We ordered three bites to go with our drinks – Chanvel Special Rice (Rs. 640), Fried Handallo (Rs. 650), and a Mixed Grill (Rs. 1650).
We were quite surprised by the presentation of Chanvel Special Rice. I mean look at it – a generous portion of yellow rice, plenty of fried peanuts, green peas, sultana, and bits of chicken, sausages, prawns, cuttlefish and white fish, topped off with a handful of caramelised onions, it had a lot going on. The rice was cooked well, not too oily, but unfortunately, it reeked of Maggie soup cubes, and tasted the same. The Fried Handalla was our favourite. Coated with a well-seasoned batter, the fish was deep-fried to perfection. Make good use of the lime wedge, tomato slices and onions for extra flavour.
The Mixed Grill was comprised of pork, fish, chicken, sausages, crab, fried egg and French fries to fill up the remaining space. Everything was grilled well, but we barely got the flavour, as the whole thing was soaked in an abundance of tangy sauce, which subdued the meaty and seafoody notes.
Ambience & Service
Well, the gang was almost drunk – probably why we don't have any pictures to show about its ambience. So allow me to paint a word picture.
It's a two-storied, relatively modern house, flipped into a restaurant. The ground floor has the counter and the kitchen, alongside a few stools and tables for you to sit, if your drinking-buddy is the bartender.
There's a staircase which you can use to get into the first floor, and that has a few rooms to those who are interested in private partying, a balcony and a washroom. If you're a person that watches local channels on TV, here they have one hanging on the wall. So be it Maharaja Kansa, Adarei Man Adarei or News First – it has got you covered.
The suburbs of Colombo has a number of dodgy bars, and Chanvel Restaurant is quite alright one out of the lot. It's relatively expensive option for a mid-week tipple, so we suggest you take your chances at a Machang nearby.