Open Time:Tuesday: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm | Wednesday – Sunday: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm | Last order at 9:00 pm | Closed on Mondays | Open on Poya and bank holidays
25, Main Street, Negombo
Between St. Mary’s Church and Negombo Magistrate Court
What we had
A magnificent locally sustainable dining experience
The essence of ‘C L U B. Ceylon’ is evident from the moment you walk through the weathered doors of this delicately restored colonial Ceylonese bungalow. There is a certain pride the owner and staff carry with them that is embodied in the hearty meals they serve, and it was truly an honour to experience.
C L U B. Ceylon sets itself apart from most other establishments as it embraces the concept of tapas; meals to be shared. In place of having appetisers and mains, they simply have small and large dishes, which you can pick depending on how many people you are sharing with.
The commute from Colombo to Negombo was entirely worth it. Their minimalistic preparations truly maximise the taste of their fresh ingredients; it’s common to see fishermen bring their catch right off the boat into the kitchen to be served up in a matter of minutes.
Owner and Chef Elizabeth Norris is passionate about sourcing local ingredients that benefit the community around her. Everything from the furniture, to the artwork on the walls, is a display of local talent that magnifies her passion for giving back to the community.
This review was carried out with the guidance of Chef Romesh Kulatunga, a renowned figure in the industry.
Grilled Bread and Olive Oil – LKR 650
Simple yet absolutely delicious, the fresh, wood-fired bread was light and airy while also having just the right amount of crispiness from being roasted with olive oil. Elizabeth pays another homage to a classic Sri Lankan staple “roast paan” as that’s the bread she’s used.
Mini Fish Croquettes – LKR 1,000
Golden brown crispy exterior with soft and flavourful fish meat inside. This was paired with their homemade mayonnaise that complemented the slightly oily and salty croquettes excellently. Chef Romesh remarked: “crisp to perfection”, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Ceviche – LKR 3,000
Ceviche is a Peruvian dish consisting of raw fish cured in fresh citrus juices. The acidity cooks the very delicate meat. Chef Elizabeth’s ceviche had hints of coriander and sesame seeds sprinkled over it, providing a crunchy element to the dish. Chef Romesh noted that it needed a bit more acidity, but otherwise the absolute freshness of the snapper really shone.
Clams in Wine and Butter – LKR 2,500
Possibly my favourite dish of the day. As someone that hasn’t tried clams before, I was unsure if I’d enjoy this dish, but to my surprise, I simply couldn’t get enough. Chef Romesh said they “tasted of the ocean”. The wine sauce was savoury and absolutely delectable. The clam meat was the perfect texture and almost melted in our mouth. Overall, they had an absolutely phenomenal flavour profile and were cooked with exceptional simplicity.
Sashimi (Mullet) with Citrus and Olive Oil – LKR 1,500
The sashimi was well cut and the colour of the meat was a testament to how fresh it was. The light drizzle of olive oil was the cherry on top.
Lightly Coated Fried Squid with Aioli – LKR 2,800
This was another one of my personal favourites; the crispy coating surrounding the chewy squid meat went well with their tangy aioli. Chef Romesh noted that it was “absolutely fresh, however a bit more sea salt would have elevated it to perfection.”
Paprika Prawns (XL) – LKR 4,000
Chef Romesh said one word after trying them: “decadent”, and I couldn’t agree more. Another star dish! Chef remarked that “they tasted of the ocean at its core” and that they were “succulent” and “beautifully deveined”. They were perfectly cooked and “absolutely tender”. The flavour profile was just right – not too many spices to overpower the taste of the meat, but just enough to enhance the natural flavours already present.
Beer Battered Fish and Chips – LKR 3,500
Fish and chips are an absolute British staple with almost every restaurant serving up their version of this iconic dish. What sets C L U B. Ceylon’s version apart from the rest is how fresh their fish is. The batter remained crisp throughout and didn’t get soggy. Their homemade tartar sauce was described as “heavenly” by Chef Romesh. The fries too were delicious and perfectly salted. The sprinkle of lemon juice over the fish fillet really took its flavour profile to a whole other level.
Sole Fish with Mushrooms and Basil – LKR 2,300
Cooked on the bone, the sole fish was “seasoned to perfection” according to Chef Romesh. It had an almost gelatinous texture indicative of the natural oils of the fresh fish oozing out while it was being prepared. The mushroom and basil were scrumptious and were reminiscent of a mild kankun dish that is commonly found around the island.
British (Steamed) Crab – LKR 10,000
The whole crab was a gorgeous shade of orange and was paired with an amazing tangy and creamy homemade Marie Rose sauce. The meat of the crab was hard to excavate but that’s all part of the thrill; the meat was sweet and went well with the sauce. It’s notable to mention that they don’t serve frozen crab, and everything is made to order. Chef Elizabeth believes it to be a waste of natural resources to overfish our limited resources. As a result, lobster and crab dishes are made on a pre-order basis only; so make sure to ask about that when reserving a table at C L U B. Ceylon.
Amaretto Ice Cream – LKR 900
I could appreciate the creaminess and smooth ice cream texture, however, the Amaretto flavour was a little overpowering for my palate.
Hazelnut Ice Cream – LKR 900
This ice cream flavour was refreshing and delicious. The texture and flavour combination made for the perfect dessert to complement the hearty dishes we had just devoured minutes before. The hazelnut flavour was just right and the ice cream wasn’t too sweet. It was absolutely delicious.
Anyone, upon seeing the gorgeously renovated colonial house, will agree that the location is absolutely stunning. The house has a rustic and homey feel; the place is extremely clean and well kept. The paintings (which are all for sale and by local Sri Lankan artists) and decor all give it a lived-in feel that makes for an extremely comfortable atmosphere. The staff and owner are extremely friendly and the service is impeccable. I wholly recommend everyone to give them a try whenever in Negombo or travelling to the airport.
Did You Know?
- Prior reservation is a must. For reservations, contact: 0312 238 097