Chinese Dragon Cafe.

The mother of them all. Sri Lanka’s first Chinese restaurant opened its doors in 1942 and stands as one of the oldest continuously functioning restaurants in Colombo.

In its now slightly dark and faintly grubby dining rooms some of the classics of Sri Lankan Chinese food including (they claim) hot butter cuttlefish and devilled prawns first appeared on customer’s plates. They’ve been feeding people for generations and the tale of the original immigrant owners, whose descendents still run the place, is pretty gripping.

While it started as an innovator (there really was no other Chinese restaurant in Colombo in 1942)  Chinese Dragon has survived by offering Sri Lankan-Chinese classics at value prices. When Flower Drum, Flower Lounge, Orient Hong Kong, Peach Valley and other Chinese challengers emerged onto the scene Chinese Dragon stayed competitive with a sharp pricing policy. But times change and after years catering to the bargain segment of Colombo’s Chinese food loving populace the last few years has seen an attempt to go up market. The old colonial premise is now air-conditioned and their new China Doll Pan-Asian food delivery service has attracted a host of higher end consumers.

The problem with these upgrades is that the original good value premise has been eroded. A simple meal for three – hot butter cuttlefish (Rs. 750), Prawns in Thai Chilli Sauce (Rs. 700), Kankun (Rs. 400), Fried Rice (Rs. 450), and a few lime sodas (Rs. 250 each) now comes to over Rs. 3000 (remember the old ++). This may not be extortionate by Colombo standards but it’s no longer cheap, and at that level of pricing Chinese Dragon’s faded interior just doesn’t cut it. The food is also struggling to keep pace with the times. While the China Doll service is excellent, the offerings at the original Milagiriya Street restaurant aren’t particularly memorable. Chinese Dragon may have invented hot butter cuttlefish but if its current version of the classic is anything to go by the dish was clearly perfected elsewhere.

There are still some hits on the menu, belly pork (Rs. 500) is good value as is the garlic fish. Some of the rice dishes aren’t bad either but generally the food needs either an over haul or a revaluation.

Immortal it maybe but without a bit of a revamp people will begin to lose faith in even the god- father of Chinese food.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

Satisfy your Kottu cravings at KottuLabs

Located in Nawala down a little lane, Kottulabs is home to the widest and most

Highlights Kamu

A flavorful journey to the North East by Paadum Meen

An ecstatically beautiful place located down Frankfort place, Bambalapitiya has caught a significant eye for

Highlights Kamu

Hummus Festival 2022 – Graze Kitchen by Hilton

By Shamrina Carim The stunning atmosphere Walking into this masterpiece designed by an excellent interior

Kamu

A Luxury European Dining experience at 1864 Limited Edition

Ambience Intimate dining area for couples and friends Comfy lounge areas to sit and catch

Highlights Kamu

Pizza Hut – My Box Birizza Fever- review

By Sumaiya Jaleel Hurrah! Welcome back to your scrumptious feast. Pizza Hut has brought back

Highlights Kamu

The Hottest Food Fest of the Year: Eat Street Colombo

By Janani Vithanage After a 2 year (Covid induced break), Sri Lanka’s biggest, best food

Highlights Kamu

Trending.

Tom Cruise Returns As The Iconic Fighter Pilot In Top Gun: Maverick

Scope Cinemas Premieres Top Gun: Maverick Starring Tom Cruise Colombo, Sri Lanka - 26 May

Trending

Things you Should Know About Monkeypox

By Janani Vithanage As Sri Lanka navigates what seems like the worst financial crisis she’s

Highlights Trending

 Unique Burger Promotion at Hilton Colombo

Hilton Colombo is presenting five unique burgers at Café Kai, LAB and SunsetBlu from 28th

Trending

Ramada by Wyndham Colomb Wins 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award 

Ramada by Wyndham Colombo is recognized with the 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Award for the

Trending

‘Encounters’: The Second Exhibition by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka

-  A walk through history that gives you a feel of déjà vu, especially when

Trending

Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo’s ColomBar moves to newly refurbished location

04 May2022, Colombo: Colombo’s iconic and stylish destination bar, ColomBar, has been re-located to its

Trending

Yamu Guide.

7 Restaurants to dine in June 2022

Here is a mix of aesthetically pleasing restaurants that are known for their Instagrammable background

Highlights Yamu Guide

The Embazzy – a relaxing luncheon spot

By Hiruni Herath Service and Ambience Stepping into The Embazzy, it’s clear that the restaurant

Highlights Yamu Guide

What to expect at a Yala National Park Safari

Covering an extensive area of Southern and Uva Provinces, Yala is the second largest national

Yamu Guide

Everything you need at Online Kade

Located in the heart of Rajagiriya Online Kade also has a branch in Colombo 04

Yamu Guide

5 Co-working spaces in Colombo

By Tashia Ranasinghe Here are some more interesting places for all the digital nomads out

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Buffets to Indulge In this Easter 2022

By Janani Vithanage As the youth of our nation make their voices heard, the birth

Yamu Guide