Nelum Kole (Kohuwala).

Nugegoda has no shortage of rice & curry spots, but for some weird reason, we get super excited whenever there's a new one. Which is why we decided to take a stroll down S. De S Jayasinghe Mawatha when we heard about this new buth kadey called Nelum Kole. We're not entirely sure whether they are a relative of Nelum Kole in Boralesgamuwa, but this one sure had the vibe of it – especially in terms of ambience. 

Rice & Curry

The spread here is quite basic, in comparison to what we've seen in other rice and curry spots around. They have chicken, fish, fried fish and egg in their protein section, along with 8 – 12 veg-curries. Everything was presented in hutti mutti and the buth and curries are offered on a lotus leaf, neatly placed on a plate.

You get to choose your base (on the day we visited it was only white rice), and 5 curries to go with it – which also includes a protein of your choice. The standard rice & curry prices can be observed here. From what we gathered, every plate is priced under Rs. 300. 

Dinesh got the Fish Rice & Curry, accompanied with pol sambol, gotukola mallum, beans, devilled soya and the fried egg add-on. 

The fish was a highlight here. Oozing out with a nice peppery flavour, it was cooked well, and had a tinge of sourness to it, drawn by the good old goraka. The gravy itself was good enough to finish this plate of sudu samba buth. We absolutely loved the devilled soya too. Chewy, and well marinated in spices, it packs a delightful heat. 

The gotukola mallum added a fresh crunch to the mix, while its limey hints enhancing the overall flavour. However, the pol sambol didn't impress us. It was quite dry, and the balance between spicy, sour elements was quite off. They could have easily improved the beans curry too. It just needs a bit more milky flavour in it. 

The Chicken Fried Rice I ordered came with a mountain of not-so-oily fried rice, a giant piece of chicken, chop suey and chilli paste. They've kept the seasoning of the rice to a minimum, which helps the other components on the plate to engage in a better manner. With a few bits of egg, leeks and carrots scattered about, we didn't find any signs of MSG in this. 

Tossed in a deliciously tangy sauce, the chicken had a slightly crispy exterior, while the inside was juicy and cooked well. There was a swirl of subtle spiciness running through, which paired nicely with the base, while the chop suey and chilli paste making for the extra flavour. 

We also got this separate portion of Chicken, which turned out to be a bit bland for our liking. The flavour-play of the gravy landed on the peppery side, but the chicken itself didn't seem to have absorbed it properly. 

Ambience & Service

As I said, the ambience here resembles what we've seen at Nelum Kole in Boralesgamuwa, but this one is a little bit messier than that. From the outside, it looks like a normal buth kadey, but from the inside, it's like a cottage made with clay. The katu mati walls, wooden chairs and tables spread throughout the mati floor, all add up to its charm. It tends to get hot in here with many a fly flying about which makes the experience rather unpleasant. So the takeaway option is the best bet. 

In terms of service, the guys manning the counter were super helpful and efficient. 

Conclusion

This Nelum Kole can up their game so easily by introducing a few more meats to their spread, and polishing up their ambience a bit. Don't get us wrong, this place isn't necessarily bad – it's just there are more similar places around with a lot more interesting stuff. 

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