Restaurant Review:SEA SPRAY @ GALLE FACE HOTEL | Sunday Observer


For more than a century the Galle Face Hotel has been one of the iconic landmarks of Colombo: she has gallantly withstood time. One of her famed venues to dine in is the Sea spray located on the ground floor. If you happen to walk in a bit early you might be lucky to witness a spectacular sunset. The large restaurant has seating in an AC environment and also an outdoor area, where you can enjoy the breeze directly from the ocean. There is a lovely wine cellar, which is thoughtfully stocked with some splendid vintage labels. In addition, there are two elegant private dining rooms.

The menu has a sense of iconography: it is easy to select and understand as the citizens of the deep sea are shown by photo with a corresponding column of cooking method. The fresh seafood here is served as you desire - raw, chilled, grilled, crispy, steamed, hotpot, supplemented by side dishes.

After walking around the fresh fish display with British born Executive Chef Adam and Sous Chef Thivanka de Silva, I decided to try the seafood sharing platter. This dish consists of tuna, crab, lobster and oyster, served fresh. The presentation was splendid: served in a wooden bowl on crushed crystal ice.

The fresh taste was delightful accompanied by Thai lime and chili sauce. This was brought to the table along with the famous fishtail bread & cucumber pesto, which is a hit on instagram among us foodies.

It was interesting to hear from Chef that the butter is churned locally at Digana by a company known as Tamarind Garden. Its taste was really refined. While waiting for this I ventured to taste the cuttlefish and deep fried handello. The latter could have displayed a bit more colour to enhance visual appeal.

The menu displays some signature dishes from Jaffna and Negombo - two areas of our resplendent island famous for succulent seafood. The venue has sea and lagoon crab. Barramundi which is presently reared at Trincomalee was my main course choice. Grilled and served with a salad it was tender to the bite. Many friends who had been here advised me to try the passion fruit and curd cremebrulee.

When this dessert was served, it was resonating with creativity. Set in a little clay pot the cremebrulee (crema catalana) had a crisp outer layer. A passion fruit had been cut in half, each used as a natural serving container: one filled with honey and the other half filled with the thickened passion fruit. Wow, totally mesmerizing. On seeing this dessert, the table next to me, with three British guests, smiled and placed the same order! This is what food must do - captivate and inspire others by impulse.

Sea spray offers an enchanting dining experience.

Pix: Vipula Amarasinghe