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“We went back again”

Mama's Galle Fort Roof Cafe
Ranked #37 of 137 Restaurants in Galle
Cuisines: Asian, Sri Lankan
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“We went back again”
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We had the rice and curry here on two occasions. The first time was for lunch with a group of 4. My wife and I liked it and returned the following night for dinner as our last meal in Galle.

One of our friends was Ceylonese and had eaten here before. He said still authentic, but a lot more expensive than it used to be.

Funny thing about Galle - it may have just been our experience, but randomly happening upon a good rice and curry place for dinner in the Fort was not always a sure thing - especially in the later hours.

What we particularly liked was getting such a huge variety of curries and dishes - each different from the other. I was a little deceived by the jackfruit curry though. For those who know of jackfruit as the tangy fruit that you get in SE Asia, this is actually "young" jackfruit - perhaps more similar to an artichoke heart.

Finally, the service here can sometimes be slow. The easiest thing is to arrive early. It'll help them better manage double covers anyway.

A final final tip, when my wife and I were there on our last night in Galle, we found it perfect timing to watch the sunset from the southwestern Fort walls then walk over for dinner. The place was about half full then and an overall nice way to wrap up our Galle experience. (Although having shared this, I hope the after effects don't create another TA monster.)

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank friendly_architect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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382 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Average food and shockingly rude owner”
Reviewed March 21, 2013

My husband and I went to Mama's earlier this month after reading the recommendation in The Lonely Planet. While sitting around an waiting for our food we witnessed the English owner discipline his staff in front of the entire restaurant - this basically consisted of him literally banging pots and pans, shouting at his staff like they were no better than dogs, apparently because someone had been waiting over 5 minutes for their food. The entire restaurant was looking on uncomfortably at the show he was putting on, while his poor staff were desperately trying to put on brave faces despite their public belittling. After watching the circus act for a few minutes I confronted the owner and told him that I was horrified with his behaviour, at which point it became apparent that he was drunk. He said that he would "probably apologise to his staff later on or tomorrow" and said that he hoped I wouldn't be putting a review on trip advisor. Absolutely despicable man. Under pressure from other diners he then gave a public apology to his staff and told them that if he acts like that towards them again then they have his permission to "give him a jolly good ticking off". Yep, like they would!

The more socially conscious of you might want to avoid this place altogether. If not give the staff a big tip for having to work under such a sorry excuse for a man. Oh and the food is very average. Much better eating places in Galle.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Marie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Overpriced and underwhelmed”
Reviewed March 21, 2013

We had big expectations of the food at Mama's Cafe, after seeing it on Lonely Planet guide's top choice for food in Galle. However, other than the location which was on a roof beside the Galle lighthouse, there isn't much else to write about. This was nothing like what we've had elsewhere. We checked with the waiter beforehand about what rice he used and he said it was basmati. Between the 5 of us, we ordered a variety of dishes including the rice and curry, and biryani. The rice that was served wasn't basmati, the fish was not fresh, and the curries were way too salty for us. Needless to say, we couldn't wait to get out of there. I asked the locals in the area, and they concurred with me on the food. Try Pinto's Cafe, a small shop along Pedlar Street, it was recommended to us by the locals but we didn't get the chance to try it.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lisa_Rajah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
70 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great food in fantastic location”
Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

Fantastic restaurant In the heart of Galle fort. We had a table with views out to the lighthouse and sea which was great. Service was brilliant and food was even better. We ordered a variety of things recommended by the Waiter and all were amazing, full of flavour and really spicy. Definitely recommend.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chloesouthorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
1 review
“You MUST go to Mama's if you are in Galle!”
Reviewed March 9, 2013

The 4 of us had aperfect evening at mama's. the atmosphere and staff made the evening so comfortable and enjoyable. Prices are reasonable and the ingredients they use are always fresh and seasonable. You should definitely order:
Pumpkin and Ginger soup
String hopper and chicken laksa soup
Thosai with dahl
Vadai
Curry special mixed meal
Banana fritters - don't miss these!!! We were stuffed and had already eaten other banana fritters earlier that day but we still ordered a second round to share because they were that good.

You can skip these as they are nothing special:
Coconut lime soup
Chicken biryani

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tom W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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