Gunasiri Hotel is a historic landmark in Kollupitiya. Its history goes back to a few decades. As a broke undergraduate who studied at a nearby campus, this is where I used to go.
However, considering how our experience unfolded, it is highly doubtful we will ever come back here again.
Be it fried rice, kottu, noodles or normal rice & curry that your heart craves for, this place has all those things.
Lamindu ordered this Chicken Rice & Curry (Rs. 200) – a generous serving of sudu samba buth, accompanied with a hefty piece of chicken, tempered long beans, parippu, amberella curry, and some pol sambol. This comes as a set menu, so you don't get a say in what curries you want with your rice.
Infused with a lot of pepper and curry powder, the chicken had a good flavour. Aside from that and the well-cooked rice, the rest of the elements fell short of impressing us. The tempered long beans was too oily, both dhal and amberella curries had no seasoning, while the pol sambol failed to spike up the flavours on the plate.
Our recommendation is, throw a couple more rupees, walk another 300 metres, go to Praneetha and get a way better plate of rice and curry, which also comes with a bigger, better spread.
Dinesh had high hopes about his Mutton Rice (Rs. 300) but left disappointed. With a sprinkle of spring onions and carrots, the rice was a bit salty – probably because of the MSG in it. There were a few teeny tiny bits of mutton in it, which we finished off by our 4th or 5th spoonful. This is the Chicken Parts Kottu (Rs. 200) I ordered, and sadly, it was the worst part of the whole experience. After avoiding kottu for around 6 months (for no reason), I was super excited to get my hands on this.
Let me start with the bright side of things – with plenty of chewy chicken parts to go around, it was seasoned with chilli flakes, bits of onion, carrot and spring onions. On the bad side, it was dry af – my throat still hurts when I think about how hard it was to swallow down those roti bits that were hard as rocks. The chilli flake seasoning didn't quite blend in with the other elements of this kottu, so what you get here is the bland piti taste above all. They must have used an old/frozen batch of roti to make this one, which is probably why it couldn't be revived from the chicken gravy they offered alongside.
We ordered a side of Cuttlefish (Rs. 180), which turned out to be the only good part of our meal at the Gunasiri Hotel. Oozed out with a load of spicy hits drawn by the chilli flakes, the cuttlefish pieces were chewy, and cooked well. We've had better cuttlefish curries, but based on what went down, it was our saving grace.
Service & Ambience
We dropped by Gunasiri Hotel for a late lunch on a weekday, and as always, the place was packed with customers. Anyway, we found ourselves upstairs which is a much convenient option if you want to enjoy your lunch peacefully. The seating arrangement here is pretty basic with glass-topped tables and plastic chairs. Nothing fancy, but gets the job done.
In terms of service, it wasn't exactly friendly. Our waiter looked a little mad to see us in the restaurant for some reason. Anyway, he was quite fast on his feet. We received our food within 10 minutes.
Well, our experience here left a lot to be desired. Kollupitiya has a bunch of other good restaurants that serve up the same spread as Gunasiri Hotel, so we suggest you stick to them.