The Best Chilli Paste Ever

Posted by · Last updated on 8 January 2013

In the perennial debate on where to get the best Chinese in Colombo, we’ve always backed Flower Drum. My tongue oozes at the memories of huge bowls filled with pearly white rice, sloppy helpings of kankun and crispy hot butter cuttlefish – but most of all I think of those several accompanying teaspoons of the best condiment in the world: chilli paste.

What is it that makes the chilli paste at Flower Drum so good? Is it the fact that it includes prawns? Or that it’s served with generous lashings of oil? Or could it be msg?

We don’t know. What we do know is that this is the best chilli paste in Sri Lanka - and we can’t get enough of it.

You can buy it in bottles from the restaurant. You can take it home and put it on everything you eat. Pizza, fried rice, pasta, noodles, rice and curry, everything. Even the dullest meal can be lifted to life with just a little bit of this chilli paste.

This is Sri Lanka in a bottle. Anyone who’s travelled abroad knows the misery of a meal without chilli, and the spicy condiment has been a loyal companion to many of our Lankans abroad.

But do note that transporting your Flower Drum chilli paste to another country can be hazardous – many a trouser and shirt have been ruined. Follow my grandmother’s method to ensure you don’t end up with spicy undies:

1. Tape around the lid of the bottle with brown tape 2. Wrap bottle completely with three layers of newspaper 3. Finally wrap and tighten a plastic siri siri bag over the bottle and seal with tape - there's no way that oil's escaping now.

We’re aware that our superlative praise of the Flower Drum chilli paste is a bit subjective, so tell us what you think: what’s your favourite and why?

A bottle costs Rs. 250. Worth every rupee.


  • Oshada

    I'm already regretting not picking up a few bottles… Chilli and Garlic Rooster sauce is a passable substitute but this is the real deal!

    19 September 2012
  • DavidBlacker

    I prefer the Thai version as had at Siam House and Jack Tree -- less spicy, and sweeter than the Chinese version.

    19 September 2012
  • shru YAMU Staff

    Yes, alot of people say the Siam House one is excellent. Do you know if you can buy this in a bottle or is it only available at the restaurant?

    19 September 2012
  • DavidBlacker

    No idea if you can buy Siam House chillie paste, but I think you can get Thai chillie paste in supermarkets. They should taste similar.

    19 September 2012
  • Pubudu Gokarella

    Thanks for reviews Indi.I've been a fan of Flowerdrum from the day I moved here.I was unaware that they sell these bottles separately.Going to buy one 2moro.

    19 September 2012
  • Nuzzy

    Steamboat makes an excellent chillie paste…can be bought by the bottle too…

    19 September 2012
  • dawkinssdodo

    Many Thanks for the tip

    20 September 2012
  • Shiwanthi

    I'm a humongous fan of the Chinese Dragon chillie paste… i tend to finish the little bowl of it on the table before the meal even gets there!! I don't think you can buy it in a bottle though!!

    7 January 2013
  • Sachcha

    True that, best chillie paste! and they on bottles!?Thanks for the news shru…but hey what is that green Chilli syrup thing, that is simply awesome!
    ps: hey plz put a post button on comments after you put ur name and email.

    8 January 2013
  • Sachcha

    see…i didn't post two comments, but your system

    8 January 2013
  • lalindrajgmailcom

    The accompanying Chilli Paste Suki's Wok is the best I've ever tasted. Unfortunately it's not available in bottles because good things comes in small quantities.

    14 February 2013
  • udeniFernando

    have you been to moon river.I think there is a difference of taste.Less oil.I like the ratakaju ( peanuts ) mix of theirs
    heylan manufacturers

    15 February 2013








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