Hotel De Plaza.

This is the city’s rising late-night kottu star. Upstream from the Colpetty kottu juggernaut (Pillawoos) there’s more and more buzz around this humble but handily 24 hour establishment. It’s like Pilawoos 10 years ago,’ is the basic gist of the conversation around Colombo’s currently hot hole in the wall.

The Pilawoos comparison is definitely apt – Plaza too is in the kottu, cheese kottu, cheese roti, chicken pallandy brought to your car business. It’s definitely rougher around the edges than the Galle Road’s various Pilawoos. I’d say sorta like Bamba (Vajira Road) Pilawoos circa 2000. Perhaps it’s the small seating space, absence of a flashy signboard, relative lack of bright-white strip lighting – there’s something distinctly grimy about the place, not dirty but gritty enough to lend it some street cred. Still for all the scruffy ‘authenticity’ what really matters is the food.

Their cheese beef kottu has been put forward as a real challenge to Pilawoos’ kottu dominance. I’ve dropped in a few times and will say this is pretty good kottu. It’s on the drier end of the kottu spectrum- hasn’t got the carbonara-ey creaminess I’m partial to but there is enough tangy cheese chopped in to cut the soft, curryfied chunks of beef. The basic roti, I think, could be a little softer but where this kottu wins out is generosity, at Rs. 350 it can easily feed three non-super gluttons and there’s more meat than the major Pilawoos have included in their servings for a long time. It’s good but I don’t think it quite lives up to the hype, I still prefer my oozing, super cheezey Bamba (opposite Majestic City) Pilawoos. But for a change from the tried and tested, late night Pilawoos routine – Hotel De Plaza is a pretty solid destination.

They are good for lunch too (packets from Rs 120) though their biryani Rs 340, doesnt reach Raheema’s or Rahumania’s standards.

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