Chana’s.

Chana’s on W.A. Silva Mawatha is a small North Indian restaurant that has found it’s way into two of our Top-5 lists (biriyani and samosas). So they’re pretty good.

Food

The menu at Chana’s is more or less North Indian. They’ve got some street food like pani puri and samosa chaats priced at around Rs. 200. Their menu currently only shows chicken biriyani, but we later found out that they do in fact serve fish and prawn biriyani, which will be added to their new menu. Besides that they’ve got the usual curries and tandoori options as well. They aren’t expensive, expect to pay around Rs. 600 per head.

We tried the pani puri (Rs. 200) as a sort of appetizer, and we quite liked it. You get 5 small puris stuffed with potatoes, onions and green gram, served with a tamarind dip. They taste good on their own but the tamarind dip adds a great sweet and sourness to it.

We’ve had their chicken biriyani (Rs. 350) before, and we really enjoyed it. We ordered it again this time around, to see if it’s consistently good. In most ways it was just as good, the only difference we noted was that the piece of chicken we got last time was a bit larger. The long grain basmati was well seasoned, light and fragrant. They give you more rice than any one person should need. We’ve heard people actually complain that there’s enough rice for two but only one piece of chicken.

The butter chicken (Rs. 300) was the decent, but we’ve definitely had better. The spices came through well but the curry itself lacked creaminess. We kind of expected that when we saw the dark reddish colour, as opposed to the light orange that we usually associate with a butter chicken.

Their garlic and butter naan (Rs. 120 & Rs. 100) were also quite good. It’s slightly more expensive than other places but once again, you get a pretty large portion. While both were flavoursome, we would have preferred it a bit more crispy.

The tandoori chicken (Rs. 300) was the other highlight of the dishes we tried out. You get a chicken hindquarter [Editor’s note: leg plus thigh], a mint sauce and an questionable bit of salad. This is one of the more authentic takes on tandoori chicken we’ve tasted in colombo with a perfect red colour, good seasoning and the flavour of the tandoor coming through well. The mint sauce though, was far too strong and masked the flavour of the chicken, so we avoided it.

Their gulab jamun (Rs. 100) didn’t look very appetizing because of the shape, but they tasted really great. It’s actually better than most  of the Bombay sweet shops I’ve tried, which is pretty impressive.

Ambience & Service

Chana’s is a small place with seating for around 15 people. It’s very clean and well maintained so you don’t really have to worry when dinning in. The staff is friendly and the waiters are attentive, which is all we can ask really ask for.

We’d still say they’re best for take-out and delivery though. We’ve tried their delivery in the past and they’ve proven to be very efficient.

Conclusion

Chana’s has been gaining popularity for sometime now and it’s easy to see why. They do a pretty good take on North Indian cuisine and their biriyani is one of the best in town.

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