Located on the well known Park Street Mews, the Curve Bar is a popular spot for decent tapas, cocktails and live music at weekends.
Address: 50/1 Park Street (Park Street Mews), Colombo 00700
Phone: 011 230 0183
Directions: Park Street Mews is a short, pedestrian street off Park Street, almost opposite the large Parklands building. As you enter the Mews, Curve Bar is the second place on the left.
Covid Care: temperatures are checked when you enter Park Street Mews and the waiters wear masks.
Great cocktails, tasty tapas in a choice of indoor or outdoor seating, with the bonus of some enjoyable live music at weekends.
Park Street Mews has become one of the popular hangouts especially on a Friday or Saturday evening. Most of the restaurants have seating outside as well as inside, which get very popular in the evening.
As we entered the Mews a security officer checked our temperatures and we continued to Curve Bar. It's the second place on the left, with several wooden tables and chairs outside.
If you prefer to sit inside, the tables are a bit smaller and higher, with stools, but there are also a few soft seats around the edge. There is a long bar on the right, with bar seating, and a stage at the far end, for the live band at weekends.
When we arrived it was uncharacteristically quiet. Several waiters were hanging around on the street and we were immediately welcomed and offered a table outside, which we took.
We were offered a drinks menu which has the usual collection of bar drinks as well as a nice and extensive range of classic cocktails as well as a few with a local twist. There's also a page of hot and cold tapas.
There's a decent selection of tapas on offer. Cold and lighter options such as smoked salmon with crème fraiche, onion and capers; Vietnamese vegetable roll; fried Camembert cheese with berry chutney; or olives. The hot, more substantial choices include coconut crusted prawn; sautéed mushrooms with garlic cream; spicy crab with tomato; baby back ribs with sherry glaze and quite a few more.
Overall it's a nice selection to suit most tastes, with chicken, meat, fish or vegetarian choices, though it would be nice to see a few more added. For example an alternative beef dish, as the only beef option is over Rs3000, a price that would normally cover a full meal.
We decided to try a charred tuna with avocado mash and sesame cilantro; panko coated calamari; lightly breaded chicken strips with tamarind and barbecue sauces and a tandoori chicken wrap with raita. This latter was not on the tapas menu but we found it under heavy snacks". To drink, we decided to try the frozen strawberry margarita.
Frozen Strawberry Margarita Charred Tuna with Sesame Cilantro and Avocado Mash
The Cold Starters
The Frozen Strawberry Margarita came first and it was a respectable, generous size, the crushed ice built up to almost overflowing. It tasted very good, with a nice strawberry flavour and there was clearly enough tequila in there to give it a bit of a kick without being overpowering. Very nice and refreshing.
The Charred Tuna tapas was quite good, well prepared so it was nice and tender. The flavour was mild, almost bland, so that it mixed well with the avocado bit was offset somewhat by the sesame.
Chicken Strips Calamari Rings Tandoori Chicken Wrap
The Hot Dishes
Having whet our appetites with the tuna, not to mention the drinks, we were looking forward to the hot dishes and they did not disappoint!
The chicken strips were nicely crispy, perhaps a tiny bit overcooked yet still juicy inside and they were served piping hot. They tasted particularly good with the tamarind sauce.
The calamari rings were also good, again perhaps the tiniest bit overcooked but still very good. The sauce accompanying them was a little bland.
The tandoori chicken wrap was a pleasant surprise. We had expected it to be spicy but it was not; it was full of flavour though, with the juicy, gently spiced chicken blending perfectly with the cool raita and the soft, doughy wrap. Excellent.
Service and Ambience
The service here was very good and attentive, from when we first paused outside the bar debating where to sit. Menus were brought quickly, as were the drinks, and someone came to check periodically if we needed anything. It started to rain shortly before we finished and they rushed over to help us move inside out of the rain.
Sitting outside, on a pedestrian street, opposite a French café, watching people stroll by, you could almost be in Europe (especially when it starts to rain)! It's a great atmosphere. Inside, there is more of a party vibe coming off the purple walls. We heard the band doing a sound check and they certainly promise a good, entertaining evening later - the subject for a another review perhaps!
Curve Bar is neither cheap nor especially expensive. The prices are above average but the quality means that they represent fair value.
Cold tapas range from around Rs800 to Rs1300 and the hot tapas fromRs1000 to Rs1400, apart from the aforementioned beef. Cocktails are mostly from Rs1150 to Rs1250 apart from those classed as "dangerous" such as Long Island Iced Tea which start from R2150.
While priced a bit higher than some other places, the Curve Bar combines a nice atmosphere, good service and very tasty tapas, with some great cocktails. Later in the evening add in some good live music and you're set for a fun night out.