Think South East Asian cuisine with comforting authentic favourites alongside fusion dishes with the freshest, local Sri Lankan ingredients. Monsoon is no doubt a restaurant born in equal measure of soul and culinary expertise.
In all honesty, there aren’t many restaurants in Colombo that have impressed me quite as consistently. Alongside August by Mama Aida’s, a Middle Eastern foodie’s dream, these are the only two where quality has been wholly consistent, becoming my go to spots to wine and dine family & friends visiting Colombo.
No detail goes unnoticed and there is a real sense of ownership in style. While some restaurants and hotels actively poach ideas from others, Monsoon is no doubt an original.
The restaurant itself is in the epicentre of Colombo’s international foodie scene, a buzzy street favoured by expats and the Capital’s it crowd, Park Street Mews. The good news is that Monsoon is at the end of the Mews and is a kind of foodie oasis, patronised by diners for the incredible cuisine than the desire to be seen.
Speaking with Henry, the managing director of Teardrop, he explained the recent process of choosing new dishes for the menu. They arranged a tasting day with staff to try new ideas by the chefs. The final choices were made and all are now featured in the latest edition of the menu.
One dish Henry was particularly excited about on the new menu is the beef wrapped in wild betel, a leaf popular with locals in Sri Lanka. While Monsoon is not a Sri Lankan restaurant, the seamless marriage of South Eastern flavours with local ingredients is quite an achievement.
Personal highlights include prawns wrapped in vermicelli noodle, Thai steamed barramundi, tom yam goong soup and the refreshingly light young papaya salad. For the meat lovers; Malaysian chicken satay, Vietnamese duck salad, Balinese seared pork belly and slow cooked Indonesian mutton amongst many others.
My favourite dish however is the crispy black pepper tofu, flavoured with a piquant onion and tomato glaze. I had never particularly liked tofu before, but the flavour and texture of this dish inspired me to reconsider my opinion!
Monsoon recently decided to start serving complimentary prawn crackers at the beginning of the meal too which is a nice touch.
Dishes arrive as soon as they’re ready, piping hot and an ideal portion size to share. If dining as a couple, be careful not to over order. My partner and I tend to order starters first and wait until we’ve finished to judge how hungry we still are for mains.
If you’re visiting in the evening, especially on a weekend, it’s best to make a reservation. They have a great value set menu for lunch which tends to be easy to drop in without booking. Be aware not all a la carte items are available until the evening, for the full spectrum go for dinner!