Hotel Rolex (Jaffna).

So the superbly famous Hotel Rolex is neither a hotel nor does it have anything to do with high-end watches. It is, however, a lurid green bath kade that serves up lurid yellow biriyani. What Rolex lacks in chromatic subtlety, it makes up for in character and reputation. If you don't trust me, trust the photo of a leering bearded chef at the entrance (photos of this man are around the city at various eateries. Clearly his A-okay gesture is the Jaffna seal of excellence).

A pretty typical kade, the restaurant is grimy, exciting, and loud. It features age-spotted mirrors flanking the walls, and plenty of uncles that can beat you senseless in a stare-down. The key feature of the place is however, the head waiter. A delightful chap whose name I didn't catch (although he seems like a Raju) bossed and commanded both the staff and the patrons with a bustling aplomb that's clearly taken decades to cultivate.


Seeing as we slunk in at about 4pm hoping for lunch, we were pretty grateful the leftovers were even available. Unfortunately the food wasn't piping hot as it probably would've been 4 hours previous, but it was still tasty. Their main offerings are little snacks, parothas and biriyanis (none of which seem like tradtional Jaffna fare to me, in all honesty). We ordered a chicken biriyani and a prawn biriyani, both of which were about Rs. 280 – cheap by Colombo standards, pretty pricey by Jaffna standards.

Despite the fact that our biriyanis had been lying in state for hours, they were pretty good. Standard saffron-tinged rice, teamed with formerly frozen green peas, chick peas sambol, and some lunu miris. The chicken was a nice chunky and crispy breast piece, and the prawns had a lovely seeni-sambol sort of caramelized flavour. They were slightly shrimpy pieces with the shell intact though, which made for some difficult eating. We also tried a bright yellow mango juice which was okay, but a tad saccharine.

Service & Ambience

The service was pretty exciting. The Raju-esque man told me what I should eat, how I should eat it, and demanded I order a drink with that too. I'd usually be horrified if a swish Colombo waiter tried that, but in good old Jaffna it seemed terribly authentic. He scolded, queried, and proudly brandished forks for us to use. The other waiters seemed in awe and fear of him, and scurried about doing his imperious bidding in silent saronged servitude.

You don't really go to a kade for the ambience, unless you're a Colombo hipster. Especially since you go from people-watching to being people-watched, and also the general flurry of insects and grime can be unsettling to some. But Rolex does retain a certain charm – whether it's the retina melting green or the dubious chef photo at the entrance or the pieces of paper instead of tissue, I don't know.


Hotel Rolex and its misleading name are an experience not to be missed whilst in Jaffna. Hot, juicy biriyanis and sugary juices. This is legit Northern streetside kade territory.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp




Ifthar 2023 – Reinvented by Street Burger

By Shamrina Carim During this holy month of Ramadan, once again Street Burger has not

Highlights Kamu

Arabia’s Oasis of Flavours – Cinnamon Red

Cinnamon Red Colombo’s top tier fine dining Flavored restaurant has introduced an incredible range of

Highlights Kamu

The weekend Lunch Buffet at Movenpick

Movenpick boasts of its location in the heart of Colombo, its 219 spacious, luxury hotel

Highlights Kamu

High tea with a stunner view at Cinnamon Red

Shamrina Carim An eclectic delicious high tea platter awaits you all 7 days from 3


A warm breakfast at Hilton Colombo

Graze Kitchen being called out one of the finest and elite restaurants in Colombo, makes

Highlights Kamu

Cinnamon Red introduces a Vegetarian/Vegan Buffet

Cinnamon Red, one of the most popular hotels in Colombo introduces a fully Vegetarian/Vegan Buffet.

Highlights Kamu


5 Spots to experience an Iftar Buffet – 2023

The holy month of Ramadan is approaching in a few days. It’s that festive time

Highlights Trending

Ramada Colombo Celebrates 49 Remarkable Years of Exclusive World-Class Hospitality

The iconic star-class luxury hotel, Ramada Colombo, is owned by the American multinational-World’s largest hotel


Let Her Shine on 8th March at Ramada Colombo.

Celebrate Women’s Day with entertaining evenings, pampered stays, special giveaways, and great dining offers. Show


Quickee- not just another Online Store

Whether you are a busy, working parent or an individual who balances many things during

Highlights Trending

Savour a Plant-Based Feast Every Full Moon at Cinnamon Red Colombo

Colombo, Monday 27th February 2023: Many are the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet. Historically


5 Things You Didn’t Know About Fcode Labs

Sri Lanka’s technology industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years, positioning the country as

Highlights Trending

Yamu Guide.

6 Trusted Pet Food Brands you should know

For awhile, Petmart has established itself as the premier pet shop in Sri Lanka. It

Highlights Yamu Guide

6 Pet Essentials from Pet Mart

Coming home to a devoted friend is the best feeling in the world. A pet's

Highlights Yamu Guide

9 Places to eat Rice & Curry

By RR Yes, pizzas and burgers are amazing but truly nothing can beat a good

Highlights Yamu Guide

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Quickee this year!

It's easy to get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of life, where

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Places to Hike in 2023

Have you ever thought of arranging a travel bucket list to climb a mountain this

Highlights Yamu Guide

Yamu’s Top Restaurant Picks for 2023

New Year, New Reviews? Say “hell yeah”! We have sorted out a few restaurants that

Highlights Yamu Guide