Chinese Dragon Cafe (Wattala).

The Chinese Dragon is one of Colombo's stalwarts in the food scene, and has been around for longer than what most of us (or I) can remember. The Wattala branch has been around for a few years now, but we never got around to dropping in until last week.

Service and Ambience

The parking space is rather small, with enough room for about three vehicles to park right next to each other. The dining area on the other hand, is disproportional to the parking space and has seating for probably over fifty people. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful with recommendations, and know their stuff. Also, we were told that we get a free dish because our total came over Rs. 2000, so that's an extra curry there.

Food and Drink

I got a Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup (Rs. 335) which was an absolute steal for the price because it filled three bowls. I even opted for the 'regular' size because I thought it would serve one, but it clearly was way more than I bargained for; but no complaints there!

The soup in itself was well excecuted, came piping hot, but personally I think it could have had a bit more chicken and sweet corn going on in it.

We got a portion of Chicken Spring Rolls (Rs. 277) to start off with, and got four crispy, well-stuffed rolls. It came with a vinegar dip. I'm not a huge fan of spring rolls in general but these were pretty good and really filling.

For mains we got a Seafood Rice in Banana Leaf (Rs. 1,175) and a Hot Butter Cuttlefish (Rs. 739). It was then that we were told that we could order something more (not unconditionally anything, but from a set of items) and were recommended to try out the Chicken Manchurian to go with our rice; so we did.

Our seafood rice was ginormous and enough for four people. It was cooked quite well and had plenty of fish and cuttlefish bits in it. Well flavoured, it's a winner. The HBC was crispy and spicy, and pretty good overall.

It's not the best we've had (which would be the HBC at Bee Beach) but we liked it. This was a large portion again, so you can basically split it between three people.

The chicken had a slightly sweet tang to it, and just as the server suggested it helped complement our seafood rice.

The manchurian gravy had a lot of flavour going on, with heat from the spices of this Indo-Chinese dish also subtly coming through.

We were pretty full by the end of this, but ordered an orange juice to wash all this down. It was sweetened just right and wasn't too watered down. Best was that no cordial flavour came through so it was a nice, fresh orange juice. Pretty straightforward.

Conclusion

Though out of the way for Colombars, we prefer the Wattala branch of Chinese Dragon over its parent branch in Colombo. Service is stellar, the place isn't crowded — we were literally the only people there until almost the end of our meal — and they also play some really nice 80s and 90s tunes alongside a fusion of 2000's pop-rock. There's definite value for money as the portions are large and very well prepared, so all in all, we would recommend dropping in for a meal if you're in the neighbourhood.

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