By Shanali Fdo
Nestled within the industrial hub and airport corridor the Vivanta airport garden hotel is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Opened on the 14th of October the hotel’s new restaurant Golden Dragon is truly a new beginning of a Chinese affair. Its combination of Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine creates the perfect dining experience for anyone craving a hearty Chinese meal but one that does not leave you feeling heavy and groggy, as the restaurant has made sure to keep the food light with more focus on the flavors.
Inspired by the principles of Feng Shui you are greeted by a rather life-sized statue of a Golden Laughing Buddha said to be bringing wealth and happiness into the space. Setting the mood for the experience is the delicate lighting, the burgundy and sheen green color scheme, the soothing Chinese music playing in the background, and the ceiling covered with eye-catching flags of Feng Shui scriptures providing inspiration for the theme of the restaurant.
Fun fact: You could hold your phone up with Google translate picture mode on and get the English words of what is scripted on the flags.
The restaurant also offers a private dining room for 12 people if you are looking for a place for intimate celebrations.
This passionately curated menu begins with a variety of starters to suit a variety of palates. We tried the Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs which were generously seasoned and made to perfection with the meat sliding off the bone and topped with a homemade rich, sticky, sweet, and spicy barbecue sauce that comes in portion sizes of 4-5 pieces.
The Crispy Conjee Lamb was also a favorite of ours as the meat was cut into bite-sized strips and coated in a light batter and tossed together with chilies and spring onions for some extra spice and crunch. But if you want to stay away from the spice – they have a great butter garlic prawn dish that is quite mild but very flavorful.
The menu also has some great vegetarian options like the crispy tofu and the crispy crackling spinach which is said to convert any spinach The menu also has some great vegetarian options like the Crispy Tofu and the Crispy Crackling Spinach which is said to convert any spinach hater into a lover! Be sure to enjoy these with the complimentary condiments platter that definitely balances out the meal.
Barbeque pork spare ribs- 2400/-
Butter garlic prawns – 2400/-
We couldn’t not try the variety of delectable Dim Sums they had to offer. Encased in a thin translucent dumpling wrapper and served in a bamboo steamer, you can choose to enjoy 1 piece each or have 6 pcs (or more) to make it a light main meal. When eaten together with the in-house peanut sauce and spring onions in oil it truly makes it a celebration of one of china’s traditional meals.
1 pcs- 400/- 6 pcs- 2000/-
(vegetable, chicken, pork, prawn)
What followed was a very light and flavorful Lemon Coriander Soup served with a sprinkling of Crispy Fried Noodles which we are sure is going to be a crowd favorite, amongst the other options such as the Burnt Garlic Soup, Wonton Soup, and the Sweet Corn Soup.
Once you are convinced you have had all things Chinese they surprise you with a refreshing light Sorbet to cleanse your palette and prepare you for a new level of flavors to come. Made using local Pani Dodan and mint, it blends so well with Chinese cuisine even though the main ingredient is local.
With multiple dishes of seafood, pork, lamb, chicken, and vegetarian dishes to choose from, we tried the Burnt Garlic Fried Rice which is rather mild on the palate, the Fiery Dragon Fried Rice which is on the spicy side, and the Wok Fried Vegetable Hakka Noodles which is denser and chewy compared to the normal noodles you would eat. These are all great options for vegetarians.
We would highly recommend getting the Eggplant in Black Bean Sauce for anyone looking to order a vegetable dish as it makes you forget you are eating a vegetable.
The Seafood in Oyster Sauce- a mix of all things seafood cooked in oyster sauce with a generous amount of vegetables and the classic dish in Sichuan cuisine Kung Pao Chicken made with cubes of chicken, vegetables, and chili peppers topped off with cashew was the perfect combination of salty, sweet and spicy flavor! Making it the ideal main course for our appetite.
Wok Fried vegetable Hakka noodles – LKR1200/-
Fiery dragon fried rice – LKR1400/-
Kung Pao Chicken -LKR2200/-
Once we washed down our mains and cleansed our palates with the free flow of jasmine tea and made the room we were ready to dive into the perfect sweet ending of this Chinese affair with some dessert.
And the Golden Dragon did not disappoint us! While giving us a new experience into the world of Chinese dessert they also made sure it would satisfy the variety of dessert lovers and their preferences.
The Date Pancakes with cinnamon dust are almost like a sweet samosa with the filling just sweetened only by the natural sugars of dates and containing no added sugar. The Honey Darson – a wide noodle fried and dipped in honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds is like eating a much lighter version of Sri Lankan Pani Valalu with some melt-in-the-mouth homemade ice cream. For those looking for something chocolaty, the Vanilla Dragon Roll, homemade vanilla ice cream rolled in a light airy vanilla sponge drizzled with a thick, rich chocolate sauce will hit the spot.
All desserts – 1100/-
The restaurant has gone above and beyond to incorporate flavors that will create a lasting impression and memory around the curated favourites on the menu. From its ambiance to its service and food, The Golden Dragon will transport you to a world of Chinese cuisine and bring you back wanting more. Under the most iconic hotel chain- Taj, the golden dragon by Vivanta is a must visit for all discerning travelers and foodies out there.
Location: Golden Dragon at Vivanta Colombo Airport Garden, 234, Colombo-Negombo Road. Seeduwa, Sri lanka,
Visit them on Facebook @VivantaColomboAirportGarden Instagram @vivanta_colombo_airport_garden for more information.
Contact Number: +94 11 544 00 00