3.285 Thali

Cycle 3 – Item 285

16 (Tue) October 2012




(Cinnamon Grand Hotel)

-Colombo, Sri Lanka-

44th Conference of the Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium on Public Health: Day 4 of 5

In Colombo.  Here to attend and present at APACPH44.  Heading back on Wednesday night.



On my own for lunch, a web search for restaurants in Colombo led me to Chutneys, which was ranked #5 by tripadvisor.com (see tripadvisor.com’s page on Colombo Restaurants).  The restaurant happened to be located in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel next door, part of the same complex with the food court where I’d eaten dinner last night.  Although Indian, not Sri Lankan, I couldn’t resist the combination of proximity and popularity.  In fact, it turned out to be South Indian, a distinction crucial to many, including the host who greeted me at the entrance of the restaurant – “Welcome to Chutneys, sir.  This is a South Indian restaurant.” – but one that escapes me.  I’m sure that the differences between South and North Korean food are also too subtle for most to discern, much less care about.

The food was okay.  When I admitted my unfamiliarity with the menu, the server recommended that I try the thali, a set meal served on a platter featuring a variety of small dishes, mostly curries, from appetizers to dessert, along with rice and flatbreads.  It was good.  It tasted like Indian food.  With a couple orange juices, the bill came out to 22,000 rupees (about US$17), pricey compared to the 400 (food) + 150 (beer) rupees that I’d paid for dinner.  The service was attentive, the ambiance chic, just perfect for rich foreigners.

Nuts + Candies + Sugar + Salt


The delegates to the conference were invited to a gala dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Taj Samudra.  During the opening ceremonies, waitstaff brought South Asian-style finger foods to the table.  Some of it was pretty good.  Afterwards, it was a buffet consisting primarily of Sri Lankan, Indian, and Chinese fare.  Most of it wasn’t very good.  Overall, I was disappointed, having harbored high hopes of being blown away.



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