41 Sugar – Restaurant and Bar (Preview)

So two days ago I saw a couple of tweets about 41 Sugar and checked it out on the Facebook link to the album: http://t.co/tvAPWxhCf8 and realized that Lemon had been re-branded Sugar and was eager to go check it out.

Midge called me last afternoon and said she was heading into town and wanted to know if I was free for after work drinks – it was almost a no brainer as to where we should go and so we ended up at No. 41 Maitland Crescent which is where the restaurant gets its name as the building number is 41 and of course it’s a Sugar restaurant so 41 Sugar!

We got there at 7pm and we were the only people there but the Manager and his crew were ready to serve us. We couldn’t get a table outside as they were all reserved so we sat at the bar and proceeded to look through their wine and cocktail list.

I was heartbroken that my favourite Rose d’Anjou wasn’t available by the glass but only by the bottle however I decided to go with the only Rose they had by the glass which was an Intis Shiraz Rose from Argentina priced at Rs. 700 per glass. It wasn’t nearly as good as a Paso Del Sol or a Rose d’Anjou but it wasn’t bad. Midge ordered an Original Sin priced at Rs. 550 – she wasn’t happy with it and I too tasted it and found it extremely sour; it improved marginally when she asked the mixologist to add a bit more Grenadine and sugar syrup but it wasn’t up to mark and she barely drank half the cocktail.

The ambiance made up for it all though because it is absolutely AMAZING – you feel like you’re in a completely different city. They have a wine cellar which is beautifully designed and makes you want to sit there all night sipping wine and gazing at the stars.

41 Sugar

We ordered a soup to share as we saw a Mushroom and Coriander Soup (Rs. 300) on the menu which we both just couldn’t resist and Midge ordered the Asian Noodle Salad with Beef (Rs. 500) while I settled for the Grilled Chicken (Rs. 800) which was served on a bed of creamy mushrooms with my choice of potatoes and a salad.

The food arrived quite fast and while we were eating the restaurant and bar also began filling up. Midge loved the Asian Noodle Salad and so did I – it was crispy and had the right balance of bean sprouts, noodles, veggies and beef.

Asian Beef Salad

My chicken was grilled to perfection and looked so beautiful that I was reluctant to cut into it. The chicken melted in my mouth and the creamy mushrooms were extremely tasty and well-flavoured. The baked potato was delicious and it wasn’t topped with too much sour cream. The salad was brilliant – crunchy with not too much dressing, just the way I like it!

Grilled Chicken

We were too full for dessert and by this time the place was packed and I wanted to make a quick exit as I’m not one for large crowds or gatherings but I was determined to satisfy my sweet tooth so I spoke to the mixologist and asked if he could prepare a dessert cocktail for me. My first choice was a Toblerone but they didn’t have Frangelico (Hazelnut Liqueur) which is the base for this cocktail. He suggested a Grasshopper instead and very obligingly went downstairs to Silk to pick up the shots for this drink. It took about 10-15 minutes but I didn’t mind the wait and I was looking forward to a minty nightcap.

The Grasshopper was exceptionally good and I am now inspired to make this my signature cocktail over the holiday season – fingers crossed I am able to get a decently priced bottle of Crème de Cacao.

The total bill was Rs. 3740 extremely reasonable in my book and all the prices are inclusive of taxes except the 10 percent service charge.

My rating of 41 Sugar is as follows:

Food: 9/10

Selection of Wine: 7/10

Portion Size: 8/10

Value for Money: 8/10

Ambiance: 10/10

Service: 6/10 *

Cleanliness: 9/10

41 Sugar is located on the 4th Floor of the Gymkhana Pool Complex at No. 41 Maitland Crescent, Colombo 07 Telephone: 0112-682122 or 0771-554149 to make a reservation. You can also visit their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/41sugar

I was told that they haven’t officially opened and they have only had a soft opening therefore this is just a preview and not a proper review as I want to go back and try more dishes with different people so that there is a wider selection of wine, food and cocktails that I can tell you about.

* The service was great when it was just both of us at the restaurant but the moment the place started filling out it took a while before we could get the attention of any of the 8+ waiters that were working last night. A special mention though to the Manager (Mohamed) who had familiarized himself with the wine list and the food menu; he also had a very good knowledge of wine which is a rarity in this country and an absolute asset to the restaurant.

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