We went back to Fifty7 almost a year after it opened to see what's been up. I'd never been to the Jetwing Colombo 7 before and was pleasantly surprised how it created a vibe which appears to entirely cut you off from the city outside.
This is especially cool since Fifty7 is located right on the ground floor, though off to the side, away from Ward Place. I kind of have a thing for places like this, I don't know why, maybe something about the effort it takes to create a space that manages to create a transporting affect without resorting to become an overwhelming eyesore.
The interior is much the same. Spacious, with high ceilings and a muted, but not boring, color scheme in which browns and whites predominate. The chairs and tables, while not wicker, feel wicker, I don't know if that makes sense. The place gives off a colonial vibe without being quite colonial, and avoids the tropical modernist trap while at it. An interesting detail is the multiple racks of clay pots on the walls, enough to cater to a whole village. This being Colombo though, the clay pots are used for decorative purposes only.
I know we tried the Signature Burger last time, but that wasn't me. It looked good and I was hungry. Besides, it's good to test the consistency of these things. At Rs. 2000, you can feed burgers to your whole family if you ate elsewhere, but quality wise, it beats anything Burgers King can make.
Still, Rs. 2000 (plus taxes) feels a little steep for this affair. The beef is Australian, and can be had either 'medium rare' or 'medium'. We ordered medium rare, but it actually felt like medium. So make a note of this when getting yours because 'medium' probably tastes like 'well done'. The meat is held together with bone marrow, and everything feels juicy, grainy and lovely to bite into. Good beef.
The caramelized onions were a superb touch, and went really well with the cilantro and pickles. The bun comes soaked in squid ink. I am not entirely sure how the nuance it adds contributes to the taste, but it does complement the bun, which is soft and rubbery, quite well. Size-wise, this burger isn't exactly a monster, but the fries (very good) will fill you up the rest of the way on a really hungry day/night.
We also got a couple of starters. The Hummus (Rs.700) was decent, a little less tangy and flavorful than I usually like it, but we can put this down to a matter of preference. The 'pita bread' listed on the menu turned out to be naan instead. Much to our chagrin (I love saying 'chagrin') the kitchen had placed them on the plate while very hot, causing one side to soften. Basic mistake.
The Crunchy Vegetable Salad (Rs. 700) was fresh and the rosemary spicing was a nice touch, as was the mango and avocado, but it tasted a little yeasty for some reason. The portion was also a little on the small side, or maybe the plate was really on the absurdly-designed, large side. Evidenced by the pic.
Note that their menus change based on the time of day. The salad was from the vegan menu, we weren't too impressed by it, but can't speak for the rest of the items obvs.
Nothing to complain here. Service was friendly and obliging. Though our sparkling water did arrive unchilled, when we had specifically asked for chilled. This and the gaffe with the pita bread left us a tad let-down.
A great place for a relaxed lunch, dinner, afternoon meal that renders the craziness of the city outside into a distant dream. Definitely look to spend somewhere in the range of 7-10,000 for two people.
Fifty7 continues pretty much in the same tradition, with value almost hitting money if you also factor in the great ambience
Australian beef, bone-marrow and squid ink burgers? Why ever not.
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