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When you think of a restaurant being run by a 19-year old who just finished his secondary education you might have a few qualms. But ParkBay and its young owner certainly put our doubts at ease and this review will tell you why.
ParkBay was introduced to us by a friend who insisted that we check it out. We looked them up on Facebook and saw some good looking food and thought why not. It had also been awhile since we reviewed a physical location with the pandemic and whatnot so we were pretty excited to pay these guys a visit.
The restaurant is located at the Colombo 5 end of W A De Silva Mawatha and has large signage that you can’t miss. Parking can be tricky but this street has loads of restaurants and way-side eateries that allow parking right outside especially at night. The fact that ParkBay is open till 12midnight and is one of the few restaurants to do so in Colombo also means you can drop by later on at night when traffic is low and parking isn’t so much a concerns.
The well-lit seating area can currently sit about 20 persons but we recommend checking with them prior due to the safety regulations in place these days. Having said that the place does get packed almost on a daily basis. We visited them on a weekday evening and people just kept coming. Despite being busy though one of the highlights at ParkBay is their hospitality. The young staff are on point when it comes to arranging seating, taking orders, bringing your food out on time and generally making the dining experience a pleasant one.
ParkBay’s menu is quite extensive and includes pretty much Shaahid’s favourite dishes with a twist. It also covers a wide range of cuisines from Asia and beyond. The menu has several dishes that are earmarked ParkBay Special and we recommend that you try those out if you can’t seem to decide from the rest of the list.
We had a classic Lime and Mint, Strawberry Juice and a Tamarind Juice for drinks and enjoyed all three of them. Each has distinct flavours and are made to order at a juice bar that is open to the dining area. The Tamarind juice in particular was well executed with the right balance of the tanginess and sweetness.
Battered Prawns from the Starters got us off to a good start with a generous serving of about a dozen prawns coated in a thick batter and fried to perfection. Served with Sweet Chilli Sauce and topped with Deep-Fried Morning Glory, the portion was quite a steal for just 700 rupees. Creamy Cream Spaghetti with Chicken as its name suggests was extra creamy and cheesy with generous chunks of Chicken.
But it was the Far-Eastern dishes that really had us hooked. We had a Mixed Chopsuey Rice, Dragon Noodles, Hot Butter Cuttlefish and Singapore-style Crab. The Chopsuey Rice was loaded with Prawns, Cuttlefish, Fish and Crab in the authentic Chopsuey Sauce. The rice had plenty of flavour and the shareable portion can be consumed on its own without any accompaniments. The Dragon Noodles was similarly packed with veggies and seafood plus Chicken and was on the spicier side for those who prefer the heat. We also found the HBC to be the crispy, non-greasy variety but the star of the show was definitely the Crab. The gravy/sauce was as authentic as having the dish in its native Singapore.
After all that spice we needed something super sweet to finish off the meal and went with ParkBay’s Blondie with Ice Cream and Rose Tres Leches. Both desserts are bordering on heady when it comes to sweetness so a plate of cut fruit might be better for those who lack that sweet tooth. We loved the Tres Leches which was moist, and properly soaked up and topped with tons of whipped cream.
One of the constants at ParkBay was the fact that the portions are value for money. With no added taxes on your bill what you see on the menu is what you pay. This is a great place for a family meal and we will definitely be returning.
So here’s our rating…
Location *** (Parking is a bit of an issue but pretty easy to find!)
Ambiance **** (Nicely decorated and comfortable seating!)
Service ***** (Very friendly and attentive!)
Food **** (Great renditions!)
Price Range: 750 per head upwards including drinks
Opening Times: 12:00Noon to 12:00Midnight (Opening time on Fridays is 1:00pm)
Address: No. 188 W. A De Silva Mawatha, Colombo 05.
Contact Number: 0112 366565
Reviewed by Nishu Gunawardana
Photo Credit: Sanura Gunawardana