The Loft: Perfect after-office getaway!

Saturday, 8 June 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Rashika Fazali

On a quest to find a high-end lounge bar, The Loft at the Colombo Courtyard certainly stood out and proved its worth when it came to their unique cocktails, relaxing ambiance and friendly staff.

The Loft, situated on the second floor, overlooks the road and gives a whole new meaning to bar experience. A lush, industrial-styled place, it features a whole lot of recycled items such as tractor seats as bar stools, hospital beds as comfy couches aligned with pink, grey and brown throw pillows, railroad carts as tables and recycled roof sheets, which certainly make this extraordinary concept stand out.

The floor has inbuilt eye-catching fiber optics to give a ‘looking at the stars’ experience. It is a perfect getaway for office workers who want to unwind after a full day at work.

It’s no wonder that Colombo Courtyard recently won the ‘Best Hotel Interior Award’ at the Prestigious International Hotel Awards 2013, the Asia Pacific Regional Competition, given the look of the place.

Bar Manager Lahiru De Silva is an extremely friendly and helpful person who started off as a bartender right after school, describing it as his “dream job”.

“It is different working in a bar. There is a different scenario or situation every day. It is not normal and you meet different people. When people are happy, they come to a bar. When they are sad, they come to a bar. When they want to hang out, they come to a bar too!”With around 19 years of experience as a mixologist, De Silva revealed that he has worked in 11 countries and has worked for renowned musicians and actors such as Madonna, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. He was once the personal butler for Bruce Willis and the legendary Paul McCartney.

De Silva gave insights into the unique set of cocktails created by him. Apart from the usual international cocktails like Margarita, they also have 22 signature cocktails that use some of the tropical fruits of Sri Lanka. How does the idea of a Passion Fruit and Ginger Mojito sound? You are bound to think that it would taste awful, but you will be quite surprised! The two flavours complement each other and combine so well. The drink comes with a price tag of Rs. 850++ and The Loft serves up a generous portion in a tall glass, which is definitely worth your money.

In their list of signature cocktails, they also serve Japanese cocktails, the only bar in Sri Lanka to do so. In their top five cocktails list, two cocktails happen to be Japanese and are very well loved by the public. Their top five fast-moving cocktails are Passion Fruit and Ginger Mojito, Japanese Connection consisting of sake, cognac, banana liqueur, pineapple and mango, Cherry Blossom consisting of sake, Gordon’s and watermelon, Citrus Crush consisting of Absolut Citron, Gordon’s, lemon, grapefruit, orange and almond syrup and Jamaican Breeze consisting of Barcadi, orange liqueur, apricot liqueur, orange, pineapple and Angostura Bitters. These are all priced from Rs. 800++ above.

These unique cocktails were created for one reason: “We should deliver what the customer wants so we wanted to create something new for everyone,” explained De Silva. The Loft also features a burning Cosmo where De Silva demonstrated him burning the outer layer of the orange peel to give a pleasant aroma and taste to the drink. He said: “80% of the flavour is first inhaled, so it was important for me to give the customers the aroma first than the taste.” When it comes to food, The Loft has around 100 items of snacks. The pizzas, however, are the fastest selling item on their snacks menu, especially the Hot and Spicy Chicken Pizza and Four Seasons, which contains four different fillings. But if you want something exclusive that is not found in any other bar in Colombo, then try out the Italian Piadina.

The Piadina, which is an Italian flatbread, is stuffed with grilled vegetables, a green spicy and creamy sauce, lots of cheese and either sausage or chicken ham. Although it is a bit oily, it tastes fine. The dish is priced at Rs. 850, but there are other dishes starting from Rs. 500 onwards. The Lounge Bar also provides live jazz music by the band Replay on Wednesdays from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and the music is not deafening, like in many other bars. Their liquor collection is also impressive as they only use foreign spirits and the bottle prices start from Rs. 5,000 onwards.

The Loft has a Happy Hour promo every day from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., where they give 50% off on everything. If you are interested in learning how to make cocktails, then head over to The Loft on 25 June from 7 p.m. onwards for a mixology session with De Silva who will teach you some tips and give you a chance to make your own cocktail. Only a maximum of 10 customers are allowed. Tickets are priced at Rs. 3,000.

Pix by Lasantha Kumara