The Barnesbury

91, Barnes Place, Colombo 7

The Barnesbury is another cafe in Colombo. They've got a lovely garden out back, interesting London themed decor and they do an ordinary range of generic Western dishes.

The Barnesbury has been around for a while now. They have a really great spot in the middle of Colombo with a ton of space at their disposal. The British pub vibe and the alfresco setting is known to offer something that doesn't limit themselvs to a usual cafe. 

They did a bit of an update on their menu a while back so we thought of checking them out.

Food and Drinks

They have quite an extensive list when it comes to food, most of which are hailing from the Western food scene. You can be spoilt for choice between burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, pasta, waffles, a range of seafood, as well as meats - chicken, beef and Australian lamb. Their beverages menu is as vast with fresh juices, milkshakes, mocktails and of course, hot/ cold coffee and even flavoured tea.

Wanting to try something other than burgers and waffles, we got ourselves the Thai Style Grilled Chicken Breast (Rs. 1250). Our plate came decorated with a juicy looking chicken breast and a range of eye-catching colours - drawn from the bits of chillies, lemongrass, lettuce, carrots and mashed potato. Expectations were obviously high but unfortunately, what looked juicy and inviting ended up being a bit dry on the inside, while the meat itself felt quite soft for grilled meat.

Whatever flavour there is in the meat got trampled by the lemongrass and we couldn't find any smokiness in this. However, the sauce in the base was sweet, which turned out to be the saving grace of the dish.  

The side sauce was tangy with bits of red chillies floating about. You can glaze the meat from it, but we weren't the biggest fan of it. 

Without a doubt, the highlight of the meal was the perfect mashed potato. Lumpy, yet creamy, this one had the perfect levels of salt, making for an excellent side dish.

Shrimp Po Boy (Rs. 875) was our pick from the sandwiches section. This was a double-decker sandwich stuffed with batter-fried prawns, lettuce, tomato and pickles and offered with a side of French fries.

There were five generously sized prawns enveloped in a soft, crispy batter. The prawns were absolutely fleshy, marinated in bbq sauce to give a bit of sweetness. But alas, they had overdone with the ketchup here which washed away the flavours of the prawns making it overwhelmingly sweet. 

The tomato and lettuce added to a crunchy texture and didn't intrude but the pickles in the sandwich tasted too sharp - which brought everything to the tangy side. 

The thick-cut fries were fresh crunchy, not too oily or salty.

We wanted to order Hazelnut Cappuccino, but they were out of it, so we opted to get the Almond Cappuccino (Rs. 550) instead. They had added too much of the almond syrup which made the coffee unnecessarily sweet. However, there was a decent foamy layer sitting on top of the thick, milky coffee, but we didn't like how it diluted the coffee notes. 

The Barnesbury Martini (Rs. 615) came in a tall glass packed with a zesty and sweet flavour. Refreshing and fizzy, it had a swirl of mint flavour running through as well. 

Sitting underneath a scoop of vanilla ice cream, on a plate drizzled with chocolate syrup was the Nut Brownie (Rs. 460) with a roasted peanuts layer on top. It was fudgy and gooey while the nuts added a fun crunch. There was a delightfully bitter note coming from the dark chocolate at the end of each bite. You can balance the bitter note from the vanilla ice cream as well. It was pure decadence galore.

Ambience and Service

The Barnesbury is known for their ambience and they are more or less the same as it was during our previous visits. 

Sadly, we couldn't take a proper photo of the interior as they don't allow taking pictures from "professional-looking cameras". However, you're allowed to take selfies and pictures of your food using mobile phones. They seem to have a bit of market with pro photography. They allow photoshoots here, and that's entitled to a fee. 
The lady staff member who waited on was courteous and prompt. Our food didn’t get late and they were apologetic about the missing items on the menu. 


We feel like their food can be a bit of a hit or miss and coupled with the price, it is a tough recommend. But their food is of good quality and with a bit of a tweak, they can surely do much better. So if you want to spend an evening with the excellent ambience and a meal at a price, this is a decent option.


The date and honey milkshake is excellent.
All Reviews

The Barnesbury is one of Colombo's oldest cafes.

The Barnesbury is another cafe in Colombo. They've got a nice garden out back, interesting London themed decor, and an ordinary range of genericWestern dishes.

As of about last week, yet another cafe has emerged, adding itself to the ever growing list of 'new in 2013'. The Barnesbury. Completely unrelated to The Kingsbury - although following what I hope isn't a rising trend in random British pub nomenclature - this self-designated restuarant/cafe/lounge is, well, we're not exactly sure what it is.

ටික කලකට පෙර තවත් කැෆේ එකක් පටන් ගත්තා. 2013 අලුතින් පටන් ගත්ත අවන්හල් ගොන්නට මේකත් එකතු වුණා. ඒකෙ නම බාන්ස්බරි. කිංග්ස්බරි එකට කිසිම සම්බන්ධයක් නැහැ. මම බලාපොරොත්තු වෙන්නේ නැහැ බ්‍රිතාන්‍ය ක්‍රමයේ අවන්හල් නාමකරණය කිරීමේ නැමියාවක් මෙහෙ තියෙනවා කියලා. බාන්ස්බරි ගැලපෙන්නේ ද බුලවාඩ්, සියෝකනට් නැත්තං චොකෝ ලව් වගේ කැෆේ/අවන්හල්/ලවුන්ජ් වලට. මේවගේ ඔබට විශ්වකෝෂ තරම් ලොකු මෙනූ වලින් තෝරලා ඕනේ වර්ගයක කෑමක් ගන්න පුළුවන්.


91, Barnes Place, Colombo 7


It's on Barnes Place between Wijerama and Kynsey Road junctions.



Open until 12:00 AM

Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
Quality Rating
Service Rating
Ambience Rating