Theva Residency, Sri Lanka

Theva Cuisine, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Words: Kirsten Durward   Photos: Monica Tindall

Theva Cuisine’s clean lines and monotone modern décor stands in stark contrast to its verdant surrounds. Perched high above the town of Kandy, the view is resonant with misty light as clouds sweep through the periwinkle skies, and we catch the shape of a distant rainstorm weighing in above the shadowy hills.

Theva Cuisine, Kandy
Pretty Views

We start our evening with a couple of signature cocktails. Athura (Rs 800) is a frothy concoction of arrack, passion fruit juice, coconut milk and cardamom. We find it to be very sweet and creamy. Serenity (Rs 850) is a blend of arrack with Sri Lankan red rum, topped up with passion fruit juice and soda.

Theva Cuisine, Kandy
Theva Cuisine Cocktails

The delicately presented starters are attractive to the eye, and both feature a fresh salad alive with micro-greens.  Purple skinned Grilled Eggplant (Rs 900) sits atop tomato rounds and is garnished with a sliver of feta. I like the mustardy dressing, which gives a welcome boost of taste to the dish.

Theva Cuisine, Kandy
Grilled Eggplant

Roast Beet Salad (RS 800) is prettily constructed, with slender circles of sweet beetroot resting on the herbed salad. The plate is further adorned with orange slithers that add a hint of contrasting zest.

Theva Cuisine, Kandy
Roast Beet Salad

An interesting sounding traditional dish from the lunch menu caught my eye earlier. As it arrives it’s clear the main portions are somewhat heftier than the starters. Again we are charmed by the pretty presentation; roasted cashew nuts tumble out a banana leaf cone. Fish Ambulthiyal (Rs 1200) is seer fish marinated in ginger served in a dry curry sauce, with papadum and grated coconut on the side. Seer fish is new to us and it proves to be a dense meaty fish with a strong taste. The cashew nuts deliciously are imbued with fried curry leaves and a little caramelised onion.

Theva Cuisine, Kandy
Fish Ambulthiyal

For the meat eater, our server suggests that Ingurupiyal Infused Kandyan Beef Fillet (Rs 2600) is a popular dish. Ingurupiyal is a particular type of dried ginger, which adds a subtle taste to the beef.  I love the sweet caramelized onions that scoop up well with the creamy garlicky mash. This is certainly a filling dish.

Theva Cuisine, Kandy
Ingurupiyal Infused Kandyan Beef Fillet

Theva Wattalapan Pot (Rs 900) is a typical Sri Lankan dessert, an egg custard mixed with jiggery and coconut. This thick, set egg curd has flavours of cardamom and is attractively adorned with cashews and enhanced by a delicate fruit salad.

Theva Cuisine, Kandy
Theva Wattalapan Pot

A more European style offering arrives in the shape of Passionfruit Cheesecake with Blueberry Coulis (Rs 900). Moussy in texture with a little crunch from the fresh passion fruit, this is surely a serving for those who have a sweet tooth.

Theva Cuisine, Kandy
Passionfruit Cheesecake

Reasons to visit: panoramic views of Kandy and the hills beyond; pretty food presentation.

Theva Cuisine
Theva Residency
11/B5/10-1, 6th Lane
Off Upper Tank Road,
Off Circular Road 2
Hantana, Kandy, Sri Lanka
+94 (81) 7388296-99
+94 (81) 7388280
[email protected] – dining


  1. I love those seats by the window, such stunning views.

  2. Impressive resorts that you are reviewing in Sri Lanka,
    looks like from the forbidding clouds at the hillside resort
    overlooking the famous city of Kandy, that all hell is about to
    be left loose with one of those “delightful” monsoonal storms.

    I presume that strong blinds can be pulled down for the outside
    diners at this place?
    I from the dishes shown and reviewed would just go for the passionfruit
    cheesecake – those passionfruit would be straight off the vines.

    I presume as he does appear to be with thee, “K and M”, that El Cordobes Jnr.
    was left in KL to watch the US Masters at Augusta in “peace” ???

    El Colin Cordobes
    PS: Monica, I could tell you some pretty risque, raughty and amusing incidents over my tropical life living with passionfruit vines, certainly not suitable for a resort/food review blog – ha ha!

    • Oops – El Caning Corbobes – “Doesn’t appear to be with thee two in Kandy”.
      El Colin Cordobes who was suffering from Passionfruit frights!!!

    • Since the war stopped a number of years back, Sri Lanka has come ahead leaps and bounds in terms of offering luxury travel options to tourists. I don’t want to make any unresearched claims… but there sure are a HUGE number of boutique hotels and villas in this country – possibly more than the more conventional hotels.
      Unfortunately no shelter for outside diners (which is where we started), and as you predicted those dark clouds turned into quite the downpour, which had us running for cover at the first big drop.
      Jr. had to work so sorely missed this trip. And what is this in “peace” business… I’m sure (exaggerated) he would have had a much better time conversing with us ladies than watching sport – an unverified fact 😉
      Now you are just putting unnecessary images in my mind… passionfruit vines indeed! Hee, hee.

  3. Oh I would like to try Sri Lankan one day!
    The fish and beef look rather dry thou…

  4. Theva Wattalapan Pot is something that i would love to try, at least not the ubiquitous cakes or ordinary creme brulee

    • Most restaurants serve it – along with rice and curry – as the traditional Sri Lankan dessert.

  5. Oh wow, seems you’re tackling that part of the world now! Love to see Sri Lanka some day too, Monica 😀

    • Lots more to come Shirley and quite a convenient flight for you – less than four hours – so very doable.

  6. All look rather lovely.
    The cheesecake especially.

  7. WOW Stunning views…I would like to try the Athura and of course the delicious Passionfruit Cheesecake 🙂

  8. The presentations are very attractive and creative. Lots of thought and work went into them.

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