Hotel Rolex is a Tamil/Jaffna bath kade in Wellawatte which also seems to have a branch in Jaffna. The Jaffna hotel is more memorable, as this is basically your standard lunch fare. The Wellawatte Rolex is less inspiring, especially for lunch. We’re told it has a good crab in the evenings, but their rice and curry is expensive and a bit skimpy on the curries.
When we first sat down what we were actually offered was a biriyani. Biryani isn’t a staple of Jaffna cuisine but Hotel Rolex is an established Jaffna/Wellawatte heavy weight and the Biryani here seems pretty popular.
At Rs 280 this is the cheapest Biryani we’ve tried so far but its price advantage is negated by its poor performance in the authenticity stakes.
Our packet looked nothing like a biryani. The rice was barely yellow, forget about saffron there was barely any turmeric. There was a hunk of very jaffna-style chicken, some vambatu pahi and some mung beans- not your typical biryani accompaniments. In fact we are still trying to work out what made it a biryani at all?
It wasn’t untasty, Rolex does a pretty good vamubuta pahi and chicken curry, but it wasnt a biryani.
I suppose that’s what you get for going to a Jaffna Kade for a traditionally Muslim meal. For a lunch-time plate of Jaffna-style curry and rice Rolex is OK, a little on the pricey side (chicken lunch packet Rs 280) but for Biryani, nope.
I’ll just add that the interior is pretty clean and the service is friendly.