My trip to Sri Lanka with my mother went through a lot of planning before it came to fruition. When it came to Colombo, our first stop, one of the highlights of our agenda was a meal at the Ministry of Crab.
While getting there didn’t go as planned, the experience and food was everything we expected.
Here’s a round-up of our meal and thoughts on the same:
What we ate
- Avocado crab salad – LKR 900
- Kade bread – LKR 300
- Garlic chilli crab (1/2 kilo) – LKR 3000
- Ice tea soda – LKR 300
- Passion fruit juice – LKR 300
What we thought
Both my mother and I were really impressed with the food. All the seafood at the restaurant is fresh and it shows. The crab was cooked to perfection, and with the restaurant encouraging a hands-on approach to eating (it’s even written on the menu), we relished our meal in the best way possible.
It’s a nice feeling to look up while eating once in a while and see everyone else in the restaurant is in the same bib-wearing, finger-licking, lip-smacking state as you.
The Kade bread (Sorry, I don’t know what Kade is) is your best friend and your enemy because once you start, you can’t stop. While it was delicious by itself, it was also the ideal instrument to soak up all that chili garlic oil that our crab was cooked in. Is there anything bread can’t do?
The starter – the Avocado crab salad – was okay for me. I enjoyed the wasabi flavour even though it was slightly overpowering but the dish on the whole didn’t offer anything new to me much less wow me.
We ordered the half-kilo crab and shared because my mother is a light-eater and the bread was kind of a filler. If I go back, I think I’ll order a different starter and a 1/2 kilo crab only for myself. (Sorry not sorry I’m such a glutton.)
I was glad this meal happened at the end our trip in Sri Lanka because it was on the expensive side, even after the price was divided in half when converted to INR. However, seafood in an upmarket Bangalore restaurant would probably cost us the same. Also, we’d already agreed that the meal at the Ministry would be our big food splurge during the trip.
It’s true that the restaurant’s reputation has a lot to do with the fact that it is owned and run by two members of the Sri Lankan cricket team but after eating there, I can say that the food lives up to the hype, and it’s worth the price.
I remember reading a few reviews on Trip Advisor that said the Ministry of Crab was a tourist trap. Is it filled with tourists? Yes. Can you eat seafood that is equally good in quality but priced lower somewhere else in the city? I’m sure you can. But it’s not like they promise fresh crabs and serve frozen. Or that they advertise “best price crabs” and then surprise you with a hefty bill. I wouldn’t call the restaurant a “trap”.
So if visiting the Ministry of Crab in Colombo is a very touristy thing to do, it’s a touristy thing that’s worth doing. And when your Instagram feed is filled with pictures from the restaurant, you want to know why. The bottom line is that the food is good, you will not be disappointed.
Now, should you decide to eat there, my suggestion is to book a table well in advance. As with all tourist hot-spots, the place can be difficult to get into on short notice – I would know.
Also look up the menu on Zomato (or whatever equivalent website you use in your country) because there are one or two crab dishes that need prior notice should you want to order them for your meal.
If you’ve already been there, then you know I want to hear about your experience in the comments. 🙂