So Barefoot is open for dinner now. I went there on opening and had a lovely night with friends. The location is Barefoot and the food is Koluu’s, so all good. Right now similar dinner places are Gallery and Havelock, but none feels as alive as Barefoot. The food is like the Barefoot lunch (specials, not the sandwiches) but the menu is entirely new. It’s a nice fusion sort but still uniquely Sri Lanka. There’s even rice and curry, natch. I’ve given a brief review according to the LT specs (location, ambiance, menu, crowd, bill, last word). I also think I’ll go back and have a normal dinner as well. Actually, I’ll prolly just end up there, but all in all it’s a welcome addition to the dining environment in Colombo.
Is here. Barefoot is a place I hang out and I guess I’m biased. This is also a blog, which is cut along the bias. If you don’t know, Barefoot is on Galle Road near Majestic City. You can tell a trishaw driver Bamblapitiya Junction or Majestic City. They would also probably know Barefoot, though that’s 50/50 in my experience. It is a big white building on the sea side, about 50 meters north of the junction. The resto is specifically in Barefoot Gallery, so if the sign says closed don’t be comfused. You can drive down 18th Street (is it?) and park and enter via the back. There are two parking lots and enough room on the lane for overflow.
The Cafe is mostly open air, surrounded by a canopy of trees. Part of it is covered by a concrete bar. The place is very embedded into nature, but by choice rather than happenstance. There is lighting in the bar and contained candles at each table. I think there will be lighting on the trees cause the bats spit chewed up crud at you. The ambiance is, like all the best restaurants (Gallery Cafe, Havelock Bungalow) a natural high and you probably know it already anyways. The waitstaff is helpful and attentive and already have a lot of experience from running the lunch cafe.
The menu is designed by Koluu of Koluu fame and Naz has posted it on her blog. The menu veers between French, fusion, and Sri Lankan, but all in good taste. Of special note are the skewers, which arrive at your table on an impressive, um, skewer. There is also a popular Sri Lankan menu with pol sambol and what. This is what I had,
Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese – I love soup and this one is excellent. It’s extremely thick, almost hanging onto the spoon, and hearty. The blue cheese adds an occasional bite to the mellow broccoli and is good.
Smoked and Fresh Salmon Terrine – just had a bite, but it’s cool and refreshing. I like salmon (sushi, smoked, lahks) and this is good quality.
Chatty Roast Pork Sliced and Served with Sri Lankan Mustard Sauce – This was good pork and Seba liked the mustard sauce. However, it was a bit too much meat for me (3 slices) and I get a bit twitchy if I don’t have rice or starch with dinner (it came with potatoes). I ate Seba’s potatoes but I still felt the need for some bread. Good bread, btw, baked there.
Grilled Miso Salmon – Just had a bite but quite goodly. The sides are especially good, bok choy and something else. Um. Salmon is a fine beast and Japanese coating suits it.
Coconut Cream Pie – Tastes extremely of coconut
Strawberry Torte – I’m not sure if this exactly what I had, but mine was full of cashew (I can’t stand nuts) and I didn’t eat it.
Espresso – I don’t usually drink coffee but I put a thorough spoonful of sugar in mine and actually liked it very much.
The wine list is (I think) the same as lunch. We had a Chilean white (Gato something) and sparkling wine. It is that, more than anything, that brings the bill up. I’m pretty sure you can smoke there as well, and it’s not so noxious since the setting is outside. There is no liquor license nor, I believe, the intention to apply for one.
The opening night crowd is all kith and kin and not much of an indication, but I’d suspect it’s like lunchtime, or Gallery Cafe. Gallery, I’ve noticed, is mostly Sudhas, and I think Barefoot veers more into kalu sudha territory. Dunno really, must go there for dinner on a real night. You always bump into people you know at Gallery and I suspect it’ll be the same here. I do think that the feel is a bit lighter and more relaxed than at Gallery cause the Barefoot attitude (while not cheap) is less self-conciously posh.
Again, dunno cause it was opening night, but it looked like starters were around Rs 500 and mains were around Rs 1000. That is about $5 or $10, which I have spent on fast food in the States. By local standards it’s ridiculously expensive, but it’s also very good. Given the crowd that goes there it’s par. I think Naz quoted 17,000 for 4 people, but that’s including a couple bottles of wine. I think the actual food cost for 4 would be around Rs 5,000-6,000, or $50-60. I’m guessing, please correct me. I must go and pay when the girlfriend can get out.
Barefoot is my favorite location in Colombo and it’s nice that it’s open for dinner now. Koluu is an admirable chef and his menu selection is excellent, especially the meaty skewers. It’s also a plus that they include rice and curry cause sometimes you simply crave it. More than anything it’s the location that sells the space cause Barefoot is something that you simply don’t find in Sri Lanka, or Singapore or Manila for that matter. I’ve seen chic outdoor cafes that are constructed or assembled, but Barefoot is actually lived in. It’s a pleasant space to work or have a beer and now it’s nice that you can seamlessly drift into dinner.
Barefoot is open for dinner Wed-Sat. There are four vegetarian mains, more starters, and there is plenty of non-pork. Note that I don’t think the food is halal. They don’t delivery and I dunno if they’re open on Poya