Exploring culinary options in the Historic Galle Fort

Day trips to Galle are in vogue these days, and the SO (Significant Other, for those of you who are wondering) wanted me to visit a place called Crêpe-ology, which she had visited on her last trip, so, after clearing up some calendar space, the trip was booked.

Panoramic View
Hi-Res panorama view of the coast from the balcony at “A Minute by Tuk Tuk”

We decided the best option was to take the train, definitely the cheapest option, so we met up at Fort and took the 7am train down.The second class carriage was decently comfortable, but the straight-backed seats did not invite sleep. Something tells me third class would have actually been a better option. The good news, there are toilets in second class. The other good news, we didn’t have to use it, because it smelled quite strongly. The bad news, our seats were quite close and as mentioned, the smell was quite strong.

Close to 3 hours later, we pulled into Galle Railway Station, and decided to walk to the Fort under threatening skies. There was a light shower, but not excessive, so we walked on to the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct having some king coconut purchased from a roadside vendor on a bicycle.

At 10am, apparently most of the places were still closed, but climbing upstairs we found this place called “A minute by Tuk Tuk” overlooking the bay. It was quite a view, with mist across the water as we got there, which cleared up to present a lovely panorama of the bay. Breakfast with the cool sea breeze sounded like a great idea, so we sat down on the balcony after ordering a flavourful egg white and herb omelette with feta cheese, and an Iced Caramel Latte for myself, and an explosion of Ham and Cheese wrapped in an omelette, with chocolate milkshake for her. Service was pretty good. Prices are of course, tourist prices, but at least its not Rs. 200 for an egg-hopper. Its Rs. 400 for an omelette with butter and toast. But it’s ok considering the going rate for that area. Service was decent, the staff could use a little more practice, but really that is nitpicking, and we didn’t have any issues.

Now, we wanted to wander around the Fort taking pictures, but it started raining again, so we were forced to wander around the Shopping Precinct, and ended up having tea at Tea Breeze until the rain ceased. As soon as there was a pause in the showers, we stepped out and took a short walk around the south area of the Fort and headed in the general direction of our ultimate destination.

Crêpe-ology restaurant on Leyn Baan Street is the number 1 rated place to eat in Galle according to TripAdvisor.com. And since this is out of 158 candidates we can assume that’s some decent competition. The restaurant is upstairs and the narrow wooden staircase is situated inside another shop, which was slightly confusing, but stepping up to the restaurant definitely produced a nice first impression. The decor had what I like to call a “Barefoot Gallery” feel to it, it really fit right in with the chilled out Fort atmosphere with large fabric panels adding a colourful touch. Despite the rain it was an extremely hot day in Galle and I really wanted to find an AC, but the AC room was full at the moment, so we were shown to a nice couch near a fan which was a relief. The open air area was actually quite lovely, with the trees growing in the garden below providing a home for birds to hop, twittering, along the branches. But maybe I should say Babbling, since they were Yellow-billed Babblers, or Demalichas for the non ornithologically inclined. We were presented with a rather large menu which took some time to go through but eventually we made our choices. My drink arrived very speedily, a lime and mint chiller which I could not recommend more highly, in that heat it was just what was needed, as the refreshing chill jerks you out of the stupor caused by the heat. Definitely a number one option, and a specialty item on the menu. More points for service, as the crowd in the AC area moved out they asked us if we wanted to move inside, and Chiller notwithstanding, I wanted to move to the AC!

The food however, they mixed up my order, and brought me a Tutti Fruitti instead of the Full Monty I ordered. However, that looked pretty good too, so I asked them to keep that in the fridge for me (it had ice cream) and bring me my Full Monty. It was quite a delight, scrambled eggs with tomatoes and mushrooms, with a somewhat warty looking but great tasting sausage all wrapped in a large Crêpe along with fries and some nice crisp salad. My SO had a portion of Chicken Satay, which, while quality-wise was pretty good (could have used more flavour) quantity wise, in my opinion, not worth the price paid. I understand that it is meant to be a side dish, but the price is not a side dish price.

The Tutti Frutti dessert was very nice too, assorted fruit served wrapped in a Crêpe with ice cream which, by itself, would have been quite a superb item, but unfortunately, I was busy being jealous of my SO’s French Kiss, which was like a chocolate explosion in the mouth, leaving the tongue and roof of the mouth coated in Nutella and the mind in Chocolate Bliss. Fortunately she shared.

Crêpe-ology is certainly a nice spot to hang out in, especially in the cool of the evening, but unfortunately the train left at 3.30 so, regretfully, we had to eat and run.

Travel trip, don’t bother with second class tickets on the way back to Colombo, the train starts in Matara and when it reaches Galle it doesn’t have seats. Kind of absurd to pay second class fare and ride standing almost all the way to Colombo. For most people it’s probably a better idea to take the highway bus, which also means being able to stay in Galle longer, but Colombo Fort was a more convenient hub for us to end our journey so we stuck to the train. Approximately 6pm back in Colombo, and that is adieu!

Story & Photography | Preveen Rodrigo

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