Araliya, is the name of a Sri Lankan flower that is both soothing in the fragrance it expels, as well as beautiful to look at. With that in mind, I would like to begin this article by drawing a comparison between this elegant flower and the establishment named after it; a Sri Lankan restaurant situated at 629 Glenferrie Road.
As you walk in you are transported into an ambience of quiet refinery. The decorations are simplistic and rustic. This is exacerbated by the dim lighting combined with the slight flowered fragrance that wafts in the air, transporting you into a state of relaxation. The staff, greet you with a smile and ensure that your every need and concern is attended to all night.
From the moment I walked in I was given a very warm welcome and shown to my table. The staff took great efforts in leading me through the culinary experience efficiently; from the selection of a beverage, to the variety of choices in entrées and mains. I was guided and assisted at every step; this greatly refined and added to the quality of the dining experience.
The cuisine was an innovative fusion of continental flavours with traditional Sri Lankan dishes. The dishes were of a hatted standard and were cooked with immaculate care and precision. The produce used to create these dishes are of the very best quality; organic and fresh. Moreover they were served in a set fashion, one set of dishes following the next in a well-executed and timely manner.
I found this a very professional environment, and it pleased me greatly. It also contributed to my dining experience. As a customer I was well taken care of, I felt I was taken through this culinary journey with great care and consideration. Moreover I found the ambience and the entire service of the night well in sync. This had the greatest impact of making my experience at Araliya a very satisfying and pleasant one.
I took my NZ born Sri Lankan girlfriend to this restaurant on 11/09/13.
The first thing the lady (manager) asked me as soon as I entered was "do you want to see the menu before I show you a table" and asked me to sit on the bench in front corner of the restaurant. I asked her whether we need to reserve a table before we come. But there were only two tables occupied at that time. She said no, but insist me to check the menu thinking that food is too expensive for us. I’m an accounting professional who have been to most of Melbourne’s fine dining restaurants. This is the first time I took my girlfriend to a Sri Lankan restaurant and I felt like we have been let down by our own people.
I said I’m not going to sit on that bench and asked her to show us a table. I have ordered a bottle of Moscato as my girlfriend only drinks moscato. They had only one brand of moscato at that time so I said we will have that as we got no choice. While serving the wine, this same lady said to us " If she bought half a dozen of that particular moscato, it will last for over a year because its the most disgusting moscato ever. My girlfriend was so shocked and asked me then why they serving it in this restaurant.
The Food was nice but heavily over priced. Desserts tasted and looked not fresh. You can buy something out of a supermarket shelf tastier and fresher than that.
But I have to say that the two girls who served the food were so nice and friendly.
I will never go to this restaurant again and asked all of my mate to avoid this place because the service and the very bad welcome that lady who called her “the manager” gave us.