King of the Mambo: dine to the beat of the Mambo

King of the Mambo, Colombo’s newest restaurant and bar launched an exclusive preview event on 16 October.

Situated in Galle Face Hotel, the location proved to be an absolute win, with the subtle sea breeze accompanying you as you enjoy your meal in a rather stylish setting.

The restaurant’s promotional material boasted of a fantastic experience: “It’s not just a restaurant and bar, it’s a celebration!” and for the most part it was undeniably an enjoyable time.

The atmosphere felt Cuban, serenading its customers with fun dance-y mambo beats in the bar and dining areas, largely thanks to the naturally scenic Galle Face it looked beautiful.

Here’s what we tried:

Picoteo (finger food)

The starters were all pretty satisfactory. The calamari was perfectly cooked, the batter was soft and airy and the beef taco really packed a punch with regards to flavour.
Clamarcitos Calientes – fried calamari with chilli flakes and lime
Tacos Dominicanos – beef rib tacos with sour cream and avocado guacamole
Guacamole Con Mambo – avacado guacamole and shrimp crackers

Platos frios (cold dishes)

We tried an assortment of these salads, and the La Flaca – quinoa and beetroot salad was pleasant and was a very unique option.
Burrata De Cienfuegos – burrata cheese, tomato, and basil
Pulpitoenlimonao – marinated octopus ceviche
La Flaca – quinoa and beetroot salad

Platos calientes (hot dishes)

The most outstanding dish of the night, the beef meatball, felt fresh and inspired. It was packed with flavour – an actual treat. It came in a bed of a tasty Mediterranean curry which was also delicious and complemented the focus element of the dish very well.
Arroz a la cubana – rice smothered with tomato sauce, banana, and fried egg
El Impossible – tuna Steak
Pollitocriao – corn fed baby chicken
Albondigas Indias – beef meatballs Mediterranean curry

Final feliz (desserts)

The rum baba was a refreshing option, and the cheesecake was a very good example of a cheesecake but the crème brûlée was not ideal.
Crema A La Catalana – crème brûlée
Ron Del Mambo – rum baba
Pastel Boludo – Dulce de Leche cheesecake

There were some shortcomings and we do understand that this was merely a preview and that bigger and better things are yet to come.

This was quite evident when we spoke with Chef Dell’Ascenza Riccardo, who said that it was his hope that the restaurant proves to be a new experience for its patrons: “I wish that people look here for something different, something new to take away from their normal gastronomic life, plus the atmosphere, the view, all of this I wish that it gives people a new opportunity.”
We will visit the place again sometime soon, and get back with a more in-depth review.

By Dimithri Wijesinghe

Photos by Krishan Kariyawasam