The Chinese restaurant scene in Colombo is quite strong and Red Panda is a welcome addition to it.
Their restaurant's dine-in area is under construction at the moment, but they are available for delivery and takeaway. After seeing all that chatter online, we just couldn’t help ourselves but drop by to get a taste of what they have.
On their menu, you'll see chicken, prawn and fish cooked in Chinese style, alongside a few side dishes you can choose to complement them and a bunch of rice-centred specialities. Or you can just skip them all and get the set menu.
We opted for the Chilli Chicken with Cashew Nuts (Rs. 550), Hot Butter Cuttlefish (Rs. 550), and Seafood Fried Rice (Rs. 650). They neatly packed them in nice cardboard containers.
Our Seafood Fried Rice had an irresistibly pleasant aroma, which just kept jumping at us. The rice was well cooked, seasoned nicely without being oily. Fluffy and pleasing to eat with plenty of seafood bits (mostly prawns) mixed in, it was great.
One can eat this on its own without any side dishes, or probably with the chilli paste that was provided. It was that flavourful. The hefty portion size can easily fill up two, or three if you are not super duper hungry.
The Chilli Chicken with Cashew Nuts was a good portion which had plenty of chicken pieces – easily enough for two. Cooked well and marinated to be on the sweet side rather than being spicy, it was not bad.
However, we didn’t get a whole lot of cashews in here. We also felt that there is just too much sauce included, but, you can use that in your serving if you are into that. The sauce itself was thick, tangy, and didn’t pack much heat as one would expect. There were plenty of onions and little pieces of veggies swimming about in the sauce that added a good crunch.
The HBC was perfectly fried and the batter was deliciously crunchy and mildly spiced. Not being too oily is always commendable. We would have liked to see a little bit of chilli flakes in it and to make it "hot" as promised.
All in all, everything added up to a quite alright, satisfying meal.
Ambience & Service
As stated earlier, they are still under construction. When we inquired, however, we were told that they are planning to open up within a week if the conditions are favourable.
While we look forward to their full opening, it's safe to say that they do a solid Chinese food offering while keeping things improving. Their food looks great, tastes good and the prices are pretty decent. I for one, am looking forward to paying them a visit when they open up the dine-in.