*Pictured above: Yellow rice with soy-meat, carrot salad, mallum, potatoes, pumpkin and dhal.
Their lunch buffet (Rs. 450) isn't a gala feast but rather a more subdued version of an actual lunch buffet. All the curries were fresh, a little on the spicy side to sate that Lankan palate, and the rice was cooked well. The chicken (not pictured) is served in individual bowls.
The rice is also served with a soup, should you choose to indulge, and it just so happened that they were serving onion soup on the day we went in. The soup wasn't special, it was rather oily and I wasn't a fan of the strong, onion-y taste.
They've got a bunch of speciality meals on the menu which they've advertised as a 'Sup-Rice'. It took me about a minute to understand exactly what that meant. Aside from the rather smart play on words, the 'Sup-Rice' meals are cheap and convenient. We wanted to get the Chinese Sup-Rice but they only had the Egg and Sausage.
The meal comes with an omelette and a portion of devilled chicken sausages for Rs. 199. The rice tasted very similar to McD's chicken McRice which we found interesting. The omelette was an average Sri Lankan omelette with a few sprinkles of pepper and chilli. The sausages were spicy and a few bits of carrot peeked through. It makes for a really good kid's meal and I can see the sausage and rice combo becoming popular as an after-school lunch.
Drinks & Dessert
Their juices are amongst the best on the Colpetty stretch, hands down. They're freshly squeezed and affordable enough for one to throw down a few extra glasses if the heat's too much to bear.
The pineapple juice (Rs. 100) was every bit as tangy and fresh as biting into a freshly peeled pineapple. The amount of sugar was perfect as there was just enough to balance out the acidity while still allowing that tart sensation to come through.
The mango juice (Rs. 150) was a little on the thicker side with a few chunks of mango making a surprise entrance here and there. The taste was rather mellow, but that's okay because it's still a great option to wash your meal down.
For dessert you can either opt for a Jelly Custard (Rs. 70) or a Cream Caramel (Rs. 150). These sit around in a fridge all day and they're a little like those desserts that you can buy at the school canteen if you were that lucky. We didn't finish the caramel because we couldn't, but the custard was actually pretty okay.
Service & Ambience
The servers here are excellent in terms of etiquette and professionalism. They're friendly, they're fast and they're eager to help you out. I don't know why this doesn't exist in other, more established restaurants, but what to do.
Ambience is nothing to get excited over, it's just bleak white walls, wooden furniture and glaring paintings of random paint splashes hung up on the walls. I assume it's to brighten up the place but the waiters already do a good job so they really don't have to try.
If you find yourself hungry, alone and scared in the afternoon heat on the Colpetty stretch then you need to hail a cab and go home. If you'd rather get food first, then check Awanhala out for delicious Lankan food and good service.