Chiminiya is a tiny eatery down Perahera Road, that's known for their rice and curry. It's always buzzing with people, despite the fact that good old Praneetha is just 300 meters away from this place. Anyway, here's what we experienced during our quick lunch last week.
Rice & Curry
The rice & curry spread here doesn't have a massive diversity like the one you find at Praneetha (well, nothing is), but this isn't so bad. Featuring around 10 – 15 curries, it includes 7 types of proteins – curried chicken, curried pork, fried chicken, egg, and fried fish whatnot.
The process of getting your rice and curry fix here is pretty standard:
1. Pick your rice (white/red)
2. Pick 5 curries – 4 veggies and 1 protein
This is the Fried Fish Rice & Curry (Rs. 250) that Dinesh ordered. Featuring dhal curry bean curry, tempered potato, and gotukola sambol, it had a generous serving of well-cooked red rice.
Both dhal and bean curries were adequately milky, but lacked the significant curry taste that any Lankan would look for. However, the tempered potatoes had a lot of chili flakes infused in it, which helped to elevate the spicy factor of the whole meal. We had no complaints about the fried fish either. Soft from the inside, while the outside is slightly tough, it had a good crisp to bite.
Lamindu settled for a Chicken Rice & Curry (Rs. 230), which was served with dhal curry, bean curry, tempered potato, and brinjal. Tender and juicy, the chicken boasted a rich curry flavor, but our hearts cringed a little when we saw the size of it. It was small, and not at all enough to finish this massive buth plate.
The mango curry on this plate of Fried Chicken Rice & Curry (Rs. 250) deserves a special shoutout for being such a delight. With hints of sweet and sour elements in the right balance, it paired really nicely with the steaming hot sudu samba buth.
The fried chicken was coated with a light batter, so it didn't overpower the meaty flavors, but we'd prefer if it had a little bit more seasoning. On the other hand, the separate portion of Pork (Rs. 350) we ordered as takeout didn't really impress us. Its gravy was rich with notes of goraka and tamarind seeping through, but we found a lot of oily bits in it, as opposed to meat.
As you can probably see, some of the curries are on repeat, mostly because of the lack of variety in their spread.
Service & Ambience
We were busy gobbling down food, which is why we forgot to take the pictures of the interior. However, this photo is from the Sinhala review we did a couple of years ago. The blackboard has been replaced by a whiteboard now, but aside from that, everything about its interior hasn't changed a bit. It's one of those buth kadeys that has the whole gamey vibe going on.
Their space is pretty small, with a few wooden tables and chairs – so, your best option is takeaway. This place gets very crowded during the lunch hour, so long queues, and frowny faces if you skip the line are expected.
Praneetha is now bigger and better, so it's swarming with customers all day, which is probably why the crowd has chosen Chiminiya as an option to get their quick rice and curry fix. Their portions are generous, but it would be great if they can improve the diversity of the curries, and make good use of the spices.