The place doesn't look like much, the seating is open air and up some steep steps. But the burgers are excellent, among the best in Colombo.
Address: 388 Nawala Road, Rajagiriya
Phone: 077 773 0033
Directions: a few minutes up Nawala Road from the flyover. On the left side shortly after Java Lounge, opposite Keells.
Covid care: the counter forces social distancing. Hand washing basin available. Staff wear masks.
We heard about this place from a friend and liked the sound of the Burgers, Dogs and Rock & Roll so we decided to try it.
When we arrived at the address, we almost missed it, and quite honestly the first impression was, "We've come all the way, for this??" At the side of the road is a two storey building; the top half has a roof but the sides are open. In front is a fast food counter, to order, and opposite is a kiosk, like in a food court, for a different food. Well, we were there so we decided to go ahead and order, but our level of expectation had plummeted.
Food is offered take away or eat in. If you decided to eat in, you are invited to go upstairs to the eating area. Be warned, the steps are very steep, and in some places narrow. Upstairs there are four seating booths. At one end, nearest the street, is an area which seemed to be for standing, maybe a smoking area, and at the other is a bar.
The menu offers mainly burgers, hot dogs, some pasta and some small eats and sides.
The burgers offered include classic, spicy, pork, and a local vegetarian polos option.
The dogs are available as beef, pork or chicken, all with a "loaded" option.
The other dishes are themed with rock & roll names such as the "Born in the USA" patty, or the "Smells like Teen Spirit" beef cooked in Arrack. Small eats and bites include fries, sliders, corn dog and wings.
We were feeling adventurous, and hungry, so we ordered a selection: a burger, a hot dog, a beef dish, a salad and portion of sliders.
They say, "Don't judge a book by its cover," right? Well, we were reminded of that piece of wisdom. The food was really, really good.
Clockwise from top left: Sliders; Killer Beef Burger; Pork Big Dog; Smells Like Teen Spirit
The salad and sliders were brought to us first. The salad was fine but nothing special but we weren't too worried about that. After all, you don't expect a place that specialises in burgers to deliver a great salad do you?
The sliders, however, were good. Succulent, tasty, full of meaty flavour and piled high with tomato, onion, cheese to enhance the taste. The only slight let down was that they were served in a cut up hot dog bun instead of a mini burger bun; a small detail but about the only thing we could fault.
The Killer Beef Burger was just excellent. This too was packed with garnish in the form of salad, cucumber, cheese and a delicious sauce. It's built just right, it holds together as it is bitten into rather than half of the contents squeezing out the other side. Overall, a burger that was delicious, juicy and full of flavour - we agreed: one of the best burgers in Colombo.
The Smells Like Teen Spirit is basically built like a burger but, instead of a minced beef patty, it contains pulled beef smothered in a delicious arrack sauce. Again, juicy and bursting with flavour and with plenty of garnish to give it something extra.
The pork dog was also smothered in sauce, this time a cheese sauce with a sprinkling of herbs. It was a large dog, biting into it resulted left cheese sauce running down the chin, but it too was deliciously tasty.
The fries were good too; it's such a shame to have a good burger with substandard fries, but these were crisp, cooked and salted just right.
Burgers start from Rs850 for the classic beef or fish burger and Rs1,100 for the Killer.
Hot Dogs are around Rs650, going up to Rs1,100 for the loaded ones.
The special "rock and roll menu" dishes are mostly priced around Rs1500.
For our food - salad, sliders, burger, dog and rock & roll burger, we paid just over Rs4500.
Service and Ambience
When we arrived the guys at the counter were welcoming. They didn't rush as as we ordered and invited us to sit upstairs and they would bring the food to us. Their drinks selection is a bit limited and one of them pointed out the Keells over the road and suggested we could go and get what we wanted there if they didn't have it, which was helpful.
They brought our food up quickly once it was ready, cleared empty plates and offered us another drink, and were friendly and helpful; afterwards, as we were wiping the cheese sauce from our chins, they pointed out as sink at the back and invited us to use that.
Ambience is somewhat limited as it is a small, upstairs room with barely any wall, next to Nawala Road. We had wondered about the "rock and roll" promised on the sign: weas there anything beyond naming some dishes after rock songs? it seems not. But, as a simple restaurant dishing up some of the best burgers in Colombo, it rocks!