I have never been to any restaurant more often than Oro 1889. All the food – not just the pizza – was always excellent and the fun, laid back atmosphere meant that it quickly became our favourite restaurant.
In a city where quality casual dining can be hard to come by, Oro was a shining light so I was rather heartbroken when the original Oro closed. But where one door closes, another opens and I am very excited to give you a sneak peek at the new dining experience that is Alexandra & Ward. Situated in the newly renovated Promenade at Odel on the corner of Alexandra and Ward Place (hence the name).
It’s a partnership between the Oro team and Colombo’s #1 chef and restaurateur Dharshan Munidasa. In case you missed it, Dharshan is the chef behind the only two restaurants in Sri Lanka to make the Asia’s Top 50 restaurant list. His skill and know how have made Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi must visit dining experiences for both local and international visitors.
Having checked out A&W last night, there is no doubt in my mind that it is well on its way to being one of Colombo’s best casual dining destinations. The venue features both indoor and outdoor dining areas, a gorgeous birdcage centrepiece and can seat close to a hundred diners. Best of all, you can choose from a Japanese or Italian inspired menu which is great for group dining. All your favourites from cafe Nihonbashi at Odel are there, as well as a selection of salads, sides and of course, the best pizza in town.
On account of the sheer amount of pizza we have eaten over the past year, I had the pleasure of being a pizza taste tester and I can honestly say that Colombo’s best pizzaiolo, Nishan Punzi is at the top of his game. A brand new Italian-made Forni Magliano oven and weeks of rigorous dough testing mean that Oro 1889’s Neapolitan style pizza is back and better than ever before.
Dharshan wasn’t joking when he named it the ‘The Don’ of pizza ovens. Its base is made of volcanic rock and heats up to 400C, cooking a pizza in just 80 seconds.
There’s a limited offering of five pizzas as the moment, but I would expect that to change later on in the new year. I can’t comment on the other dishes as I’ve yet to try them (too full of pizza) but I have no doubt that it’s going to get crowded leading up into the Christmas period, so get in soon. A&W is on soft launch this week (8 December), so bear that in mind when you go.
They don’t have a number to book on yet but I’ll update with details when I get them. Just to note, it is no longer BYO – you can get drinks from the outside bar brought to your table.
Alexandra & Ward
The Promenade at Odel, corner of Alexandra Place and Ward Place, Colombo 7
Cafe Nihonbashi is serving up food from midday and Oro will be serving pizzas from 7pm.