Cuban reflections in Colombo | Sunday Observer

Cuban reflections in Colombo

Over the past four months one venue has been creating pulsating raves among the young folk. It has been elevated as probably the most ‘happening’ venue in town. King of the Mambo- located in the magnificent Galle Face Hotel is an oasis where you can unwind, enjoy good music and indulge in a range of delightful food. As I walked in the sun was receding to her rest, painting the sky in vibrant flares of colour. The waves gently crashing on the shore, supplemented by cool winds was most welcome- after a hot day.

The Cuban themed restaurant is exploding with creativity and vibrant colours. The walls are painted in shades of green and orange. The floor tiles in different sections of the venue are patterned with ornate designs. Framed photographs from Cuba enrich the authentic aura of the venue. The service staff attired in Cuban designed pants and sporting brimmed hats completed the total feel of being in Havana. I am joined by Operations Manager Prageeth Thanushka and Restaurant Manager Roshan Rupasinghe. The beverage menu has a selection of cocktails and their signature one is the Black Mambo a unique beverage served in a mug, with a King of the Mambo pendant on a black chain. It was interesting to note the use of copper straws- which chill and give you a cooler liquid as you drink. The mug was garnished with another unique feature - a dehydrated slice of pineapple.

The Head Chef Riccardo Dell Ascenza, explained” We have created a menu that reflects Mediterranean flavours with extended input from signature dishes from Central and South America, Spain, Italy, and Turkey. We like to think of it as Cuban soul cuisine. We serve premium cuts of meat from New Zealand and America. We plan to introduce the famed meat of Japan- Wagyu beef very soon for our guests. On Sundays we have brunch theme a as Alo Cubano.” A three piece Cuban band is belting out pulsating music from the stage as young folk begin to enjoy and sway to the music. The band plays for 5 days of the week, with Tuesday being the exclusive Ladies Night- which brings out the fun loving lasses of Colombo. The restaurant has an outdoor area where you can sit and gaze at the ocean. The inner area has beautiful lighting set against contrasting colours.

In addition King of the Mambo has a PDR- Private Dining Room where ten persons can sit down for an elegant dinner. A wine cellar supplements this opulent menu, along with creations from mixologist Binoy. For those who enjoy singing there is a Karoke room with state of the art sound systems and three large screen TVs. The entire venue can seat 160 persons. One section of the restaurant has an open kitchen where chefs are busy doing BBQ items with the flames sizzling and lighting up the serene night.

Dinner turned out to be a rewarding affair. Our main dish was Ropa Vega- shredded beef, rice and kidney beans. The flavours and juiciness retained in the beef was just right. This was followed by a plate of Australian lamb chops, grilled to perfection. Each item on the menu has a plate of separate colour, adding colour to your table. Dessert is always a temptation, and I was able to sample two of their signature desserts- the chocolate lava cake infused with caramel, which is a delight in every sweet bite followed by Churros- deep fried sugar dusted dough dipped in chocolate sauce. The Churros is an outstanding treat and a favourite among the young crowd. The in-house frozen yoghurt created by Chef Riccardo is another star on the dessert menu. Gazing at the ocean is the best way to complete the dinner! King of the Mumbo is the probably the best Cuban themed venue in the island that fully captivates your soul with a happy Havana feeling.