By Anjalika Abeykoon
The Irish Bar and Grill on Park Street, one of our favourite restaurants in town, turned one on 11 July. They have come a long way since we visited them for the first time – a year ago when they first opened the doors to the public.
The “bar atmosphere” of The Irish Bar is kicking in, especially with live music and DJ every Friday, ladies’ nights, and private parties hosted in the outdoor area.
On 11, we popped in the restaurant to congratulate Sasha on her baby turning one.
Sasha Jayasundera is not a new face in the industry; she has been her mother’s right-hand woman managing Sopranos Karaoke Bar which has been in operation for more than 15 years.
We were welcomed by loud music and of course Sasha herself who was standing right by the door welcoming guests. The place was already packed, comprising the regular customers and Sasha’s close friends who usually grace the bar with their presence.
The stewards did their rounds with platters and we – very curious – dove right into the canapés made Irish-style. The platter consisted of egg boats, tomato-topped mini bruschetta, homemade crackers topped with guacamole sour cream, and semolina crumb-fried spring rolls. We loved all of these tiny Irish morsels and our favourite was the mini bruschetta.
We moved towards the open bar to check out the three signature items the house served for the night – Irish Lady, Irish Comfort, and Irish Espresso. The mixologists instantly captured our attention with their impressive techniques, so we decided to go with Irish Comfort and Irish Espresso to have a taste of Ireland and complement the canapés we feasted on.
The Irish Comfort was a mixology of Southern Comfort, Amaretto, Cointreau, fresh passion juice, and fresh orange juice with ice cubes and topped with a cherry. This was a strong and colourful mix. On top of everything, it was very refreshing, complementing the flavours of passion fruit and orange.
While sipping our drinks, we turned to the mother-daughter duo seated next to us only to learn how much they love The Irish. They commented on the comfortable arrangements of the bar, the amazing staff, and Debra Weerasuriya. The daughter did not forget to add that the ribs at The Irish are delectable.
By the time we finished the first round of drinks, live music by The Notion filled the restaurant with really nice “oldies” vibes, setting the perfect mood to transport one right to Ireland.
Having our Irish Espressos in hand, we decided to do a round about the grill to observe the good vibes of the guests. The Irish Espresso was a mix of Jameson, Baileys, Frangelico, vanilla syrup, and a dash of coffee. The drink tasted obviously of coffee – the coffee was very strong – while a bit milky because of Baileys, and we loved it. We also ran into Suresh, who was surrounded by a bunch of ladies, so we would refer to this group as “Suresh and the angels”.
They gave us the same feedback as Debra. However, their taste in food was different and mentioned that oxtail, minced salmon pie, and the shepherd’s pie as their favourites off the menu. They also told us that The Irish Bar and Grill is one of their favourite hangout spots.
The uniquely themed The Irish has come a long way from where it started, and we are very happy to see the progress they have made.
Photos Krishan Kariyawasam