The future in flavours – ColomBar
By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Photos Krishan Kariyawasam
ColomBar at Cinnamon Lakeside is a brand-new concept bar that has been in operation from 19 December and is already generating quite a lot of buzz, especially considering their quirky drink names and unique arrangements when serving their dishes, all of which has made the place extremely social media friendly, especially Instagram.
Speaking to Cinnamon Lakeside Director – Food and Beverage Malintha Pathiraja, he shared that at present, ColomBar wishes to stay under the radar for as long as possible, primarily to build a dedicated customer base to whom they would be able to provide good-quality service, so the bar itself can improve its standard and the staff their skills along the way, before they are too overwhelmed with crowds demanding instant service and bulky orders.
While the establishment is absolutely blessed with its idyllic location by the gorgeous Cinnamon Lakeside outdoor pool and its minimal yet ambient interior décor that is very modern, the best thing about the place will absolutely amaze you – the most unique element employed by ColomBar is their rotary evaporator or rotovap.
The rotovap happens to be a piece of lab equipment that ColomBar has decided to bring into their kitchens to create the most delightful flavours. The machine is essentially an evaporator which is able to extract flavours from just about anything. One of the best examples is one of the drinks we tried at the place – the Yaal Panama; a tangy tamarind drink with a host of spices adding a pleasant kick to it and the overwhelmingly wonderful flavour of achcharu. Reason being, the drink is prepared with the flavours extracted from mango achcharu that they make at the bar.
Pathiraja shared that this really is the future of food preparation, adding that it is very popular in the US. However, here, ColomBar is the first to do it. “There’s really no limit to what you can do with this; think of the most outrageous thing and we can do it, you can prepare cashew arrack if you like!” he said.
With this method of extracting flavours, ColomBar has been afforded the unique opportunity of providing their customers with 100% all-natural flavours. According to Pathiraja, you wouldn’t find syrups or flavouring in bottles behind their bar, but only totally natural flavours extracted from fresh Sri Lankan produce.
While ColomBar is currently quite reasonably priced, it is ideally for an upmarket clientele. Especially considering its venue and modern décor that also gives a local bar vibe, but in a five-star setting. The Sri Lankan theme is for the most part represented in their trilingual lettering and also in their too-good-to-be-true flavours. However, the bar does not in any way look like your average Lankan pub.
Despite offering authentic Sri Lankan flavours and 95% of their products being sourced from Sri Lanka, the place also offers traditional drinks so one could quite simply just go there for the ambience and leave fully satisfied. The venue features live bands from Tuesdays through Sundays and in addition to playing traditional pop music, these bands also play local jams and baila as well.
And it just wouldn’t be right if we didn’t gush about the absolutely fantastic dishes at ColomBar. We tried a brick oven pizza and beef fritters, both of which were quite nice, the Yaal Panama, and the most delicious dessert we’ve ever had in our lives; we kid you not, we are not in any way exaggerating when we say that ColomBar’s crème brulee is the most magical treat your taste buds will ever experience. We’ve spent all our lives searching for that perfect crème brulee, something that isn’t too eggy, too soggy, or too sweet, and here we have it – turns out you just had to give it a local twist and voila, the most perfect piece of desert to grace God’s green earth.