Ginza Hohsen

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Ginza Hohsen (Galadari)

Perhaps Colombo’s oldest yet most sought after Japanese restaurant has a new home. Ginza Hohsen is indeed back in the city, this time finding a much larger space to occupy than its previous two locations at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo.


The new space at Galadari is adjacent to the hotel’s coffee shop and car park and comes with a view of the under-construction Port City, especially if you choose to dine at the upper floor. The large open space is segmented in to different dining options from private dining enclaves and open seating on the lower floor to Teppanyaki grills and separate dining rooms on the upper floor. The entire restaurant is dotted with artefacts from Japanese culture including Samurai gear and ancient pottery. The soft Japanese music playing in the background adds to the serene atmosphere.


Upon entering the restaurant one thing you notice immediately are the familiar faces who have been around for as long as you can remember. The staff are quick to inquire on your seating preference and we chose to try the open dining at the lower floor closest to the Sushi Bar. Armed with a good, healthy cup of Japanese Tea, the sushi bar was indeed are first stop to watch the master craftsmen put together their signature Sushi Rolls. We had them prepare a Tori Teri Maki (Chicken), a Kapa Maki (Cucumber) and a classic Spicy Tuna Maki of which the chicken actually turned out to be our favourite. What was wrong with the tuna version was the fact that it had not been rolled together accurately and kept falling apart when we tried to grab one with Chopsticks. We generally love our Sushi and enjoyed the classic Japanese delicacy but felt it could have been done better as we have dined at Ginza so many times before and have had better. 


For mains we ordered ourselves a Chicken Katsudon and a traditional Fried Pork and Rice bowl that were both served up warm and aromatic. The Katsudon was packed with steamed rice topped with the classic sauce, tons of egg, sea weed strips and of course the deep fried chicken. It was comfort food personified and we loved it. The pork version was sans the egg but delicious nonetheless.


No dining experience at Ginza is complete unless you enjoy the Teppanyaki Grill on the upper floor and we did just that with a tray full of mixed meat and seafood and tons of vegetables slathered in soya sauce. The grill was fired up and each item expertly prepared. Once grilled to perfection the meats and vegetables are served while you sit around the table. Various sauces that go with the different grilled items is placed on the table and this is a great way to share a meal with friends or family. Some people may consider Ginza to be pricey, but bear in mind that if you know your Japanese cuisine well it is possible to order a variety of dishes to share. The Teppanyaki grill platters is one such.


To go with our food we ordered two of Ginza’s mocktails aptly named Rosy Pippin and a Mint & Ginger. What we really enjoyed though was our dessert which is also another favourite of ours. The three versions of Japanese-inspired ice-cream on a colourful platter is again not for everyone but we love the Red Bean, Matcha and Sesame Seed ice-cream. It’s hard to pick a favourite between the Red Bean and the Sesame as they both have distinct flavours but the Matcha is definitely an acquired taste.

We are definitely glad that Ginza is back in Colombo and can only hope that they keep up the standards that we have gotten so used to, especially when it comes to the food.


So here’s our review…


Location         ****   (Lots of parking and space!)

Ambiance       ****   (Lots of authentic Japanese cultural aspects!)

Service                      ****   (Friendly and efficient!)

Food               ****   (Authentic and tasty!)

Overall                       ****



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