Amidst the noise and activity in Wellawatte, you’ll find tons of ‘hotels’ that have stood the test of time. Covered in the city’s telltale kiss of grime and smoke, Hotel Sapphire is where many a midnight romp is conducted.
Unbeknownst to many, they’re actually home to a really good Chinese Restaurant called Golden Palace. We dropped in to check them out and had a fairly positive experience.
The restaurant is up on the 3rd floor. It’s like a set out of an early 90s movie and seems like it’s been frozen in time since then. The walls and curtains are a deep shade of maroon and the furniture is scuffed and scratched, which only added more character.
The place is maintained extremely well with fresh flowers in little glasses on all the tables and neatly folded napkins all around.
They’ve got an extensive menu with a range of dishes from pasta to naan with their primary focus being Chinese cuisine.
After much debate Vishvi and I settled on a small portion of the Singapore Seafood Vermicelli Noodles (Rs. 740), a portion of Hong Kong Style Chicken (Rs. 595) and a portion of Sweet and Sour Crispy Pork (Rs. 620).
*Note: the prices mentioned above are exclusive of taxes.
The Hong Kong Chicken was okay at best, but only because we’ve tasted better. We got a plateful of large chunks of chicken steeped in sweet and sour sauce. A small helping of shallots, garlic and chillies were sprinkled for added flavour.
As a whole I’d say this was the perfect accompaniment to a plate of rice or noodles but I wish the chicken had more crunch to it. It seems like it had been left to soak up the sauce for way too long resulting in a soggy albeit tasty dish.
The pork, according to Vishvi, was brilliant. The chicken had lowered expectations for the pork but surprisingly the latter had an excellent crisp to it. From what I could see, it was served with a colourful assortment of vegetables and large slices of pineapple here and there.
It certainly looked a lot more appetising than the chicken. Vishvi reports that the pork was good, juicy meat with only one or two fatty bits. The sauce it was served in was every bit as sweet and sour as promised, so this sounds like a great dish overall.
The Singapore Noodles looked and tasted more like idiyappam but neither of us were complaining. It was full of cuttlefish bits, shrimps, and cubes of fish. You get an adequate amount of seafood with every bite.
The noodles were spiced lightly which allowed for more flavour to pass through from all other elements and the few sprinklings of leek bits here and there made for a nice crunch.
Service is excellent. The waiters were smart chaps who displayed such interest in taking our orders, you'd have thought we informed them of a review being conducted beforehand. We didn't.
They were quick to top up our water glasses and served our food for us which wasn't necessary but was a nice touch. Our orders were taken swiftly and brought out in about 10-15 minutes.
I'm giving this place a big thumbs up. You're getting full value for money with large portions and good service. They've also got an extensive drinks menu with suspiciously cheap prices, so all the more reason to book a table. Or a room. We're not judging.
If you're not keen to eat here though, you can just get it delivered to your doorstep via YAMU delivery.