Colombo gets fantastical new twist with Flamingo House




By Shannine Daniel

For those who wish to escape their mundane everyday lives and experience fine dining and drinking in an eclectic, fairy-tale like setting within the heart of Colombo, the Flamingo House is just the place.

Located in the same building as Gerard Mendis Chocolatier down Horton Place, Colombo 7 the restaurant spans three floors, The Flamingo House Restaurant, the Love Bar and Private Lounge Area.

Walking in through the glass doors of Flamingo House felt like steeping into wonderland, with its distinctive and artful decor being the core element in creating diversity and ambience. Being true to its name, the flamingo has a distinct appearance in the midst of the antiquish decor.

The entire theme of the restaurant is drawn from the colonial tale of forbidden love between Estate Owner Sir Alfred Clark and Satyavati the daughter of a local tradesman.

Flamingo House Director Stefan Andre Joachim is also the creative mastermind behind the space and has created most of the decor from scratch, from the fancy flamingo murals on the walls and vaulted ceiling, the old fashioned wooden chairs and tables and the oil paintings gracing the walls of the restaurant and private lounge area.

Moreover the velvet curtains and colourful table cloths, gilded mirrors, glass shelving, modern chandeliers and large bird cages hanging from the ceiling and various other antiquities served to boost the twist of both classical and contemporary as well fantasy and realism that is a central part of the theme of this restaurant and bar.

“The idea was to create a restaurant with an atmosphere that would make people want to come back,” explained Joachim.

Cohesive to its theme of beautifully fusing contrasting elements, the menu too is an extension of the tale and the concept. As a result the restaurant and bar feature assorted Eurasian menus offering a wide variety of interesting dishes, not really a fusion as it is mostly Asian and Lankan-style dishes with a western twist and western dishes with Lankan or Asian twist. The range of cocktails and beverages too is quite intriguing, and each cocktail has its own imaginative back story printed on the menu along with the price.

While the prices are a little bit high with most of the mains and starters priced between Rs. 950 and Rs. 1,700 most of the dishes sound scrumptious and promising such as the gourmet seafood koththu with mussels, scallops, prawns and crabs (Rs. 1,200), the pulled pork sandwich (Rs. 950) and the calamari stuffed with minced lamb and served with lime and chilli sauce, jasmine rice and mango salad (Rs. 1,700).

On the other hand there are more reasonable options available including an assortment of dim sums served with a special Flamingo House sauce (Rs. 650) and The Mushroom Stack Burger (Rs. 750).

Even though the menu isn’t extensive the Love Bar too has a pretty good selection of cocktails priced between Rs. 800 and Rs. 1,200, and along with serving the more popular concoctions the Flamingo House has done well in creating their own matchless and appealing combos, each with a fitting back story. One notable example is the Gankada, a mix of Tia Maria, Vanilla Vodka, Baileys and Chocolate Ivory and topped with a chocolate finger and named after a 1920’s famous philanthropist hailing from Ratnapura.

Since it was opened last August the Flamingo House has been doing quite well in business and customer response and reviews have been favourable. The service also seems to be quite good and the place was not too crowded, both pluses to ensure a great dining experience.

While many people may not be overly enthusiastic about the decor, I felt that it was a fresh and unique addition to Colombo’s plethora of eateries and restaurants, making it a perfect spot for a casual, chilled out rendezvous with friends or loved ones. With its eclectic decor and the varied range of dishes that it serves up Flamingo House has a lot to offer those who are always on the prowl in the search of a good restaurant or bar.

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