Being educated in Colombo, in an all-girls private school, meant meeting possible myriads of kids who staple The Commons as a hangout spot, whilst worshipping Raheema's and Fazly's for always being there as an option when they need to pig out.
Wow! That's a very long sentence. Anyway, if you happen to relate to that, this place should be right up your alley.
Serving some of the best greased up, Arabic-themed food that you'd come across in your lifetime, Hadramout has been there for ages. After making plans for quite some time, we decided to check them out, and pig out.
From the outside, it looks like your average streetside kottu kadey, but, the inside is way nicer than you'd expect.
Look at this! Wooden furniture, air conditioning and faint smells of air freshener and tandoori chicken, the ambience here is pretty solid. People constantly moving around carrying plates of food and offering small talk added to the whole experience making you feel familiar, even if it's your first time being here.
From grilled meat to Burgers and Subs to Rice based dishes, the menu here is extensive. We went with the Chicken Shawarma (Rs. 350) and the Quarter Chicken Kabsa (Rs. 550).
The rice was beautifully long and cooked to perfection. While it wasn't as amazingly aromatic as the one from Arabian Knights, it was a brilliant deal considering in comparison to prices.
The piece of chicken was beautifully crisp on the outside and had a light pink – almost white interior. Spicy, moderately salty and balanced out by the light bitterness from the charred bits, we absolutely loved this one.
The portion size was enough to feed 2 very hungry childlike adults and paired with the tomato paste and lime they give on the side, it concludes to be a very, very good meal.
Tightly wrapped in foil, the Chicken Shawarma at Hadramout absolutely stole the show. The thick roll of pita bread with little charred bits at every bite, its filling turned out to be a delicious cocktail of cabbage, onion, grilled chicken, sauce, tomatoes and a bunch of other elements we couldn't really place. Take it from us, if you do wind up here, go with the Shawarma. We guarantee that you won't be disappointed.
We also ordered this plate of Butter Chicken, which we later realised that they forgot to add to our bill.
What essentially looked like a pile of red gravy turned out to be 4 to 5 pieces of meaty chicken. Thanks to having soaked up all the spicy goodness of the gravy, each and every one of them was packed with flavour. There was a good balance between the sweet and curry elements of the gravy, and a lot of creaminess. Get the biriyani with this. You won't regret.
In the drinks section, they don't have much. Which is why we decided to go with a Green Tea (Rs. 60) in hopes that it'll help with cancelling out all the not-so-healthy bits.
Thus, we ended up with this. A Black Tea tea bag immersed in hot water with weird floaty bits roaming around. Surprisingly, this minute blunder was exactly what we needed. The weird floaty bits turned out to be cardamon and paired with around half a teaspoon of sugar, it was the cherry on top of our visit.
The place was teeming with people. Walking around, taking orders, clearing tables, making small talk, carrying food. But, like most places of the same genre, we found the staff to be helpful, friendly and pretty damn efficient.
If you're open to it, you'll find that the staff treat you more like a friend who has been coming here for ages than the plain rigid waiter-customer relationship we're used to. And to be honest, it adds up to the charm of the place, making you want to come again.
We absolutely loved Hadramount. The staff was super nice, it's as affordable as Colombo gets and the food was superb! What more do you need?