Flower Drum.

Edit: So we were hoping to re-review Flower Drum, but it turns out they’re closed until  further notice because they’re shifting. It was such a good location noh?

Flower Drum – the absolute archteype of Sri Lankan Chinese food. Founded in 1982, it’s still owned by one the country’s more prominent Sri Lankan/Chinese families – the Gyi’s. Staples like hot butter cuttlefish, sweet and sour pork, and beef in oyster sauce have kept customers coming back for over 30 years.

On weekend evenings it can still be hard to get a table even in the restaurants now extensively refurbished and spacious colonial premise on Thurstan Road, Kollupitiya.

The excellent delivery service compensates for the crowding. Hot meals are delivered free in Colombo 2,3,4 and 7, and for between Rs. 200-300 in most other locations.

Given the vast size of menu the quality of dishes isn’t exactly uniform, but the tried and tested top 10 remains an excellent introduction to Sri Lanka’s interpretation of Chinese food.

  1. Hot butter cuttlefish,
  2. kan kun beef
  3. chillie chicken with cashew nuts
  4. cuttlefish stuffed with prawns
  5. sweet and sour fish
  6. steamed crab with ginger
  7. special fried rice
  8. devilled bean curd
  9. sizzling BBQ pork
  10. chicken and sweet corn soup.

(After 30 years just about everyone in Colombo has their own take on the Flower Drum Top 10)

Try to spot the carp pool round the back at the delivery section, this is perhaps the one corner of the old premise that has remained unchanged for a generation.

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