Located in Colombo’s metropolitan skyline, CÉ LA VI is the newest addition to the city’s finest eateries and bars. Offering patrons views of the restless concrete jungle beneath, the restaurant is part of the global CÉ LA VI franchise which has restaurants in exotic locations including Saint Tropez, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Upon entry onto the expansive rooftop, guests are treated to plush seating and a sleek bar set-up.
With its extensive menu, patrons will find themselves hard-pressed to pick from the alluring array of drinks and dishes, each whipped up with plenty of skill and the finest of ingredients.
With an atmosphere that immediately sets one at ease, CÉ LA VI has a way of making guests feel like there’s nowhere else they should be. With the light sea breeze in the air, the open space is a great place to sip on cocktails without being inconvenienced by strong gusts of wind.
With its modern furniture and clean spaces, CÉ LA VI’s blatant South-East Asian aesthetic sets a tone that’s both serene and luxurious. Given its splendid rooftop view and the soft bass in the background, this spot is perfect both for some RnR in the evening; anything a little earlier might prove to be too warm.
The Food We Tried
Pork Belly Skewers: Succulent, tender, and sweet.
Carefully roasted and doused in generous quantities of honey, the pork skewers at CÉ LA VI are good enough to pique even the pickiest eaters. Tearing off the skewers with ease, the meat has a soft crunchiness to it, making its sweet texture an unexpected surprise.
Served with a bowl of peanuts, kimchi, and roasted garlic, the dish is certainly well-balanced in terms of textures and flavours. This is immediately apparent when one bites into the pork and the nuts – producing a crunchy and meaty mouth of goodness.
Beef Skewers: Packing in seasoning and spice, the beef skewers are bound to be a favourite among meat connoisseurs. Served with red and yellow pepper sauce accompanied with Negi, an international clientele would deem this dish to be one hot number. Smokey, chewy, and soft, the beef is lovingly wrapped around the skewers; forcing guests to either gently nibble it off or really put those incisors to use. Guess which option we went for!
Guacamole and Taco Chips: For those looking for some crunchy carbs to soak up any alcohol consumed, the Guacamole and Taco Chips are a perfect choice.
If guests are expecting a traditional take on the popular Mexican dish, however, CÉ LA VI is likely to prove a very daring reinterpretation. Tasting more like crispy poori, the tacos mix in elements of India and Mexico to produce an experience that’s nothing like what you expect it to be. Accompanied with a bowl of creamy guac and tomato salsa, this choice is perfect for those adventurous enough to try something a little off the beaten track.
Premium Sushi Platter: A platter capable of converting even the staunchest of naysayers, the Premium Sushi Platter with its fresh nigiri, will have guests begging for more. Prepared with chewy vinegar-infused rice, this type of sushi is generally served with an exciting selection of seafood, vegetables, or even fruits atop its bed of dewy grains.
This platter, however, featured solely the freshest of seafood, adding layers of taste and texture in every mouth. For sushi lovers, this will undoubtedly be an easy choice.
The California Rolls: An aesthetic display of crunchy cucumber, avocado, and snow crab, the California Rolls are a modern and millennial take on sushi. With each bite as fresh as the last, guests will have a hard time holding back after just one mouth of these exquisite rolls. Accompanied with a dash of vinegar sauce, the sushi takes on a tangy twist, filling one’s mouth with chewy rice and a sauce that cuts through the crunch of the cucumber.
The Drinks We Tried
Spanish Coffee: Packing enough caffeine and Bacardi Gold to bring a bear out of hibernation, the Spanish Coffee is a flawless choice for those who love their coffee and their alcohol. With both ingredients filling each sip in an equal ratio, many will find themselves wishing day drinking is less frowned upon. Served hot and topped off with a layer of fluffy whipped cream and nutmeg shavings, this is the perfect choice for those preparing for a long night of drinking ahead.
Sailor Jerry’s Sidekick: A very fresh and tropical selection, this signature cocktail comes blended with premium Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, fresh lime juice, passion fruit pulp, and other crazy ingredients including egg whites! Despite feeling like a very healthy detox at first, don’t be fooled. Whilst packing a strong tropical and fruity base, the rum makes itself very present in every sip guests take. For those who like their drinks minus the guilt, this bright number is bound to be reordered time and time again.
Red Rose: Easily one of the more aesthetic presentations, the Red Rose comes with lush petals of red roses seemingly frozen inside the glass. With a fizzy texture to it, the drink is perfectly sweet and refreshing – a great pick to start a night of indulgence. Mixed with Bombay Gin, elderflower liqueur, Fever Tree Club Soda, and other lip-smacking ingredients, this signature cocktail delivers the perfect punch for sweet-toothed drinkers.
CE LA VI’s Cosmopolitan: Perhaps one of CE LA VI’s prettiest cocktails, the cosmopolitan is first served with nothing more than a cloud of cotton candy. A second later, however, guests will find that a frothy pink mixture of Absolut Citron Vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, and simple syrup is poured in, watering down the cotton candy until it’s a part of this bold and flirty drink. While there’s certainly a kick to it, the alcohol is not overwhelmingly strong – perfect for those looking to keep their nights a little tamer than the antics one would find on modern reality TV.
Would we go again?
CÉ LA VI presents some fantastic dining and beverage options, enough to satiate even the pickiest of individuals. With its well-executed dishes and perfectly mixed drinks, the rooftop bar and lounge are set to transform Colombo’s nightlife in the near future.
Vegetarian/Vegan: Options available
Price range: Rs. 2000-5000 per person (depending on whether you stop at just drinks)
Contact: 076 111 0110
Address: The Kingsbury Hotel, 10th floor No. 48, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 01
Facebook: CÉ LA VI Colombo
Review by Archana Heenpella
Pics by Indika Handuwala