Ella Flower Garden Resort.

The Ella Flower Garden Resort is a charming little place sitting at a near 90-degree bend up Passara Road, less than 2kms away from the junction. They sell succulents, cacti, and pets, among other things. Pets including beautiful parrots of hues ranging from bright reds to yellows to oranges and all colours of the sunset, to huge rabbits. They're all caged rather dingily though, and the rabbits look sad and sick, so I didn't really like that bit very much. On the other hand, they also have food, so let's move onto that.

Food and Service

As a friend pointed out, this isn't Colombo. I don't know how this excuses not being trained properly, but that's apparently how it is in outstation areas. The waitstaff are friendly and try their best to help, but they're a bit incompetent — unfamiliar with the menu, getting an order or so confused, and so on. That said, their hospitality is welcoming and genuine, and it makes you feel right at home (the home of a rather bumbling friend).

'Twas a cold and foggy day, with heavy rains trundling over the horizon. So, we ordered a pumpkin soup (Rs. 300). 

It arrived steaming hot, accompanied by a few slices of bread. A rather large bowl, very creamy, and quite flavourful, this was surprisingly good.

Next up we had a mixed seafood noodles (Rs. 600), grilled chicken (Rs. 850), and were still really really hungry so ordered a portion of devilled beef (it comes with a bowl of rice) for Rs. 550 as well.

As far as accompaniments go, the fries which came along with the chicken gets a thumbs-up because they were done just right. The chicken was a bit of a downer because (a) it wasn't grilled, and (b) it was slathered in ketchup. I was basically having a piece of chicken smothered in sauce: but to be fair, it wasn't as fried-to-the-core as it looked. Soon as the dish arrived, we let out a groan of frustration thinking it would be akin to the dry as dust chicken you get at kottu-kadeys down Galle Road, but this was edible and somewhat soft. It definitely wasn't worth the price, nor did it assuage my hunger.

The seafood noodles were unexpectedly good, with an authentic flavour of fish and prawns (along with the sea-meats themselves) in the dish.

The portion was generous, and had plenty of batter-friend slices of cuttle-fish in it. This was totally worth the price.

Our third dish was more of an afterthought, and the waiter forgot the accompanying rice until much later. By the time the carb arrived, we'd whacked most of the beef (which was decent). Succulent pieces of chopped beef were skewered with toothpicks, making it easier to eat. I tried the rice when it finally arrived, and was rather glad that it got that late, because it smelled weird — like how rice smells if it wasn't washed properly before being cooked. 

The drinks, meanwhile, are quite good. We opted for a Passion Fruit Juice, and Lemon Tang, priced at Rs. 300 and Rs. 350 respectively. The passion fruit was sprightly, tangy, and very refreshing, as was the lemon tang (aka lemon iced tea), which also had a slightly stringent kahata overtone colouring the drink.

Ambience

The management have made optimal use of their location, and provided plenty of natural lighting and views. The outdoor section is just as well tended as their indoor one, and both are furnished with dark wooden chairs and tables.

The indoor seating is rather cabin-like, and overlooks their garden and the bird cages.

We recommend the outdoor seating area for the veiws and chilly winds.

Conclusion

What the staff lacks in efficiency, they make up with hospitality. The food isn't outstanding and as in the case of the grilled chicken, is sometimes a misnomer, but we found it good overall. Their drinks are definitely way better and don't have anything to improve on. Worth checking out for the view alone, if you're in the vicinity.

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