Copper Chimney is a humble little fried rice spot on the corner of Prof. Stanley Wijesundara Mawatha. It's easy to miss as it's pretty much on the edge of Bloomfield Grounds. What used to be a milk shop now serves up the cheapest fried rice you'll find in Colombo 7, and it's pretty decent, too. Having experienced the fare at the Hunupitiya branch, many years ago, I was quite excited to check this spot for lunch one hungry afternoon.
You have four options: "Crisis", "Duppathage Hithawatha" (Poor Man's Friend), "Kaageth Sundari" (Anyone's Beauty), "Hodi Onnehe" (No Need Gravy). We love the clever names. So, it's Chicken Fried Rice (Rs. 80), Chicken Fried Rice With Fried Gizzard (Rs. 100), Chicken Fried Rice With A Fried Egg (Rs. 100), Chicken Fried Rice With A Fried Chicken Thigh (Rs. 130).
We tried the Fried Gizzard and the Fried Chicken Thigh. I quite liked the gizzard option, actually. It was chewy, which seemed more pleasant than the dry thigh. You get what you pay for, so don't expect too much. It's basically a whole lot of rice, sprinkled with kang kung, veggies and a good dash of MSG. The chili paste that comes with is quite dry, but it does the job as a rice puller. It packs a lot of heat, so it's not for the faint of heart. Then again, if you're eating here, it's unlikely that you're particularly pampered. We really didn't care for the sauce, though. Just corn starch and a vague abstraction of tomato.
Service & Setting
What used to be a milk shop has been converted into this quaint little restaurant. It is unmistakably an old NLDB hut, which makes this something of a hipster amongst buth kadeys. Bear in mind, though, this is not a buth kadey for hipsters. If you want to take in the atmosphere, then take the plastic putu outside and sit under the shade of a tree, and maybe, if you're lucky, there'll be a cricket match on at the grounds.
Service is super-prompt. They speak Sinhala-only, but can manage orders in English.
Copper Chimney is where you go when you're broke and no one wants to feed you. It's the last resort of the pariah that scavenges other people's work meals. When your office has had enough of you, and you just need to take a stroll down the green paths of Kurundawatte, pondering the plight of the proletariat, this is where you might end up. Don't expect them to sympathize with you, though.