Located skyward of the Kingsbury Hotel, overlooking the bustling city below, is Colombo’s latest restaurant and lounge, Cé La Vi, Colombo. Cé La Vi is a celebrated, globally recognised lifestyle brand with its presence in some of the most popular nightlife capitals around the world including St. Tropez, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. The lifestyle brand is well known for its innovative and modern Asian style cuisine, mixology, world-class music and entertainment and iconic locations with stunning views. The Cé La Vi Colombo restaurant, lounge and bar is no different. The restaurant is the focal point of this review.
A truly modern interior, the space is seductive and chic with its dark wood, grays and deep reds, illuminated by modern, dim lighting. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows bathe the restaurant in natural light during the day, but the restaurant’s allure remains the same regardless. The restaurant’s interior celebrates everything Asian with its distinctively modern Asian design. They have a sushi bar, tables for two and four, couch tables and a private Teppanyaki table for guests to choose from. The restaurant during the day is a perfect venue for business meetings as it is well lit, comfortable and the tables are set at a distance from each other, allowing guests to have a conversation without any disturbances.
The menu is diverse and allows guests to choose from a wide variety, ranging from raw starters to hot starters, from mains from the land to mains from the sea and sides. There is also a Teppanyaki set menu, or if guests would prefer, a Teppanyaki a La Carte menu to select from as well.
From the raw starters, we tried the Premium Sashimi Platter (consisted of Himichi, Tuna, Salmon, Octopus and Crab) and the Premium Sushi Platter (serves 2-3 people). It tasted as fresh as it looked. (5/5)
From the Rolls, we gave the Soft-shell Crab with Tobiko, coriander dressing, shiso aioli and Spicy Tuna Rolls with Cucumber Kaiware, a go and were not disappointed. The crab meat in the crab roll was crisp and as promised, the tuna had a spicy kick. (5/5)
We decided to try out the Clams in yellow pepper coulis, butter and garlic. The sauce it came in, although not as thick as one would expect a coulis to be (probably for the better), was tangy and would have been an excellent dish had they used larger sized clams. The clams were so small that they barely had meat in them. (2.5/5)
From the “Sea” section, we tried the Grilled Salmon with Ikura (red caviar), balsamic, teriyaki and the Line Caught Snapper with red onion and coriander dressing. Both dishes were A1 and we highly recommend them.
The Grilled Salmon was excellent. The accompanying vegetables were delectable and the flavours were well infused. (5/5)
The Line Caught Snapper was well paired with the coriander sauce which gave the mild flavoured Snapper a tangy, slightly spiced zing. (5/5)
From the “Land” section, we chose to try the Braised Pork Belly and Garlic chive kimchi and ssamjang sauce. We were lukewarm about the braised pork dish as the meat was flavourless and the sauce had an almost insignificant impact on the dish even though it tasted good on its own. (1/5)
From the sides section of the menu we tried the Roasted Cauliflower with Red onion and coriander. This dish was mouth-wateringly delicious with its bold flavours and we highly recommend it. The taste of the cauliflower, which is often overwhelming when added to dishes, was mild, allowing the taste of the rest of the ingredients to come through. (5/5)
The Hazelnut Truffle with Chocolate Brownie, Scotch whisky Ice Cream and Frozen Hazelnut Soufflé was heavenly. The homemade scotch whiskey ice cream was top notch and had a strong flavour of scotch whiskey which complemented the layers of brownie, chocolate and hazelnut cream, which in itself was divine. (5/5)
The Matcha Lava with Sakura and Blood Orange Sorbet, Cherry Blossom Whip Ganache and Green Tea Sponge was slightly underwhelming. It was dry and the flavour was thin. However, our favourite element from the dish was the ambrosial sorbet they paired it up with. It was sweet, slightly tangy, refreshing and so delicious that we had to give it a special mention. (2/5)
The Rose and Watermelon Petit Gâteaux with Rose and Vanilla Opalys 33% White Chocolate Cremeux, Fresh Watermelon and Raspberry Crumble was by far the most curiously unusual and interesting dessert we’ve ever tried. The combination of watermelon, rose and white chocolate is not one anyone would imagine ending up on a plate together. Interestingly, however, the combination worked so well. Each element brought in contrasting flavours that complemented, rather than overpowered, each other. This was by far our favourite dessert and we highly recommend it. (Can we just say it scored 6/5)
The staff were very obliging, polite and attentive.
If you’re looking for a place to have a business meeting over lunch, consider Cé La Vi, Colombo. The food there is excellent and we would definitely go again.
Try out the Teppanyaki table (must book in advance). It’s a different and interesting dining experience.
Photographs: Nisal Baduge