COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Galle Face Hotel’s Sea Spray restaurant is set to turn the tide on Colombo’s culinary scene when it opens its doors in June. The upscale restaurant, with the largest oceanfront dining area in the capital, has its sights set on becoming Sri Lanka’s top seafood restaurant.
With grandness in mind the hotel brought in Adam Gaunt-Evans last October. The established UK-chef started his culinary journey in the Michelin-starred Green House restaurant, under the tutelage of world-renowned chefs Paul Merrett and Bjorn van der Horst. His career has taken him to the kitchens of Burj al Arab in Dubai, the world’s first seven star hotel, and to the iconic Sydney restaurant, Flying Fish. Gaunt-Evans created the restaurant’s menu in collaboration with Sea Spray’s new Chef de Cuisine Jagath Raweendra.
Highlights from the new menu include Ceylon Arrack-coconut Thermidor, native lobster flamed in Ceylon Arrack and finished with a Thermidor glaze and toasted coconut; and a ceviche of coconut-lime marinated red snapper with a hot and sour jelly, pomelo, fresh lime leaf and chili. On the dessert menu a must-try is the passion fruit and buffalo curd crème brulee cooked in a clay pot, for a contemporary interpretation of Sri Lankan curd and treacle. The restaurant’s passion for all things from the ocean extends to the location.
“When re-designing the restaurant it was essential that we kept our expansive outdoor terrace, where we seat most of our guests [the deck has a capacity for 120 people].” said Antony Paton, general manager of Galle Face Hotel. “Dining al fresco and taking in the sights and sounds of the Indian Ocean, in a place that is steeped in so much history, has long been a bucket-list experience to have in Sri Lanka. With the re-build we wanted to honour, while elevating, the seaside dining affair.”
Guests seated inside can still enjoy vistas of the sunset and ocean, from a contemporary bar area. And when the water not only lashes at the shore but rains down from above, diners are protected by a large glass awning that shelters them from the elements, while not distracting from the location. The restaurant after all is aptly named for the water that sprays its prime waterfront perch.
The re-opening is the final part of a major restoration project undertaken by the hotel. The entire North Wing of the property–which first opened in 1864–reopened late last year after being stripped back to its skeleton and rebuilt it to its former grandeur.