Oriental Gourmet (One Galle Face).

It's a known fact that one of the best ways to bond with people is over a delicious meal, and what better way to do that than sharing a hotpot, don't you agree? Oriental Gourmet is one such restaurant that is solely focused on providing that experience to their customers, by serving up some of the best, giant bowls of simmering hotpots we've had to date.
 
Located on the 6th level of One Galle Face building, they're unbelievably friendly on the wallet too. 

The Hotpots

You can either settle for a pre-customised hotpot (Set Meals), or you can customise one on your own too. If you're going for the latter, you get to pick the broth (they've got around 10 kinds of them) and veggies and meats you want with it, and the price point will be calculated according to the elements and broth you choose.

Majority of the broths are priced under Rs. 500 (for small), but they also have super expensive ones too, which clocks in at Rs. 2280. As for veggies, it starts at Rs. 250 and goes up to Rs. 580, while the pricing of meats varies from Rs. 580 to Rs. 1980. Altogether, they've got around 65 varieties of meats and veggies and also a few dishes to enjoy on the side. 

As for the set meal, you can pick the broth, but not the elements you want with it as they're already defined on the menu. All of them are priced under Rs. 3000, which is quite reasonable. Plus, each set meal can be accompanied by unlimited amounts of fried rice and noodles.

Aside from all these, they offer the options of hotpot buffet with a rotating table (Rs. 3980 per person) and a couple of group hotpots (Rs. 4980 – Rs. 5980) which can be shared among 3/4 people. All these prices are inclusive of taxes and service charges, so what you see on the menu is exactly what you pay. 

We went with the Australian Beef Set Meal (Rs. 2580), which came to us with a serving of sliced Australian beef, an assortment of veggies, and a helping of glass noodles. Our choice of broth here was the Wild Mushroom one. 

The broth was perfectly mushroomy and we were delighted to find pieces of chicken swimming in it, which enhanced the flavour even more. There were freshly cut corn sticks, black fungus, sliced up potato, pumpkin, and a bunch of greens for us to throw into our bubbling hotpot, while the slices of Australian beef were incredibly thin in texture and gorgeously red. 

We suggest you put corn into the hotpot first as it takes a bit of time to boil and then slip the veggies in. The beef slices take only a few seconds to cook, so keep it until last. 

We customised a hotpot for ourselves too, with Chilli Spicy Soup (Rs. 480 for small), sliced Cuttlefish (Rs. 650), Plain Mushroom (Rs. 280), Black Fungus (Rs. 360), Root Lotus (Rs. 380), Frozen Tofu (Rs. 280), and Corn Sticks (Rs. 300). 

They're quite generous with the veggies and meats/proteins – I almost couldn't believe the portions we got because that's plenty for two hotpots and they were quite fresh. 

Reminiscing a slightly milder version of Mala hotpot we tried at the Mala Hot Pot at CCC, the broth here was packing a spicy punch and was fiery red and loaded with red chillies. The veggies become extra flavoursome by absorbing all that spicy goodness. We Lankans tend to prefer well-spiced up food, so this is right up our alley.

Service & Ambience

The menu here mentions all the elements, broths and options you have, along with checkboxes under each of them. You can mark the stuff you want with a pencil and then handover it to your server.

The staff here is quite friendly and happy to clarify any doubts or questions you may have. This place seems to get a lot of foreign customers, and the staff treats both locals and them alike. They checked back with us a couple of times for feedback that we may have, and also was quite apologetic when the beef portion took a little bit of time to arrive. 

The pink, green and white theme they have going on here has a dash of cuteness to it, which we found interesting. Each and every table has two hotpot cookers, and they're totally at your control. The seating arrangements were comfortable, and the Chinese songs that fill the room totally add up to the atmosphere here. 

Conclusion

The single servings of these hotpots along with the components we add from the outside are quite adequate for two people, and it won't cost you more than Rs. 3000 – if you know what to pick. Our meal at Oriental Gourmet was an extremely satisfying one, and if you love hotpots as much as we do, we highly recommend you try them out. 

*Photographs courtesy of: @raveen.re
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