Chinese Juchunyuan is a little petti kade semi-authentic restaurant in a corner of Duplication Road that serves hot pot Chinese. The place isn’t much for ambience, the food isn’t for everybody, but at least it’s an accessible place if you want to cook your own Chinese.
Service & Ambience
We have to say the place is totally shot for ambience. It’s a little on the dodgy end of the spectrum. You don’t get an incredibly hygienic feeling about the restaurant when you walk in, but it was visibly clean as far as we could see, and the seating area is basically a small room, enough for about 15 people.
The place was run by a Chinese lady and a Sri Lankan when we visited and they were both very nice, and also helpful and patient when it came to explaining the dishes.
Hot pot is a lot of fun – you basically get to cook your own food in a steaming stew at your table. It is however definitely not for the uninitiated, so don’t bother unless you know what to do in a kitchen.
We ordered some steamed rice (Rs. 110), fish wonton and cuttlefish (Rs. 712) and Chinese watermelon (Rs. 216), with the soup (Rs. 600) and sauces (Rs. 246) as obvious accompaniments. We tossed them all into the soup and waited for a while before fishing for them again.
Not being so pro at hot pot, we asked the manager (who was also waiter) to help us cook. The paste he put together with the ingredients (coriander, garlic, chilli and so on) was pretty tasty, and made a spicy dip for the fish dumplings, cuttlefish and chicken pieces (which were unfortunately rather bony).
We’re not really sure of what we think about the food here. It was okay, we ate most of it, but everything had a slightly raw feel to it – from the fish in the dumplings, to the un-skinned chicken pieces (see first food pic). So it’s definitely an acquired taste that’s not for everybody, nor for the average Sri Lankan palate. The bill stacked up to Rs. 2400, which honestly felt like a rip-off given the restaurant’s interior and the fact that the food was nothing great.
One thing worth mentioning was these little cans of ‘Chinese tea’ (Rs. 300) which was basically chilled sweet tea, a nice way to wash down your meal.
Chinese Juchunyuan failed to impress us, but the food here might be palatable for somebody with an inclination for the slightly raw as the food is in some regions of China. Roughly Rs. 1000 per head does sound like a lot though for a small Chinese kade, so you’re probably better off heading to Min Han which offers the same but is a more reliable bet, menu and ambience wise.