By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Photos Eshan Dasanayaka
Theva Cuisine is the in-house restaurant at Theva Residency in Kandy. The restaurant is an entity of its own, separate from the hotel which offers an array of luxury amenities.
The fantastic, secluded location of Theva Residency offers its restaurant the same luxury it offers in terms of the private dining experience that most establishments strive to, without much effort.
Despite its hidden location, one can easily get to the restaurant, which is just 5 km from Kandy’s main bus stop, about a 20-minute tuk tuk ride.
Theva Residency is a boutique hotel. As you make your way up Hanthana Road leading up to the hotel, you’ll soon realise why the establishment is categorised as such.
The dishes at Theva Cuisine are available for guests staying at any one of the 15 rooms at Theva Residency and also any non-residents who wish to head on over for lunch or dinner at the restaurant.
The food, particularly the Sri Lankan dishes, at the restaurant gives an entirely different experience. In our personal opinion, up until we tried the traditional rice and curry at Theva, we realised we hadn’t truly tried authentic Sri Lankan food.
The food is prepared in the traditional Kandyan style of prepping curries and you are offered 17 different authentic Sri Lankan curries and condiments; it is the king of all Sri Lankan rice and curry meals.
If you wish to avail their special offer of a Sri Lankan breakfast, you need to preorder the night before. However, this breakfast option is only available for in-house guests.
We were lucky enough to try this out. We were served milk rice, string hoppers, regular hoppers, vandi appa, curd, and other Kandyan breakfast items in one big serving, and although the order is for two, it is definitely enough for about four very hungry people.
Theva also offers a number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including their signature cocktail – Athura. Athura is a fruity coconut concoction which was certainly unique, and proved to be somewhat of an acquired taste in our opinion. However, we agreed that it was a one-of-a-kind drink, something you won’t get at the regular cocktail bar in Colombo.
Theva Cuisine also offers homemade jams. Depending on the season, they serve pineapple, marmalade, and strawberry. The jams taste amazing and you can purchase them if you wish. Along with the jams come their warm homemade bread and croissants, which are heavenly; you can truly eat just the bread on your entire stay without a single complaint.
However, the best thing about Theva Cuisine would have to be their stellar service and ambience. While the food is fantastic and the drinks are award-winning, the most remarkable thing about the place is its unique location and hospitable service provided by the Kandyan locals employed there.
Theva Manager Russell Leonard shared that the staff there are truly what makes the place stand out, considering how dedicated they are to making the venue one of a kind. During our time at Theva, whenever we chose to come down for meals, if whatever individual items on offer didn’t take our fancy, the staff was more than prepared to go out of their way to provide us with exactly what we craved.
However, that’s not to say that diners would ever be starved for choice, as they have the most extensive menu at the restaurant, but if by some chance you are like us and crave breakfast food at dinner time, you needn’t hesitate to ask.
The ambience of course was lovely. Overlooking the Kandy city and its mountains on the horizon, you can choose to dine outside amidst the sometimes-cold Kandy breeze or choose to be cocooned in the warmth of the lovely indoor dining area that functions somewhat like an observation deck, also overlooking the city, encased in gigantic glass windows.
Overall, Theva Cuisine was an unparalleled experience for us, and while the price is rather steep, we are not unhappy to cough up that dough for the grand returns, and so we certainly had no complaints.