By Dimithri Wijesinghe
With the Rugby World Cup just around the corner, Blackout, Sri Lanka’s very first Rugby-themed restaurant situated on Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7, seems to have come up at the most ideal of times.
Hemanga Karunasena, one of the two directors of Blackout together with his brother-in-law Roshan Hettiarachchi, provided that it’s a sports café with a focus on rugby.
The place is in good company when it comes to eateries as there is no shortage of cafés and coffee shops in the area; however, despite some stiff competition, Blackout has managed to garner some recognition owing to their policy on the coffee they serve – Blackout uses freshly roasted beans in a blend that is unique to the restaurant. Following some experimentation, they believe that they’ve discovered the ideal balance for the Lankan palate.
In addition to the custom roasted beans, the place also has an extensive menu featuring dishes from most of the rugby-playing countries in the world (with the respective country’s flag indicated in front of each dish).
However, in our humble opinion, the best thing about Blackout is the gorgeous space on its top floor – the space which can be closed off and reserved for private functions is spacious and entirely surrounded by glass which is then covered in luscious greenery. The room is simply beautiful, and if you go there on a rainy day like we did, you can truly enjoy the misty windows and the warm earthy décor.
Blackout also offers accommodation for city travellers in the form of five very sleekly designed rooms.
The restaurant offers an ideal breakfast and lunch menu especially catered towards office crowds; although, we had a look at their main menu and had a go at a few dishes.
What we tried
Kithul chicken Rs. 850
Kithul flour-infused chicken wings served with a kithul treacle glaze.
This one was tricky because we absolutely loved the wings and they were cooked really well, but the sweetness of the kithul was a little too overpowering.
When we looked to balance it off with the small side salad given, hoping to mix some citrus to cut through the sweetness, that too had kithul drizzled on it.
Strawberry crush mojito and moca
We also tried two drink options; the first being the crushed strawberry mojito which was exactly what one would expect from such a drink, with ample amounts of strawberry crushed into the drink.
The moca was a creamy, frothy delight.
Cocoa au Vin Rs. 1,550
An authentic French dish with chicken, chicken bacon, red wine, brandy, carrot, onion, shallots, and creamy mash served with broccoli.
It goes without saying that with all of these ingredients, this dish is massive and the portion is quite large.
It tasted heavenly and was one of our favourites.
The mash was very well done, accompanied by everything else perfectly seasoned.
This dish was an A-plus.
Homemade chips Rs. 500
Potato, sweet potato, and beetroot chips served with beetroot ketchup – the perfect sports café food.
They’re not your average chips; with a little bit of flair and a pop of colour accompanied by the three varied dips, this option would be in high demand come match time.
Su a la soup Rs. 550
A Western Samoan dish made with a fillet of mullet fish in coconut milk and leeks, spring onion, onion, garlic, and celery.
This won our soup-loving hearts.
The flavours were all very South Asian.
With coconut being a dominant flavour in the dish, the addition of fish, garlic, and celery really brought together a very pleasant, homey dish rich with flavour.
Coco calamari Rs. 800
Coconut crumb-fried calamari served with sweet chilli sauce – a fantastic idea which tasted equally great.
Batter-fried seafood has really gotten old; while the formula is unbeatable, some creativity is very welcome and you get that with this dish.
Photos Krishan Kariyawasam