downright dangerous. Tasting like a boozy iced coffee, this creamy concoction was the perfect balance between sweet and strong. It took real restraint to not drink this all at once, having said that this cocktail is perfect to sip while you enjoy the festivities around you.
Caipirinha – LKR 785
Another lime heavy drink, the Caipirinha was like a sweet boozy lime juice. Made with Cachaça, sugar and limes this drink is simple and summery.
Mojito – LKR 785
The Mojito here is the best I’ve had; It’s fresh, crisp and perfect, with none of the ingredients (Rum, sugar, lime and mint) overpowering each other. You couldn’t tell by taste that this drink was strong but you’ll feel a nice warmth in your face once you’ve guzzled half the glass.
Long Island Iced Tea – LKR 1300
Made with an array of different liquors and specifically designed to really start the night out strong (and to get you LIIT) this long island did exactly that. It was strong, and not very sweet – served to you ice cold, you could sip this drink through the night and it wouldn’t lose any of its flavour.
Pol Roti with Katta Sambol – LKR 350
Though listed on the vegetarian section, katta sambol has Maldive fish in it, however, the kitchen can make it vegetarian to suit your dietary needs, just inform your server and they’d be more than happy to help. Served on 4 palm-sized rounds of pol roti the katta sambal was fiery and delicious. The pol roti was a little chewy and could have used a little more ‘pol’ ( coconut).
Pakora – LKR 600
The vegetable pakora came to us piled on the plate, crispy and well spiced and you get a pretty decent variety of vegetables. This was a semi-healthy treat perfect for sharing and is a great option if you or a friend of yours is a vegetarian.
Chilli Cheese Toast – LKR 450
A classic Sri Lankan snack food, the simplicity of this dish makes it a crowd favourite especially since you get a pretty decent serving. The chilli pieces gave a much needed heat to the toasted warm bread and melted creamy cheese.
Chicken Tikka – LKR 975
Soft succulent and perfectly spiced, this treat was undoubtedly authentic and was prepared in the tandoor. It comes served with a coriander chutney and the chicken was so tender and juicy that it will have you licking your fingers, and craving for more. One of the group favourites, the smoky tandoori flavour perfectly pairs with the fresh coriander chutney. If you prefer a sweeter dipping sauce just ask them for their sweet tamarind sauce ( it’s the bomb).
Hot Butter Cuttlefish – LKR 875
Hot Butter Cuttlefish is a Chinese Sri Lankan dish that has gained quite a following – it can be found at every Chinese restaurant and on nearly every bar menu around Colombo. Spicy, sweet, chewy this hot butter cuttlefish is delicious and flavoursome. Though it was quite oily which made it a little less crispy, the glistening chilli oil was unctuous and the fresh spring onions really elevated the dish.
Fish and Chips – LKR 1190
The fish was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Incredibly fresh and delicate, the contrast to the sharp tartar sauce was pleasant, and we really appreciated how the batter wasn’t overpowering. The crispy chilli salted fries were a good accompaniment to this dish and everything was rounded off with a large simply dressed salad of lettuce tomato, cucumber, bell pepper and olives.
Lamb Burger – LKR 1350
This is the BEST lamb burger we have ever had, the patty was massive and packed with flavour – spiced with cumin and Mediterranean spices and dressed with a tangy yoghurt sauce and fresh lettuce, cucumber, onions and tomato this burger was very well balanced. Deep and warm, the balance of flavours was incredible, the bread was soft and speckled with sesame seeds. The burger was generous in size and served with a side of crispy delicious fries, and it was both filling and well worth LKR 1350.
The Manchester can be found at the end of a dimly lit hallway by the side of Agra but the interior is warm and welcoming with plenty of tall wooden tables and a few couches lined up by the window, the entire pub/bar is open and can get pretty loud and lively but that’s the whole part of their charm and appeal. With warm lighting, a lively atmosphere, the focal point of the Manchester is their beautifully lit and well-stocked bar. Currently, The Manchester is decorated with rugby world cup flags hanging from their ceiling.
The service here is second to none, with incredibly friendly, accommodating staff, who are always ready to accommodate your dietary restrictions. The entire Manchester vibe feels like a family, with the staff remembering your order once you’ve been there a few times – which has drawn me back time and time again for the past few months.
Tip – Definitely go for one of their bottle deals, which are perfect if you’re looking to have a good night out with friends! And if you’re up for a really fun night with friends head there on a Wednesday night for their Quiz night – you’ll be in for plenty of laughs and you’ll learn something too!!