PRIMO: Where Classics Meet Local Delights

Aug 31 2023.

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I was quite the fan of subs when they were the new kid on the block many years ago. Unfortunately, the novelty wore off as an increasing number of fast-food joints began introducing subs to their menus. It wasn’t long before mediocrity was the norm. Since then, subs have never appealed to me. While on the 3rd floor of Colombo City Centre recently, the irresistible aroma of freshly baked bread wafted through the air, tickling my nose. And my fancy. With curiosity piqued and appetite roaring, I found myself drawn towards the source of this heavenly scent - Primo.

Primo is the embodiment of a deli's core concept - a place where the artistry of sandwich-making is celebrated. Here, they've made it their mission to craft the finest sandwiches and shakes in town, unapologetically adhering to classic combinations while employing fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The beauty of Primo lies in its simplicity, offering only the best quality without the frills. Their menu is a testament to this commitment, showcasing packed subs loaded with flavour, hot and melty toasties, and ice-cold, thick, creamy shakes to fill you up and cool you down - all made daily from scratch with an unwavering dedication to freshness.

Upon further inquiry, I learned that this culinary adventure is the brainchild of Jesse Aston, Director of ‘Big Studio Inc.’ – the subsidiary of Food Studio for F&B concepts and retail ventures. Food Studio has always been a trailblazer in redefining food court fare by introducing innovative and elevated culinary experiences. With Primo, they've once again pushed the boundaries, setting the stage for a new era of flavour, nutrition, affordability, and made-to-order subs and sandwiches.

Primo's menu is designed to be easy to navigate, employing a 'point and order' system. The offerings include seven subs, five toasties, and six shakes, and some of these items are specially tailored to cater to the local palate. Among the Lankan-inspired options are the Colombo Roast Chicken, Sardine and Cheese & Chilli fillings, and the Ceylon Vanilla and Strawberry Faluda shakes. 

Let's delve into the heart of Primo's offerings: the subs, toasties, and shakes. These are the stars of the show, each with its unique charm and flavour profile. The subs at Primo are more than just sandwiches; they're flavour-packed experiences. One standout is the Chicken Bahn Mi, a fragrant Vietnamese creation featuring succulent chicken, pate, coriander, jalapenos, carrot, cucumber, spring onions, and Vietnamese dressing. It was a delightful blend of textures and tastes that transport your taste buds to the streets of Hanoi.

My personal favourite from Primo's offerings was the Halloumi Salad Sub. It’s not often that I go out of my way to pick vegetarian offerings, but this one came highly recommended and I’m glad I agreed to give it a try. This delightful sub featured generous portions of Halloumi cheese, sundried tomatoes, olives, rocket, cucumber, pickled onions, tomato chutney, and roasted pumpkin, all served with a dollop of labneh. The combination of the halloumi with the sweetness of the tomato chutney and the freshness of the salad ingredients was nothing short of sublime. It's a testament to how Primo elevates even the simplest of ingredients to create something truly special.

If you're a fan of toasties, Primo won't disappoint. The Cheese & Chilli toastie is a standout. This grilled cheese sandwich oozes with cheese, heightened with a kick of chillie. It's comfort food with a spicy twist, perfect for those who crave that extra punch in their meal.

Considering that the subs and toasties had me thoroughly satisfied - and super stuffed - I absolutely couldn't manage to make room to try any of the shakes on this visit. I heard they were pretty good though, so I will definitely make it a point to try them out next time.

Primo Deli at the Colombo City Centre is a gem that caters to both the classic sandwich aficionado and those seeking a twist on local flavours. With a commitment to quality, freshness, and innovation, it's a place where you can expect nothing but the best. The halloumi sub, toasties, and the promise of those shakes are reason enough to make a return visit. So, after your next movie at CCC, let the aroma of freshly baked bread draw you in, and allow Primo Deli to delight your taste buds.

Primo is located at the entrance to Food Studio, on the 3rd floor of Colombo City Centre. 

Photos courtesy PRIMO


Rihaab Mowlana

Rihaab Mowlana is a journalist specializing in feature writing. With a commitment to authenticity and a genuine love for her craft, she brings stories to life by delving deep into captivating subjects and offering unique perspectives. Beyond journalism, Rihaab is a content creator, entrepreneur, and educator. Stay connected with Rihaab on Twitter & Instagram: @rihaabmowlana



  1. Johann W says:

    Love Rihaab's style of writing. Really entices the reader and makes us want to try the food. I have been following her past reviews as well and love how honest she is about her experiences. Good luck dear Rihaab. Keep up the great work.

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