Tucked away one of the oldest buildings in Colombo, Ministry of Crab is making history of its own. The restaurant is housed in what used to be the Dutch Hospital Complex, which dates back to Dutch colonial era around 1681. The complex now serves as a dining and shopping district.
Ministry of Crab was recommended to me by a fellow foodie who told me that it was rated one of the top 50 restaurants in Asia.
A partnership between two legendary cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara and a chef Dharshan Munidasa, the trio teamed up to create the Ministry where SriLankan specialties are showcased in all their glory.
As the name suggests, the restaurant specializes in crabs and seafood with the sizes of the crabs ranging from 500g up to ‘crabzilla’ which can weigh up to 2kg.
We arrived at the Ministry a little before 5 pm and were informed that the restaurant opens at 6pm, however reservations were full. I was a little disappointed, however the host managed to get us a slot at 8:30 pm. I managed to take a few snaps of the restaurant as it was being prepped.
The restaurant has an open kitchen and a live water tank with the various crustaceans on display.
The wooden furniture and high wooden paneled ceiling with the dim lights created a rather relaxed and jovial ambiance.
When we arrived, the place was filled with a bustling excitement, patrons chattering away, some dressed in branded aprons. Everyone seemed to genuinely be having a great time.
The menus, I mean Constitutions were huge yet not in the least overwhelming.
We ordered two refreshing drinks, the Sri Lankan specialty, King Coconut and Lime Soda.
For starters we ordered the prawns in garlic chili, which as absolutely magnificent, drizzled with what seemed like olive oil and spiced perfectly. These starters come as six unshelled prawns.
The first batch was so divine that we ordered another, this time we got the garlic pepper prawns, which sadly paled in comparison to the garlic chili prawns. Delicious none the less.
For mains we ordered the prawn clay pot curry, which comes in an actual traditional clay pot. This dish is comprised of half a kilo of prawns in a traditional spicy chili sauce.
The sauce was a flavorsome combination of Sri Lankan spices. It was served with traditional wood fired bread.
The bread was beautifully soft and fresh, why not dip your bread into the sauce for a mouthwatering yummy experience. The portion was large and way more than enough to feed two.
Despite being absolutely full, I was disappointed that there was no dessert on the menu. The service was professional and efficient despite the busyness of the place.
After the dining experience I am happy to say that this place lived up to its hype. The price was extreeme value for money considering its calibre.
I left not only with a full belly but with a respect for Sri Lankan food.