Habibiz Sri Lanka is the latest addition to the restaurant scene at the suburbs of Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. They serve up a range of Sri Lankan staples, among other things, for a very affordable price tag.
Habibiz Sri Lanka has a very extensive menu, including Indian, Arab, Chinese, Italian, Western and of course, Sri Lankan cuisine.
Accompanied with raita, gravy and minchi sambol, the Hydrabadi Chicken Biriyani (Rs. 380) had a lot to offer on the plate. The long grain basmati was fragrant, and the seasoning was on point; I would have just eaten that on its own.
It had not one, but two huge chunks of chicken that were cooked and seasoned well. The portion size is ample, so it’s easily shareable between two people.
The Mongolian Seafood Rice (Rs. 440) however, did not impress us. It was generous with pieces of carrots, spring onions, and capsicum, and had a few bits of prawns, cuttlefish and fish, but not enough. The rice was slightly overcooked, too oily, and way too salty.
We also ordered a portion of Charcoal Chicken Kottu (Rs. 410) which came with a fat, well-grilled chicken leg. It would’ve been better if they used less seasoning on the roti and more veggies.
Anyway, the chicken itself was quite good; smokey, mesquite flavor that gets better with the crunchy bits of charcoal stuck on the outer layer.
The Beef Masala (Rs. 390) had around two small nuggets of tender, well-cooked beef, soaked in a gravy that was rather bland and not very good. It was spiced with pepper, chili powder, and salt, but in a very unbalanced manner.
As for dessert, we got a Watalappan (Rs. 200), which was albeit a little too sweet for our taste. We couldn’t taste any jaggery or cardamom flavor in this, except for the overpowering sugary taste, leaving our mouth all sticky. It was rather dense and the texture seemed like it had been sitting around for a while.
Their drink menu contains mocktails, coffee, tea, smoothies, and fruit juices.
*Pictured above – Lime juice, Sweet Lassi and Iced Milo
- Refreshing, and not watery, the Lime juice (Rs. 130) was pretty solid. It had a good balance between the sweet and sour elements.
- The Sweet Lassi (Rs. 160) was really good with its thick texture, and the strong flavour of curd, which is indeed a treat on a hot day.
- Sadly, the Iced Milo (Rs. 200) we ordered was not milo-ey enough. The milk-to-water ratio was quite off, leaving all the flavors unbalanced.
Service & Ambience
While the waitstaff at Habibiz was very attentive, helpful and polite, it took only 10-15 minutes for them to deliver our order to the table, which is pretty impressive.
We dropped in here for an early lunch, and the place was buzzing with the crowd. The restaurant hall itself was slightly echoey, which made it quite annoying to settle in, with all the loud noise and chatter going on. So it might take a few minutes for you to get used to that.
They've got plenty of space, and comfortable seating, which is enough to accommodate at least 30 people at a time.
Habibiz Sri Lanka is a very good place to drop by, for some good food at an affordable price, if you're in the area. Make sure you try the chicken biriyani; they make a good one.