Agra

Agra Claimed

Rich in flavour and mouth-watering aromas!

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Description

Agra

Despite the close proximity to the Indian Sub-Continent and the stories of travellers from centuries ago who brought with them influence of Indian cooking to Sri Lanka, it can be quite difficult to find an “authentic” Indian restaurant in Colombo. India itself being such a large nation boasts of a multitude of cuisines from as many as 30+ regions. One such is Mughal inspired cooking that is predominantly from the North of India.

 

Imperial India is a picture of extravagance, majesty and royalty. In fact Mughlai Cuisine as we know it today was first created for an emperor’s feast. Rich in flavour and mouth-watering aromas that comes from a substantial use of spices, this art of cooking once perfected delivers a meal fit for a king.

 

It is this ambiance that Agra, one of Colombo’s older generation of authentic Indian restaurants hopes to emulate. From the low lighting to the secluded seating areas, and even the water fountain and acoustic band playing haunting rhythms of days gone-by are a picture of how an emperor would have dined in his day with his family and closest allies.

 

Agra first opened doors in 2007 and since then has remained at its location next to Royal Sports Complex and shares its space with “The Manchester”. We were told that they had just flown in a new chef (Bhawani) from India so we decided to see what secret recipes he had brought with him.

 

The staff are friendly, especially their manager who seems to know his restaurant and his menu well. The serving staff however look a tad bit terrified and often need to be told several times over what you require even if it is something as simple as a glass of water.

 

Once we had ordered our drinks (we settled for watermelon juice coz it was a pretty warm day!), we proceeded to the appetizers. Considering that some Indians are veg and others non-veg, Agra also keep with the policy and meet the needs of both. Since we generally eat anything and everything we ordered a Prawn Tawa (shallow-fried prawns in chef’s special marinate), Peshawari Kebab (chicken with cheese and herbs grilled on a spit-fire) and Fish Tikka (char grilled fish marinated in yoghurt). Of the three we preferred the fish as it had a nice mixture of the yoghurt and herbs, and was not overpowered with spices like the other two. We also loved the Chef’s Special Mint Sauce that the appetizers were served with. We also had Garlic and Butter Naan to go with the meats. Personally there was not much of a difference in the two in that the garlic flavour didn’t really come through for us.

 

We love the fact that Chef Bhawani who specializes in Indian curries has introduced Dum Biriyani to the menu. Being from Bengal he has also added one of his childhood favourites Bengali Chicken Curry to the menu which he insisted that we try as well. We weren’t disappointed. The secret to a good Dum Biriyani is in the right combination of spices and a hint of rose water in the Agra version tells us that they have their own secret recipe. The chicken was also on point and went really well with the leftover naan.

 

Indians love their sweets and kulfi or home-made ice-cream is a must-have. Agra serves a saffron infused-version which is ideal after a heavy meal and is somewhere in between sweet and spicy which is different but very nice. The total meal can be very heavy and we don’t suggest it for weekday afternoons unless you want to be caught sleeping in your seats at work. A quiet and cosy dinner with the better-half or a family celebration is more ideal.

 

So here’s our rating…

 

Location         ***     (Agra has been in the same place for a decade but it is well-hidden!)

Ambiance       ****   (Go here if you wanna know how Shah Jahan dined!)

Service           ***     (Staff are very courteous and allow you to enjoy your meal in privacy)

Food               ****   (The new chef certainly is a great move!)

Overall                       *** ¾


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Today Closed UTC+5.5

10:00 - 23:00
  • Monday
    10:00 - 23:00
  • Tuesday
    10:00 - 23:00
  • Wednesday
    10:00 - 23:00
  • Thursday
    10:00 - 23:00
  • Friday
    10:00 - 23:00
  • Saturday
    10:00 - 23:00
  • Sunday
    10:00 - 23:00

Price Range

Drinks and dessert included a meal could cost anywhere between 2,500-3,000 per head
$1,000.00
$4,000.00

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