Imagine this! You are in the centre of the bustling city, with sky scrapers surrounding you, with concrete walls abound, but you crave the exact same dream environment of our own Sri Lankan typical traditional village. Rest assured with the courtesy of the Cinnamon Grand’s Nuga Gama, re-launched after a fine refurbishment, fulfills that dream, located right at the heart of the city!
A rustic haven awaits you, from the entrance of Nuge Game itself, which is very much a world apart. Aptly titled ‘Nuge Game’-; the name consists of two words of the native Sinhala language. ‘Nuge’ is ‘Banyan’ and ‘Gama’ is ‘village’, as per the Sinhala translation. The unique 200 year-old Banyan tree located at the center of the ‘Gama’ serves as an umbrella for the creation of the village atmosphere beneath it. ‘Nuge Game’ serves delicious traditional Sri Lankan food like how it is cooked by local villagers and presented like it is in a typical village setting.
The tree House on the ‘Nuge’ tree is a fascinating creation that attracts your attention immediately, ideal for the adventuress to experience. At quite a height, up on the tree house, one feels on top of the world. The beautiful scenic view of the ‘village’ at night with the entire area lit up below looks amazing. The aptly titled ‘Thabarume’ which means the ‘bar’ in Sinhala, has a range of concoctions that you get in a village bar! The range appears to intrigue those who like to take one for the road!
‘Nuga Gama’ appears to be set to cast its rural charm on you. After all, this is undoubtedly the only place in bustling Colombo, where you’ll find a village in the city to experience authentic Sri Lankan fare.
From a functioning kade (shop) to ‘ammes’ (village cooks) preparing the food, the intricate details give you an experience of Sri Lankan village life. Every detail is well thought out to provide you with the best experience.
From the never ending line up of dishes in the traditional clay pots, it was indeed tough to select from the long buffet table. But the hopper station with hot hoppers made to order, was my firm favourite, with coconut sambol and prawn curry as accompaniments. Some others enjoyed the crab curry and the meats, fish in every form with a wide range of the vegetable dishes Brinjal curry, potato curry, onion sambol, a few of the many favourites You name the dish, and was there for tasting.
The traditional sweet meats, particularly the ‘kevum’ also served off the burning stove is so enticing to try out.
The ‘Ammes’ are ever so eager to share their handed-down recipes and even patiently teach you how to cook them. The miniature organic farm on the side adds on to Cinnamon’s status as Asia’s first carbon neutral venue. It’s one of the secrets behind the hearty meals.
There is a separate hut that provides the Sinhala music, renditions that completes the real Sri Lankan setting!
Once you’ve tasted the essence of this ingenious escape, you’ll keep visiting the ‘Banyan village’ more.
Area Vice President Cinnamon Hotels, Kamal Munasinghe, speaking at the re-launch was enthusiastic about the country gradually opening up and is strongly of the belief that people, be it the locals or foreigners will always have that wish of indulging in and experiencing our native cuisine. Nuga Game therefore is set to fulfill those wishes to the brim by offering the best of the village.”Nuga Gama’ is the true village in the city” he said.
Pictures at the re-launch are published with this article to give you a glimpse of the spacious ‘Nuga Gama’ refurbished and launched anew. ‘Nuga Gama’, renowned as the only Village in the City is indeed the epitome of Sri Lankan hospitality!