mural at Ganges restaurant
Leisure Times got me a meal at the new Ganges, which is mara good Indian food. Apparently the menu is structured like a trip down the river, though won’t know for sure till it opens on Saturday. Most places I’ve been are South Indian with some nan thrown in, which is OK. Ganges is actually good North-Indian, which I likes. Don’t even know if that’s what to call it, as the owner said he’d cook any Indian dish on request. I’ve had some semi-delirious Indian food (in America and Canada) and I’d say Ganges is up there. I especially like the butter chicken, the kidney beans and the samosas. The owner, Kishore Reddy used to work with Oberoi before they left Colombo. Now he’s set up near Independence Square.
Anyways, D got me a pre-opening invite, so what we got was a tasting menu. It felt a little VIP, but that’s all D and none of me. People are oddly impressed by the Leisure Times name, which is cool, though they don’t seem to get that it’s not a day job. Some guard opened the big door for us and people were chatting over cocktails. The floors were black indian marble and the ceiling was folds of cloth with hanging lamps. There’s a big horse minding the door. I didn’t check out the bathrooms, though I should’ve. The bar sits atop a big fish tank, which is pretty sweet. I would like furniture made of fish tanks, but I don’t want to clean them. I also want a drinking fountain in my house. The napkins were purple and the plates were dark blue.
Had a rum and coke and talked to some people. It’s weird how obsequious free food will make a person. As far as I can tell, feeding people well is a pretty sure route to loyalty. Our hosts introduced us around, and the Ganges felt like an honestly warm place. Mr. Reddy and his wife were super sweet and effusive people, able to go on about food and Sanskrit equally well. He’s been here 6 months and speaks better Sinhala than me, which is just getting embarassing. They took care of everybody and taught me like five new things.
I think I’ll go back to see how they play with the river metaphor. Reddy says the menu follows the cuisine of the various people around the Ganges, and I’d like to see how they do it. I looked at a map and the river seems to run under Nepal, with 8% of the world living along its basin. It is very windy and tributary. This satellite map shows where it joins ‘The Yamuna River â€” a major river in its own right, and nearly as sacred. Their confluence is near what is the site of the traditional holy Hindu city of Prayag, now known as Allahabad.’
I have not been there, but I think that this is the food that’s internationally considered ‘Indian’. What I like about Indian is that sometimes it’s so good that it makes you feel kinda high. One time in New York I had some that made me walk around in a daze, and I got kinda close in Montreal’s little India. There was a Sri Lankan delivery service that was great, but I think I may have actually been high. In Cochin there was this little spinning dhose joint and that made me feel good, but then I got greedy and I felt sick. That was worth it though. What I most like is a nice, light, sit-down Indian – which is the niche that Ganges fills. I think I’ll go ahead and say that everywhere I’ve been in Colombo isn’t that good, though I am by no means comprehensive.
* Mango Tree: Think it’s good, but went there with a toddler and don’t remember. Nice atmosphere at least. Everywhere else I’ve been is all dirty tables and metal cups.
* Shanti Vihar: Smells a little funny and ran out of Coca-Cola. Unimpressed
* Matura (spelling?): The tomato soup is good but the dhose and all are so-so. Not like the cheap little cafe’s in Cochin. Plus no meat.
* Tamotle (forget name): Gastrointestinal roulette. Is in Battaramulla, where I would avoid eating altogether.
That is all I know. I like Indian food and it’s good to have a nice place around. I’d recommend Ganges.
next to royal sports complex
owner- kishore reddy
tel 0714-523-333 (thanks james)