The Alhambra: A fine balance of portion size and colour

The salads were looking fresh. I enjoyed the shooters that were displayed to perfection. The ginger melon and pineapple mint is a lovely way to begin this culinary voyage. The soup, mixed subzi ka shobra was of a clear consistency, but could have had a bi

Indian cuisine has inspired us for many decades, and one of my most desired types of food, that is laden with spices. I made my way on a Friday evening to the Alhambra Restaurant located at the Ramada Colombo. The interior of the restaurant brilliantly resonated with the fine ambience of the Moghul era, where this form of cooking was passed down for generations. The Alhambra has two unique achievements when it comes to North Indian cuisine - it is the first Moghul restaurant in Sri Lanka, since 1974 and also has the most longstanding Friday buffet. I walked past the many dishes, as the aroma permeated the air, captivating all my senses.

Master Chef Ziyad Khan

The salads were looking fresh. I enjoyed the shooters that were displayed to perfection. The ginger melon and pineapple mint is a lovely way to begin this culinary voyage. The soup, mixed subzi ka shobra was of a clear consistency, but could have had a bit more colour - as the visual appeal is also part of the eating experience.

As I walk towards the main section, the young Master Chef Ziyad Khan is busy overseeing the action stations. The Kachche Murgh Biriyani is wholesome, and not oily. The tikka jalpari (fish) is really succulent with the right amount of spices and simply melts in your mouth, when eaten along with the crispy butter naan.

The large prawns were another delight, though the spices were mildly overpowering. The vegetarian dishes moong ki dhal, aloo pukhtan, gobi masala and kolhapuri supplemented the buffet. The action stations had two splendid items. The miniature ulundu vadai was truly divine, a great contrast to the fat vadai served in some other places that are almost as large as a doughnut.

Chef Khan must be complimented on the fantastic warqui paratha which is a testament to his culinary skills.

This is the best paratha I have enjoyed in a long time in Colombo, as it had the right texture and was soft to the bite. A dash of the coconut chutney and mint chutney at the Alhambra enhances this meal. I must commend the service staff for their fine knowledge of the menu items. The desserts were another treat, displayed with immaculate neatness and a fine balance of portion size and colour. My favourite, the gulab jammun was done to the right size, oozing in its sweet syrup. I did miss the jelabi this time. The Chef had wisely kept a platter of seasonal fruits for those conscious of their calorie intake.

Overall, the Friday buffet at the Alhambra is real value for money and gives the customer a good choice, in a relaxed environment.

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