RESTAURANT REVIEW: Flamingo House | Sunday Observer


Wonder what a pink flamingo has to do with succulent cuisine? Well, one has to think again. Nestled on Horton Place, Colombo 7, is a venue exploding with colour. It is a riotous frenzy of extreme post colonial creativity.

Flamingo House has been steadily positioning itself as a very cool place to relax and eat. The theme has a fascinating love story: of a British planter Sir Alfred Clarke and his Ceylonese lover, Satyavati. Clarke falls in love with Satyavati, and the flamingo birds are the symbolic expression of their deep passion, until her death. The ambience is alluring and brilliant. Every single chair here is of a different design. The murals on the ceiling and wall are amazing: captivating you in every sense. Miniature chairs are mounted on the walls! I notice an old English typewriter mounted on a stool, a colonial machine that redefined printing.

The menu is a fine balance of Eurasian food. The starters include Laksa (seafood soup), fondue and a chef’s special Lankini (soup). We decide to skip the soup and order the shredded duck crepes and deep fried camembert. The camembert (a surface ripened cheese) is oozing with flavour, offering a fine contrast to the caramelized apples. Theresa John, the pleasant manager on duty suggests that we must try the Pork Saltimbocca for the main course. This turns out to be a good choice: the pork is wrapped in bacon and set on a hot skillet. The aroma of the melting bacon supplements the juicy portions of pork.

My friend chose the New Zealand rack of lamb, which is served with a salad. Again the lamb is tender and cooked all around, melting in your mouth. The portions are good and with minimum garnish: this is a simple yet opulent presentation. I reckon it’s time we as a nation began eating lamb right. Often most local foodies misinterpret lamb with mutton, both are different! We must break the cycle of making everything into a curry and go for choices like baking, grilling and broiling. The art inside continues to dazzle us as the walls resonate with flowers and exotic birds. The dessert options are nice and I go for Baya Silvestre - Spanish sour crème cheese served with wild berry compote. The dish is smooth and adds the perfect end to dinner.

Flamingo House is a place that provokes you to ponder on love, solidarity and life, and of course food. The portions and prices are in good tally. It is a definite stop for those who appreciate expression.