Chinese is arguably the most popular cuisine here in Colombo, which is ironic since Chinese restaurants actually outnumber proper Sri Lankan eateries. Anyway here's an (pretty long) updated list of the options, some old, some new and a few of our favorites.
Min Han takes the unanimous top spot among Chinese restaurants in Colombo. It's not much in terms of ambience but the food is consistently excellent and they manage to strike a great balance between Sri Lankanized and authentic.
Tsing Tao is pretty much the only non-hotel fine dining Chinese restaurant in Colombo. Their prices are a bit higher than some of the more mainstreams spots, but the food is good, the service is professional and the setting is elegant.
While The Station isn't really a dedicated Chinese restaurant, we think they offer some of the best Sri Lankanized Chinese in town, with a great view of the ocean to boot. Their hot butter cuttlefish in particular is brilliant.
Golden Dragon is the Taj's completely redone Chinese restaurant. The ambience and decor is one the best in the city and the food is quite good. It makes for a great Chinese dining experience.
Yue Chuan at The Kingsbury does a mostly authentic take on Chinese cuisine at a surprisingly affordable price point considering the setting.
Long Feng is Cinnamon Lakeside's Chinese restaurant. Their food is generally decent but they lack a wow factor to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack and like most hotel based restaurants the prices are pretty high.
Shang Palace is the signature restaurant of Shangri-La Colombo. True to their Shangri-La's international reputation, they served up some excellent Chinese cuisine at a price to match. So, if you're looking for some really good food and you're alright with paying a bit more than what you're generally used to, Shang Palace has got you covered.
Anzu's is a small family run Chinese eating house on Marine Drive. It's run by a Chinese family and its one of the few places where you can actually experience authentic home cooked Chinese, although it may not be to everyone's liking.
We've noticed one thing to be true about Tang Dynasty, which is that you either love it or hate it, and that's mostly due to the fact that their food is very authentic and they don't compromise on that.
Grand Beijing also falls in the same boat as 998. They had a strong start but haven't seem to have maintained that momentum.
Chinese Delight serves up some decent food for prices that are a tad steep for what you get. Anyway, if you do find yourself here, we suggest getting the Fried Lotus Root with Pork.
We Ai Family is a minuscule Chinese Resto near Miniso that makes up for being small in size with generous portions of food. If you're looking for some doozie Chinese food without the need to drill a hole in your pocket, we suggest going with We Ai Family.
While the process of getting there can be a bit tough, Urban Cafe is a fairly solid place to get some not-so authentic Chinese food. With a whole load of spices and generous servings of each dish, Urban cafe should be on top of your list if you're in Pettah and is looking for a place to get some lunch.
Golden Palace is the in-house Chinese resto at Hotel Sapphire. While having a cool 90's style ambiance, the restaurant also had some really nice food. Our favorite being the Sweet and Sour Crispy Pork. With fairly affordable pricing and some delectable food, we recommend it.
One of the more high-enders on this list, Mainland China had Colombo buzzing when they opened their doors and we understood why through our visit. While serving up a range of delicious authentic Chinese dishes, MC managed to blow us away with their Steamed Coconut Dumpling with Honey Butter Sauce.
A definite recommends.
Peach Valley is one of the Chinese oldies that still seems to be getting a steady stream of customers on a regular basis. They recently had a refurbishment (December, last year), which has definitely helped the overall look and feel of the place. The food is very Sri Lankanized but it's still quite tasty.
Sunlight Garden is actually one of the older Chinese restaurants in Colombo but it manages to fly under the redar. The good thing though is that the food is actually very tasty and the setting is pretty nice as well.
88 Chinese Seafood Restaurant is a long time player in the local Chinese food scene. It's incredibly popular among both locals and Chinese expats. They offer both authentic and modified dishes, but we feel that they need to step up their game with all the new entrants.
168 is actually quite similar to 88 both in terms of food and ambience, perhaps with a bit more emphasis on the seafood. Just like it's numerical rival 168 too boasts an avid customer-base, but they too are in need of a bit of a facelift.
For a cuisine with so many restaurants it's actually pretty disappointing that no one does really great Chinese food delivery. However, if you do like Sri Lankan Chinese, Suki's Wok does a pretty efficient and affordable delivery with ample portions.
Chinese Dragon is the oldest Chinese restaurant chain in Sri Lanka dating all the way back to 1942. They pride themselves on their Sri Lankanized take on the cuisine. Their delivery was efficient but the food ultimately disappointed. That being said, their restaurant is up for re-review.
Moon River is one of those spots in Colombo that seems to be always full. While large crowds usually means good food, that wasn't the case for us. The food here was mediocre at best and the service towards locals is borderline rude.
Kinjou has been around since 1991 and is pretty well known by most of us. They have a Japanese counterpart called Sakura so you can order both Japanese and Chinese food from the same place without getting up from your seat. While the food isn't necessarily authentic Chinese, if you're looking for some good Lankanized Chinese food with a pretty cool ambiance, we say go with Kinjou.
Xilaton is one Chinese restaurant that has been there for quite a while now. While our experience here was far from perfect, we still manage to see numerous busloads of Chinese tourists coming in every day for a taste of Xilaton. Anyhow, if you do end up at Xilaton, try the Hunan Style Spicy Pork Belly. It was the best of the items we had.
There's actually a bunch of more places like Loon Tao, Huasui and China Doll which we haven't gone into detail here ('cause it's getting hella long) . You can find all the full reviews in our Chinese Category page.
Chocolate-biscuit-pudding is a dessert unique to Sri Lanka - here's an aunty showing you how it's done
Small eatery that serves up some mediocre rice and curry with delicious pork curry
A healthy cafe at Zimantra Leisure Center.
We tasted every locally brewed and available beer. In the name of science!
Pettah is Colombo's biggest, most functional market space. It's loud, crowded and infinitely full of interesting and useful things - it's one of those places…